Friday, July 30, 2010


Pediatric and adult organ-donation bill becomes law

Posted Jul 30, 2010 @ 03:48 PM
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick signed into law Thursday “An Act Establishing an Organ and Tissue Donor Registration Fund,” a bill supporting the expansion of organ and tissue donation efforts in Massachusetts, which was developed in collaboration with local lawmakers and families committed to making a difference for those in need of transplants.
According to Patrick, the new law will help increase awareness about the importance of organ and tissue donations, as well as facilitate donor registration.
“This bill is a major step forward in addressing the critical need for tissue and organ donations in Massachusetts,” said Patrick. “Organ and tissue donations save lives, and I am proud that Massachusetts will be expanding its efforts to educate the public about the importance of this issue.”
The legislation establishes a fund that will accept public and private gifts, grants and donations that will support donor registration and revitalizes the Department of Public Health’s Advisory Council on Organ and Tissue Transplants and Donations. The Council will coordinate the efforts of all public and private agencies concerned with organ transplantation, advise the commissioner of the Department of Public Health and the director of organ transplants, and develop strategies to increase organ donation. The bill also directs the Council to create a website with educational materials about organ donation.
Additionally, the bill will enable Massachusetts residents to register as organ donors online through the Registry of Motor Vehicles website.
The bill stems from the work of the family of 4-year-old pediatric organ transplant recipient Jackson Altieri, fellow Gloucester resident J.J. Nicastro, and Laura Linehan from Melrose. Their stories raised statewide awareness of the need for Massachusetts to improve the odds for children who need donated organs to survive.
While Altieri is now doing well, Nicastro was not as fortunate. Living from day to day through the use of an artificial heart, he succumbed to the effects of myocarditis before a heart became available for transplant.
Linehan was born with tyrosinemia and had received a donated liver when she was 2 years old.  However, during the transplant procedure, she was infected with hepatitis C from a blood transfusion and required a new liver.  Linehan and her family moved to Jacksonville, Fla. because the waitlist was shorter there than in Massachusetts. She eventually received a new liver, but due to the extensive amount of time that passed, her body was just too weak to survive the transplant surgery and she died later that evening at the age of 20.
“The passage of this bill by the Senate today reflects the tireless efforts of Jackson’s parents and grandparents to increase the odds that no child’s life will hang in the balance of a protracted wait for a donated organ,” said sponsor state Sen. Bruce Tarr, R-Gloucester. “Their commitment to making a difference is exemplary.”
Nationwide, there is a serious deficiency of organs available for donation. As of June 21, more than 108,000 people were in need of an organ, according to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, with fewer than 7,000 transplants performed in a preceding three-month period. Massachusetts is an unfortunate laggard in organ donation rates; while some states have organ-donation rates over 70 percent, Massachusetts is below 40 percent.
Pediatric organ donation rates are particularly difficult to raise, sponsors noted, both because parents are uncomfortable confronting the possibility of their child’s passing and because no commitment to donate a minor’s organs is legally binding. One of the responsibilities of the revitalized Advisory Council on Organ and Tissue Transplants would be to set concrete goals and baselines for pediatric and adult organ donation rates in Massachusetts. The new DPH website will also have a special focus on increasing pediatric donation rates.
Richard S. Luskin, president and CEO of New England Organ Bank said, “The passage of this bill would be an important step forward in our shared goal of ending deaths on the transplant waitlist. Over 300 New Englanders died on the waitlist last year alone, and that is unacceptable. This legislation allows for new and simple ways for individuals to designate themselves as donors so that their wish to donate may be honored and that more lives be saved.”
“Organ donor legislation is a major life-giving piece of legislation, which will give hope to many,” said state Sen. Susan C. Fargo, Senate chairwoman of the Joint Committee on Public Health.
Added state Sen. Thomas McGee, D-Lynn, one of the bill’s co-sponsors with Rep. Ann-Margaret Ferrante, D-Gloucester, “This bill goes a long way to encourage organ donations and raise awareness on the issue. Because of the tireless efforts of the families involved, legislators were able to work together to craft this important piece of legislation.”
Noted lead sponsor Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Melrose, “The creation of an organ donor registration fund will literally be lifesaving for people on the organ-transplant waitlist. There are many patients waiting for lifesaving transplants and this law will provide the necessary financial, organizational, and educational means to increase the number of donors in Massachusetts.”
Agreed Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez, House chairman of the Joint Committee on Public Health, “With the passage of this law, there will be more organ donors to help patients have their prayers answered in a shorter amount of time.”
Other co-sponsors of the original bill included Sens. Richard Tisei, R-Wakefield, Michael Knapik, R-Westfield, Robert Hedlund, R-Weymouth, Anthony Galluccio, D-Cambridge, Susan Fargo, D-Lincoln, Karen Spilka, D-Ashland, Steven Tolman, D-Brighton, Robert O’Leary, D-Barnstable, Susan Tucker, D-Andover, Richard Moore, D-Uxbridge, Stephen Brewer, D-Barre, John Hart, D-Boston, and Brian Joyce, D-Milton; and Reps. Mary Grant, D-Beverly, James Vallee, D-Franklin, Cory Atkins, D-Concord, Kay Khan, D-Newton, Bradley Jones, R-North Reading, Peter Kocot, D-Northampton, Theodore Speliotis, D-Danvers, and Christine Canavan, D-Brockton.



