Marquette's Trey Schwab Receives National Donor Awareness Award

June 5, 2003

MILWAUKEE -- Marquette University Basketball Special Assistant Trey Schwab has been named co-recipient of the Dr. James S. Wolf Courage Award for his work in organ donor awareness within the past year. The award, named for the Coalition on Donation's founder and retired chairman of the Division of Transplantation at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, is presented annually to an individual outside the transplant/donation community who has played a significant role in nationally raising public awareness of organ and tissue donation.

"I am very honored to be named as one of the recipients, along with Stephen Oelrich, of this year's award," said Schwab. "I have had the pleasure of getting to know last year's recipient, Chris Klug, as we have been involved in several awareness events together over the past few months, and I am proud to call him a friend. We are currently working on even bigger events to help to get the word out about organ and tissue donation in the upcoming months."

Shortly after arriving at Marquette in September of 2001, Schwab took ill with what was thought to be pneumonia. It turned out to be ideopathic pulmonary fibrosis, an incurable lung disease. Since then, he has undergone six surgeries and received experimental drug treatment. His only hope for long-term survival is a lung transplant.

Schwab has become a tireless worker for organ donation awareness, not just locally, but throughout the country. He has conducted dozens of media interviews to raise donation awareness, served as a national spokesperson for National Donor Day in April, and arranged a donor awareness night at the Bradley Center in December at the Marquette vs. Wisconsin basketball game, which led to many similar events throughout the country.

Stephen Oelrich, sheriff of Alachua Couny, Gainesville, Fla., was named co-recipient of the 2003 Wolf Award, with Schwab. Oelrich's 18-year old son died in a fall and was an organ and tissue donor. Oelrich formed the National Sheriff's Association Gift of Life Foundation to promote donation on national, regional, and state levels.

Previous recipients of the Wolf Award are:

2002- Chris Klug, Olympic medallist and liver transplant recipient

2001- Phil and JoAnn Nixon, an Indiana couple who had a local television station film the donation process when their son died, using it as a documentary to promote donation

2000- Jane Smith, a school teacher who donated one of her kidneys to one of her students

1999- Ryan Tripp, "Lawnmower Boy," who mowed grass at each of the 50 United States state capitols to raise organ donor awareness


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