COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The Ohio State University is getting ready to honor those who have donated their bodies to science through the College of Medicine’s body donation program.

Throughout their time in school, medical students learn in several different ways and settings. People who have died are a huge part of that medical experience.

“These donors are really the first person they meet,” said Dr. Melissa Quinn with the Division of Anatomy. “These individuals, I consider them their first teachers even before me, they get to learn everything about medicine and everything really about just being a human I think in this space.”

Quinn said from the students who learn from them to the people those students will go on to interact with, one donor will impact thousands of lives.

“Just one gift allows someone to really pass along the information for years to come and move medicine forward, move humanity forward,” Quinn said.

She said OSU gets between 250 and 300 donors per year, but they will always take more because of the expanding medical field. The educational experience with donors is unmatched, according to Quinn and students.

“It’s irreplaceable. There are a ton of resources out there, technology that kind of depicts the anatomy of the human body but there’s nothing like the hands-on experience a student gets from learning from our donors,” said Pilard Hanna, a third year anatomy PHD student.

The College of Medicine, College of Dentistry, and Division of Anatomy are holding a memorial service for donors and their families on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Mershon Auditorium.

“It’s such a brave act to donate and I think without them and the support of their families, none of this would be possible,” said Jerica Day, a second year medical student.