The Asian media will be doing its bit to raise funds for The Anthony Nolan Trust this Saturday at the Football All Star Tournament (FAST). The annual event organised by events company Voodoo Enterainment and Media Moguls, will once again take place at the glorious Broadfields Country Club, Harrow.

Teams confirmed to battle it out on the pitch include Zee TV, Sony Entertainment Television Asia, B4U, Prime TV, Asiana and Desi-Hits among others. A host of celebrities will also be showing their support on the day with urban music star Shizzio and Channel 4's much-lovedGrewal Family entering their own teams.

Entertainment on the day will provided by Sound Label UK, with DJ Tindy of the Grewalsspinning the best in British Asian, bhangra and bollywood beats. The Beat the Goalie shootout will be see Canadian ragamuffin Roach Killa in goal, while pop diva Jaya will be lending a hand to host between the group rounds. Guests will also be treated to a tasty barbecue and will be joined by Eastenders stars Nitin Ganatra and Himesh Patel and music stars AG Dolla, Mithun, Sham D and Faze Black to name a few.

Shay Grewal from Channel 4's The Family said: "We need all ethnic minority communities to understand the importance of organ donation - be it bone marrow, kidney or heart and lung transplants. The success of any transplant is based on tissue type matching, and is the one time when race is an issue. We need more people from ethnic backgrounds to come forward and register to donate. This simple decision could save a life."

This year, public will be invited to enter a raffle draw with the chance of winning a free makeover and photoshoot with fashion magazine Asiana, exclusive tickets to some of the biggest Asian events, a golden pass to all future Voodoo Entertainments gigs and club nights among other exclusive prizes.

Talking about the event, Amit Bhatia of Voodoo Entertainment said: "We launched the Football All Star Tournament last year and got such a great response from all the different media organisations that we just had to make this an annual event. It's a chance for all the media organisations that work in this space to join hands and make a difference to one of the charities that works so hard to represent and support ethnic communities. The Anthony Nolan Trust has been a real torch-bearer since they started in the 1970s and we want to support their efforts in any way we can."

Matches kick off at 12 noon, with food and entertainment including Beat the Goalie, rounders matches, face painting and a bouncy castle. So, for a great family day out, a chance to rub shoulders with the stars as well as raising funds for a good cause make sure you don't miss this year's Football All Star Tournament!

No ordinary game - Transplant recipients prepare for annual Games


Joe Guzdek, left, and Josh Bergeron, will be competing in the transplant games in Madison this weekend. Guzdek is a kidney transplant recipient, and Bergeron is a heart recipient. Photo Wednesday July 28, 2010. Mark Hertzberg Buy this photo at

