UNC Hospitals To Dedicate Transplant Clinic to Local Hero During National Donate Life Month

Former Tar Heel mascot and organ donor to be remembered at dedication ceremony

Jason Ray

April 13, 2016

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – UNC Hospitals will recognize and celebrate a beloved member of the UNC community this Saturday, and change the name of its transplant clinic to UNC Hospitals Jason Ray Transplant Clinic in honor of the late Jason Ray.

Jason Ray, former UNC Tar Heels mascot, was the victim of an automobile-versus-pedestrian accident on March 23, 2007. The accident occurred when Ray was attending the NCAA Basketball Regionals in New Jersey. He died three days later from his injuries.

Because Jason was an organ donor, 118 people received his organs and tissue after the accident. David Erving, who will speak at the ceremony, was one of those people.

“After getting the kidney and pancreas transplant from Jason Ray, this clinic dedication means a lot to me,” Erving said. “I would not be here if not for the transplant.”

Jason’s donation of organs and tissues received worldwide attention. His story prompted 46,000 more Americans to sign up as organ donors, creating a future potential to save the lives of 165,000 people with end-stage organ disease.

“This will leave a permanent reminder and tribute to Jason and keep his spirit and story alive for decades to come,” Jason’s brother, Emmitt Ray II, said. “Jason loved Chapel Hill with his whole heart, and it is fitting he will be remembered for giving his heart to save another person, and continue to help others who are facing death if not for the gift of others.” 

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ABOUT THE JASON RAY FOUNDATION
The Jason Ray Foundation is dedicated to a mission of education, community service and raising awareness for organ donation. The foundation was established with the goal of raising $1 million and is a third of the way toward achieving its goal. This fund benefits patients in all phases of transplant, including kidney donors. For more information about the foundation, click here. 

ABOUT UNC HOSPITALS
UNC Hospitals
is a public academic medical center first established in 1952 under the name North Carolina Memorial Hospital to provide patient care, educate health care professionals and advance medical research in partnership with the UNC School of Medicine. The medical center in Chapel Hill comprises N.C. Cancer Hospital, N.C. Children’s Hospital, N.C. Memorial Hospital, N.C. Neurosciences Hospital and N.C. Women’s Hospital.

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