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Curkovic's living legacy

FK Partizan president Ivan Curkovic has made a generous pledge this Christmas.

By Aleksandar Boskovic

FK Partizan president Ivan Curkovic is leading the battle to improve Serbia and Monetnegro's organ donation rates after signing a deal which will see his organs go to Belgrade's top military hospital, VMA, after he dies.

Prominent donor
Curkovic became the country's most prominent organ donor after recently visiting VMA with some of the club's top officials, and both the president and the hospital now hope that his generous act will set an example for people across Serbia and Montenegro.

Making a difference
"By donating my organs I want to help to contribute to the development of transplant medicine in our region and I want to help people who are in need," explained Curkovic, a former Yugoslavian international who played in goal for FK Velez, Partizan and AS Saint-Etienne.

Generous gesture
VMA's director, major general Zoran Stankovic, was grateful for Curkovic's gesture. "We very much appreciate it when well known and respected sports personalities find the time for humanitarian activities and set an example for their fellow citizens," he said.

Unhappy record
"Unfortunately, our country is the lowest-ranked in Europe in terms of volunteer organ donations," added Stankovic, whose hospital will now be treating Partizan's players free of charge. "Our goal is to develop a programme that will correspond to European standards."

Shining example
Kidney transplant specialist Dr Aleksandar Kovacevic echoed Stankovic's comments in hoping that other Serbo-Montenegrin citizens would follow Curkovic's example. Curkovic had visited the transplant clinic along with Partizan general secretary Zoran Zecevic.