RACINE - To the naked eye, it looked like any other pick-up basketball game, three guys shooting hoops on a summer afternoon in the driveway of a home in the 2600 block of Illinois Street.
The family and friends who gathered to watch knew differently. The incision that ran nearly the length of Josh Bergeron's chest made it clear that this was no ordinary basketball game.
It wasn't as easy to see what Joe Guzdek had been through, but he's been through a lot.
Guzdek and Bergeron are transplant recipients. Bergeron, 25, had a new heart put in after the old one failed. Guzdek, 36, has a new kidney.
Brett Bezotte of Racine, the third man shooting hoops in Guzdek's driveway, he's their coach.
Yes, on Wednesday, Guzdek and Bergeron weren't playing an ordinary game of pick-up basketball. They were training for this weekend's U.S. Transplant Games in Madison, where transplant recipients from around the country will gather to compete in a variety of events. The games are being held through Wednesday.
Guzdek, who grew up in Kenosha, is closing in on his 13th anniversary with his new kidney. This will be the fifth transplant games in which he's participated.
"I go every year they have them. You get to show that you're actually doing something with the gift that you were given," said Guzdek, who sells flooring at Lowe's Home Improvement in Kenosha while he works on a master's degree.
Bergeron, a student, traveled from Eau Claire to Guzdek's house in Racine to warm up for this weekend's games. The two men participate in as many events as they can, including 3-on-3 basketball, as part of Team Wisconsin.
The games, sponsored by the National Kidney Foundation, are held every other year in cities around the country. More than 1,500 athletes are expected for this year's U.S. Transplant Games.
The games, however, are more than just an opportunity for transplant recipients to show off their athletic abilities. The four-day event is a chance for family and friends of donors and recipients alike to celebrate.
"Other than the competition, I love the competition, it's just getting to meet other people ... and just hear everybody else's story," Guzdek said. "Everybody's story is a little different, but it's all under one umbrella of just trying to increase awareness about donation."

Transplants: By the Numbers

  • 104,748 U.S. patients are currently waiting for an organ transplant; more than 4,000 new patients are added to the waiting list each month.
  • Every day, 18 people die while waiting for a transplant of a vital organ, such as a heart, liver, kidney, pancreas, lung or bone marrow.
  • Because of the lack of available donors in this country, 4,573 kidney patients, 1,506 liver patients, 371 heart patients and 234 lung patients died in 2008 while waiting for life-saving organ transplants.
  • Nearly 10 percent of the patients currently waiting for heart transplants are people under 18 years of age.
  • Acceptable organ donors can range in age from newborn to 65 years or more. People who are 65 years of age or older may be acceptable donors, particularly of corneas, skin, bone and for total body donation.
  • An estimated 12,000 people who die each year meet the criteria for organ donation, but less than half of that number become actual organ donors.
To learn more about organ donation and transplantation check online at
Source: The National Kidney Foundation



20th Annual Transplant Games Makes its First Stop in Wisconsin
Athletes from across the country will be racing for a reason in Madison this weekend. The 20th Annual Transplant Games is making its first stop in Wisconsin.  


Athletes from across the country will be racing for a reason in Madison this weekend.

The 20th Annual Transplant Games is making its first stop in Wisconsin. More than 1,500 organ recipients will compete in 12 events ranging from track to badminton.

The National Kidney Foundation runs the event, which should bring $2.6 dollars to our state. More importantly the games are raising awareness about organ donation.

More than 1,600 Wisconsin residents are currently waiting for a transplant.

Opening ceremonies will take place Saturday at the Alliant Energy Center and is open to the public. The games run until Tuesday.

George Lopez is nominated for three Teen Choice Awards!
Choice Movie:  Make Scene Stealer
Choice Twit: (Favorite Twitter Account)
Choice Comedian

Vote everyday!




The last week, the last week, THE LAST WEEK! Can you BELIEVE it?! OMG! The awards show is right around the corner which means TIME IS RUNNING OUT! This is IT! This is YOUR LAST CHANCE! Vote, vote and VOTE again!!!
Who are your faves? Who are your friends’ faves?! This is your last chance to BATTLE IT OUT! Can you vote today? YES! Can you vote tomorrow? YES! Can you vote every other day this week? YES, YES, YES!VOTE EVERYDAY!
AND, just for you, we will be STREAMING LIVE from the “green” carpet right here at on Sunday, August 8 from 3:30 – 5:00 pm PST as the STARS arrive for the taping of the show! LIVE! It will be just like you areRIGHT THERE next to them! AND, you will be able to chat with other Teen Choicers the whole time! Is your heart pounding yet?! GET PUMPED!
You all are not going to believe this AMAZING SHOWcoming up next Monday night! Katy, Travis McCoy, Jason Derulo, Robert Pattison, Ashley Greene and MORE! This is just too good, too good, too good… So exciting!
We are so totally stoked and know that this is going to the THE BEST Teen Choice Awards EVER! Why? BECAUSE OF YOU! We love you guys and THANK YOU for VOTING!! So, don’t forget to TUNE IN on MONDAY, August 9 at 8:00 pm EST to see who wins!!


Truth be heard! It's your choice, your voice! Remember to vote EVERYDAY!


Tell all of your BFFs about your faves!Click here to follow us on Facebook and Twitter and to grab an awesome widget for YOUR OWN website!




