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West Bladen teacher wins state award

West Bladen High School teacher, Gaye G. Davis, has won the inaugural Donate Life NC Hero Award. Davis was nominated for the statewide prize for the work she has done educating and advocating for organ donation in Bladenboro and surrounding areas.

Since 2016, Davis has worked on raising the organ donor registration rates in Bladen County, which previously had the lowest registration rate in the state. After speaking with various community groups, she made organ donation awareness the theme of her 2017 DREAM team, a group of high school athletes who focus on a single project throughout the year. With her guidance, they had health fairs, bulletin boards, made commercials, t-shirts and had a donor registration drive.

In the past two years, the Bladen County registration rate has climbed 7% to 37.6%. Donors register at the DMV when getting their drivers licenses, online at, or at registration drives.

“Teachers across North Carolina improve the lives of their students, but Gaye takes it to a new level,” said Deanna Mitchell, executive director of Donate Life North Carolina. “She is saving lives every day by inspiring her community members to join the organ donor registry. We think that makes her pretty heroic indeed."

Donate Life NC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with a mission is to inspire all North Carolina residents to save and enhance lives by registering as organ, eye and tissue donors. The organization comprises a collaborative group of organizations that promote eye, organ and tissue donation. Working together, the member organizations are directly involved in supporting donor families and facilitating organ, eye and tissue transplants across the state. Learn more at