Immortal Fans Favorite 

Practitioner: 

Date: 

Jan 1 2014

Location: 

Brazil

From this article: https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-27632527
A campaign by one of Brazil's biggest football clubs to encourage fans to become organ donors has led to a massive rise in the number of life-changing transplants and reduced waiting lists for organs in the area almost to zero.

"Every Brazilian is born with football in the soul," says Jorge Peixoto, of Sport Club Recife, one of the top teams in the north-east of the country.

For the last two years though, he has been more concerned about what happens to fans' bodies when they die.

The club decided it "must look beyond the 11 players on the field and use its power for bigger things," says Peixoto, the club's vice-president for social programmes.

It asked them to become "immortal fans" donating their organs after they die so that their love for the club will live on in someone else's body.

"I promise that your eyes will keep on watching Sport Club Recife," says one man waiting for a cornea transplant in the television ad made to publicise the campaign.

The card makes people discuss the matter
Fernando Figueira, Surgeon
"I promise that your heart will keep on beating for Sport Club Recife," says a potential recipient of a transplanted heart.

The video is screened at every match in the club's Ilha do Retiro stadium, a venue that seats 35,000 but could be filled almost twice over with the number of people who have signed up for a donor card - 66,000 so far.

The waiting list for organ transplants in the city of Recife was reduced to zero in the first year, Peixoto says, and the impact has also been felt throughout the surrounding state of Pernambuco.

"We used to perform from five to seven heart transplants a year, but last year we achieved 28… it was an incredible increase," says Fernando Figueira, director of heart transplants at Pernambuco's Institute of Integrated Medicine.

"There is a very tight connection between the campaign and this rise."

People can apply online for the Sport Donor card - it's the size of a credit card, the words printed over the outline of a heart with a fiery red backdrop.

Posted by Center for Artistic Activism on

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