Great job to Donate Life Ambassadors, Mike Jones and Wendy Rodgers, both kidney transplant recipients on the recently aired HawthoRNe episode "The Match" about twin girls in need of a kidney transplant.


Statement from Assistant Secretary for Health, Dr. Howard Koh, Regarding National Minority Donor Awareness Day

August 1, is National Minority Donor Awareness Day, an opportunity to honor minority organ donors and their families, encourage greater donor enrollment among all racial and ethnic groups, and promote healthy living to decrease the need for organ transplantation.
At no time has the need for organ donations been greater: today, more than 108,000 Americans are waiting for an organ transplant. Of these, 55 percent are minorities.  In 2009, minorities accounted for approximately 35 percent of organ and tissue donors in the country.
People of minority backgrounds have a particularly high need for organ transplants because some diseases that can lead to organ failure are found more frequently in such populations compared to others. For example, African Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and Hispanics are more likely than whites to suffer from end-stage renal (kidney) disease, often as a result of high blood pressure and other conditions that damage the kidneys. Native Americans are more likely than whites to suffer from diabetes.
Although organs are not matched according to ethnicity, and people of different ethnicities are often matched through donation, those on waiting lists have a better chance of being a recipient if large numbers of donors are available from their ethnic background. This reflects the higher likelihood of compatible blood type and tissue markers – critical for donor/recipient matching – among members of the same ethnicity. Hence, greater diversity of donors may potentially increase access to transplantation for all patients on the waiting list.
To become part of the movement:
·                     Enroll in your state donor registry. Learn how at:
·                     Designate your decision on your driver’s license. Do this when you obtain or renew your license.
·                     Talk to your family now about your donation decision. Help your family understand your wish to be an organ and tissue donor before a crisis occurs. Then they will be prepared to serve as your advocate for donation.
We can celebrate many gifts in this world. Encourage your family and friends to choose organ donation and give the greatest gifts of all – hope and life.
Howard K. Koh, M.D., M.P.H.
Assistant Secretary for Health


Donate Life Soccer Night: Chivas USA vs. Seattle Sounders
August 14, 8 pm

Join Donate Life California and Chivas USA in their efforts to inspire Southern California to give the gift of life. When you use the promo code Donate Life, $1 of the proceeds from every ticket will be donated to Donate Life California. 

To purchase your tickets please click HERE. Or telephone Tara Weldon @ 310.630.4542

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Observed annually from September 15 – October 15, National Hispanic Heritage Month is a great time to celebrate and educate a people passionate about life. While more than 3,700 Hispanics received organ and tissue transplants in 2009, myths regarding donation continue to be major barriers preventing many Hispanics from becoming registered donors. During Hispanic Heritage Month, Donate Life America focuses on providing facts, educating people to encourage them to Donate Life.SM

· There are nearly 19,000 Hispanics on the organ transplant waiting list.
  • While Hispanics make up approximately 14% of the total U.S. population, almost 18% of the more than 108,000 persons awaiting organ transplants are Hispanic.
  • Many thousands more await tissue transplants to restore their health, mobility and sight.
  • Approximately 54% of all those awaiting organ transplants are minorities.
  • In 2009, nearly14% of organ donors were Hispanic.
  • Hispanics, like other minorities, have the best chance of a successful organ transplant if the donor is of the same ethnic background.

· Strongly held myths and misconceptions are major barriers that prevent Hispanics from becoming organ, eye and tissue donors.

Get the facts on organ, eye and tissue donation and register as a donor today. Visit




“He’s such a versatile actor, playing roles from a serial killer in Criminal Minds to a down-on-his-luck normal joe in The Oyster Farmer. Then there’s being a vampire in Moonlight and a badass detective in The Shield – What’s not hot about that? He’s also in The Back Up Plan with JLo and he’s starring in the upcoming remake of Hawaii Five-O. He also played a doctor in Three Rivers and made a lot of us wonder what all the fuss over McDreamy was about.
He masters accents seemingly effortlessly (I didn’t even know he was a Aussie!), which I think is hot in and of itself. Plays guitar and sings: check. Devoted dad: check. Advocate of organ donation: check. All-around modest guy: check.
Did I mention he’s beautiful in addition to all that???” (Grey Rzeznik)
Following that write up one does have to say my followup seems a little, unrequired? Still, I second this nomination of Alex O’Loughlin… wholeheartedly. He has a intensity I like, he´s…beautiful.

If you like Alex O’Loughlin then vote him Hunkie of the Month by clicking HERE
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