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Challenge aims to break organ donation record

Alexa’s Hope, an organization dedicated to saving lives by increasing the number of registered organ, eye and tissue donors, aims to break a

Guinness World Record in Fargo on Saturday, Nov. 23. The initiative, called “Give to Live,” will rally regional support to encourage people to register as a donor, in person, at one of three sites in the city during an eight hour period. The record to beat is 4,135 donor registrations currently held by Dharmsinh Desai University in Nadiad, Gujarat India. Alexa’s Hope wants to bring this life-saving record back to the United States.

One of the sites to register for the “Give to Live” challenge will be the FargoDome, where the Bison are playing a home game against the University of South Dakota. Nearly 19,000 people are expected at the game and all are encouraged to sign up. All other participants may register at the Fargo Air Museum or the Fargo Coliseum. A vast number of people are needed to step forward and break the record. Donor registration must be completed in person between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. at one of the three sites. To achieve world record status, more than eight people per minute must register as a donor. People from all states who are not currently registered in North Dakota are able to participate toward this ambitious goal. You can find more information about the challenge online at

The namesake of Alexa’s Hope is Alexa Kersting, a 14 year-old girl from West Fargo, who died while waiting for a double lung transplant in 2004. Her mother, Monica Kersting, began the non-profit organization to create a culture where registering to save lives through organ and tissue donation is the norm, not the exception. “If more people say yes to donation, fewer people will die waiting for a transplant,” shared Kersting. “We don’t want another family to experience the death of a child because of the shortage of donated organs.”

There are currently more than 120,000 people waiting for a life-saving organ transplant in the United States, including more than 3,500 in the Upper Midwest. North Dakota and Minnesota rank in the top 10 states in the nation for donor registration, with 67 percent and 63 percent respectively. Nationally, only 45 percent of adults are registered donors. One of the goals of Alexa’s Hope is to increase the percent of U.S. adults registered as a donor from 45 percent to 75 percent. The “Give to Live” challenge will help raise awareness of this important goal, register donors and help save more lives.

The “Give to Live” challenge is made possible by a $40,000 Breakthrough Idea Challenge grant from Dakota Medical Foundation and has received wide community support. In addition to Dakota Medical Foundation, sponsors include: LifeSource, Sanford Health, Essentia Health, Onsharp, West Fargo students, Wildfire Youth Venture, YMCA of Cass and Clay Counties, and the many friends of Alexa’s Hope. For more information about the event, visit or follow the organization on Facebook and Twitter. Also, follow the event at #GIVETOLIVE.