UHV to host event to encourage blood, organ donations

Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood, and an event hosted by the University of Houston-Victoria, in collaboration with the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center and GenCure, will help spread awareness about how vital donations can save lives.

Michael Wiblishauser

The Lone Star Circle of Life Bike Tour will visit Victoria from 2 to 5 p.m. Sept. 26 in the UHV University North Multi-Purpose Room, 3007 N. Ben Wilson St. The week-long bike tour includes up to 12 cyclists who travel more than 450 miles through Central and South Texas in order to spread awareness about the need for blood, tissue, organ, bone marrow and stem cell donations. This is the tour’s 18th year. The event is free and open to the public.

“The Lone Star bike tour is a unique approach to spreading awareness about these important donations,” said Michael Wiblishauser, UHV assistant professor of public health. “There’s a major need for donations across the nation, and the more we can shine a light on that need, the better.”

The bike tour participants are expected to arrive at UHV right as the event begins at 2 p.m., said Ginger Kolle, donor recruitment consultant with the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center. The tour began in Tyler, then went through Waco, College Station and Katy before reaching Victoria. After the event, the cyclists will finish their tour in Corpus Christi. This is the first year that Victoria has been included in the tour.

Ginger Kolle

“The message these riders share is vital for so many people, and we are excited that they chose to bring it to Victoria,” Kolle said. “We hope the community will come out and show their support through donating blood or signing up to become marrow, organ and tissue donors during the event. Historically, only 4 percent of the eligible population donates blood, but one donation can save up to three lives.”

In addition to a presentation by the cyclists, community members who have received organ, blood, and marrow donations will share their stories to highlight the importance of donations and inspire others to donate. There also will be a blood drive during the event, an opportunity for people to sign up to be organ donors and a registry table for Be The Match, a national bone marrow donor registry.

For more information about the event, contact Wiblishauser at 361-570-4178 or

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.