Organ donation should be part of health discussions
Monday, May 31, 2010
In Rapides Parish, Bolton High artists paint with passion and purpose
It's always been fun to use different techniques and colors to convey thoughts and ideas and then have your friends comment on it, say the students at Bolton High School in Alexandria.
But when they were tasked with creating art for the Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency and the Legacy Donor Foundation, they realized their impact could go far beyond their friends and family.
It was a growing experience.
"When making a poster, you are trying to make it work for the organization but at the same time you want to make it work for yourself and I think this really did both," said Monika, a 15-year-old sophomore.
Monika's poster illustrates human organs inside precious gems. "I wanted to show all the little gems that are inside people," Monika said.
Monika won first place in the Donate Life Louisiana 2009-10 contest and Megan, 18, a senior, won second place.
"I was really excited and really surprised because I really didn't think I would win at all," said Megan, who painted human nerves to represent a less popular organ. "I really like the way it looks, and since you can donate nerves, why not put it there?"
The Bolton High School students' art were among 69 contestants from across the state who were challenged to create art inspired on the importance of organ donation.
"I personally feel strong about organ donation so I decided to have my students participate," said Tracie Campbell, art teacher at Bolton.
Organizers of the contests said there are more than 105,000 people in the country waiting for life-saving organs transplants and 1,800 in Louisiana. Officials said the school competition helps share information on the significance of organ and tissue donation, therefore empowering the community help those in need.
Campbell said it is the first time the school has participated. "I was thrilled. We never won anything like this before," said Campbell, who originally had about 100 students participate. Campbell chose the two winning entries.
Daniels received an iPod shuffle, a trophy and a LOPA goodies bag, while
Elliotsmith got an iPod nano and a trophy. Campbell received a $250 gift card.
Campbell plans to make her students' participation an annual event. "The kids enjoyed it and the fact that the first time we entered it and we won first and second is a way to inspire them to do the contest next year," Campbell said.
As a social worker, Michelle Jack has served hundreds of dialysis patients over the years... But there is the story of one patient she will never forget.
“We had a patient who received an anonymous donation a number of years ago and it was the most miraculous thing really for him and one of the things that he said that stuck with me is that "I got my life back" so that's what I was hoping to do for some else,” said Michelle Jack.
So last year, Michelle decided to become an anonymous donor. “And that day I just decided that I had a good kidney that somebody could use,” said Michelle. Michelle contacted Omaha's Nebraska Medical Center... And the ball started rolling. “When I started the donation process I asked that the recipient be someone from Nebraska and on dialysis,” said Michelle.
Doctors found a man that met both criteria and scheduled a date for surgery. “The closer we got to surgery I had a few second thoughts. I kind of just though jeeze what did I get myself into but it just kind of came back to me that everything's gonna be okay,” said Michelle.
And everything was okay... The recipient's body accepted Michelle's kidney within an hour of the transplant. And Michelle said she is just as healthy as before.
“Life is back to normal, I'm doing everything I was before and hope the recipient can do the same,” said Michelle Jack.
Michelle is now sharing her story in hopes that other people will consider being donors. “To cause people to stop and think about the fact that they have an extra organ that somebody else could benefit from and that they can live a normal life if they were to donate,” said Michelle. To this day, Michelle does not know the identity of the recipient... But said she would like to meet him.
Just a few months ago it was announced that hard rock radio legend Tawn Mastrey had to quit her job at Sirius Satellite Radio due to health issues. Tawn is suffering from Hepatitis C and is in need of a life saving liver transplant. Having found herself in the position of not having any health insurance, major Rockers from all over are coming to her aid to help raise the needed funds so that she can have this life saving transplant.
This past Saturday night, July 28th at Martini Blues in Huntington Beach a "Tribute for Tawn" took place with local metal tribute greats Metal Knights headlining a sold out show that included Masters of Reality and Lights Out as well as an all star jam at the end of the night that included Craig Goldy and Simon Wright from Dio, Tony Montana from Great White and Terry Ilous from Xyz. The show was an overwhelming success in that 100% of the door proceeds from the sold out event went to the Tawn Mastrey Supplemental Needs Trust as well as a Silent Auction and Raffle which brought in about an additional $1000 in cash for items such as a Bass signed by all members of Dio, including Ronnie James Dio and Rudy Sarzo.
The night was hosted by Knac.com on-air personality Diana Deville who got the crowd fired up between sets and informed them of how each and everyone could become an organ donor.
Donate Life America provided "DONATE LIFE" Flouresent green wrist bands and dog tags and donations were taken for Donate life from the sale of these items to help spread awareness and to help people learn how to become an organ donor. Please visit www.donatelife.net for more info.
The shows headliners Metal Knights is fronted by Robbie "Razor" Robfogel himself a transplant recipient. "Having worked in radio on air in the late 80s and early 90s I knew Tawn from that period and she was always so helpful to me that when Rudy Sarzo called to tell me of Tawn's situation and Rudy knowing what I went through I knew that I could help in some way to guide Tawn and her loving sister Cara through the medical side of things since I had been through it myself", states Robfogel. "This night of rock at Martini Blues was something that I helped put together, with the help of Jackie Davis who books the venue, and let me tell you that putting on a benefit is not an easy task. But I believe wholeheartedly in organ donation and the importance of getting the word out to help save lives. I have this past year become very involved with Donate Life America and Donate Life Rocks to help spread the word and tell people how important it is that we build up the organ donor pool in the country."
Robfogel goes on: "Tawn Mastrey is a perfect example of someone who is famous to many, but didn't have insurance and we all know that when it comes to medical care money talks in this world today. So we are doing what we can do to raise whatever we can to help Tawn right now. She needs medicines in the pre-transplant phase and certain organic foods to keep her healthy enough to withstand such a long operation. Through our show this past weekend we were able to raise well over $2000 for her and this was just a little venue. Steps are in motion to have much bigger concerts at much larger venues with big name rock n roll stars. Tawn touched and helped a lot of musicians in the hard rock scene in her time on the air, and they want to come out and play to help her now."
The show was helped made possible by Sennheiser USA who donated an incredible wireless set up for Metal Knights as well as Studio-949 owner Jeff Bresnahan who handled sound reinforcement for the 00004000 show.
Sunday, May 30, 2010
I cannot emphasise how important donor registration is. Hundreds of people die every year because there aren't enough organs or tissue.
If you have any questions, visit the dutch site Donorvoorlichting or look at the site of the Department of Health Donorregister.
JA OF NEE is een grote campagne die de organisatie voor donorregistratie is begonnen in Nederland. Het is mogelijk om je meteen aan te melden voor registratie met je DigiD code.
Ik kan niet benadrukken hoe belangrijk dit is. Jaarlijks sterven er honderden mensen omdat er niet genoeg organen of weefsels zijn.
Voor vragen bezoek de site Donorvoorlichting of ga naar de site van het ministerie van gezondheid Donorregister.