Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Celebrity Poker Player: Jennifer Harman's Face for Charities

"It's always a great tournament for a great cause." Jennifer Harman said in her Fourth Annual Celebrity Poker Tournament at The Venetian's Poker Room. Well, its always been an all-star turnout for a poker tournament like this. Yes, players really do love poker for fun and money, but specially it earns more worth with this kind of charitable tournaments.

Jennifer Harman was born and raised in Reno, Nevada and started playing poker in 1972 at the age of eight. For her poker experience, she won her firstWorld Series of Poker bracelet in 2000 at the prestigious No Limit Deuce to Seven Lowball Event. While in 2002, she won again her second WSOP bracelet at the $5k Limit Hold 'em event. Harman's do stand out with her skills, in fact, she is the only woman to hold two bracelets in WSOP open events.

After a year away from poker because of her second kidney transplant in 2004, he again return to the poker tournament circuit. In her return, Jennifer has finished 4th at the World Poker Tour Five-Diamond World Poker Classic, 5th in the inaugural Professional Poker Tour event, and 2nd in theWSOP Circuit Championship Even at the Rio.

Harman indeed a professional player joining and winning different tournament but what remarkable by her is her charity poker. She is a frequent charity poker tournament host, organized charity poker tournaments and an active fundraiser.

At the time of her kidney transplant, she founded the Creating Organ Donation Awareness (CODA), a non-profit organization to raise money for the cause. March 2009, Jennifer organized a number of poker celebrities including ESPN analyst Lon McEachern and Howard Lederer in a two-day event that raised $111,000 for the National Kidney Foundation with the help of Curtis and Co Watches and Dream Team Poker.

In April 2009, she hosted the 3rd annual Jennifer Harman Charity Poker Tournament at the Venetian poker room in Las Vegas. In April 13, 2010, she again held her 4th annual Jennifer Harman Charity Poker. “We get wonderful support from the Las Vegas celebrities, and each year it gets bigger and better, so we will really be celebrating for our fifth next year.” she said with regards to the celebrity turnout tournament. This Charity Poker Tournament aims to benefit the Nevada Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal (SPCA) no-kill animal shelter.

In the 4th annual Poker Charity, Chau Giang won the tournament. Michelle Lawson grab the second place earning a Curtis watch and the $10,000 seat in the 2010 World Series of Poker Main Event starting in June at The Rio; while Penn Jillette's wife Emily finished third.However, the Top 10 finishers were awarded $30,000 in prizes.


He’s a true mama’s boy
Staff Photo by Thomas J. Turney Volanda Watts' son, Ethan, donated one of his kidneys to her. Volanda had previously received a donor kidney, as well as a new pancreas, after a life long bout with type 1 diabetes. Ethan said he made his decision to donate his kidney because he couldn't stand to see his mother wait for a donor kidney.

Volanda Watts shares a special bond with her son. She now carries one of his kidneys.

From birth, Volanda Watts has been battling with type-1 diabetes. It’s the most serious form of the disease and one that has taken the 46-year-old woman to the brink of death, but thanks to her son Ethan she has had another reprieve.

Ethan Watts, 19, has grown up watching his mother struggle with diabetes and subsequently kidney disease. He’s seen her battle with the loss of kidney function as a result of diabetes, and the difficulties of dialysis. So when she was in need of what would be a second kidney transplant, he was ready to step up to the plate for his mother.

“When she first got on dialysis, before the first transplant, seeing her on the machine was really hard on me,” says Ethan, who was a small boy then.

The memory of that experience informed his decision to donate a kidney to his mother.

The kidney transplant that Volanda Watts had roughly five years ago held up OK all these years. Yet last summer the vital organ began to fail her once again.

Watts found herself back on dialysis. Ethan says he couldn’t bear to see his mother go through that experience again, and didn’t want her to wait for a donor.

“She didn’t want me to do it,” says Ethan.

But his decision to help his mother won out and earlier this year Ethan Watts gave something back to the woman who brought him into this world.

It took six weeks for Ethan to recover. He says it was one day at a time and that these days he’s feeling great.

He can only hope that this kidney donation will do the trick. His mother, after all, has suffered enough from diabetes over her lifetime.

While Volanda Watts was born with the disease, she has said that it was her lifestyle decisions that caused problems in the long run.

By age 10, as a Weeksville Elementary School student, Watts discovered that diabetes was catching up with her. She was standing in line and passed out on the floor. She was rushed to the hospital and it was discovered that her blood-sugar level far exceeded normal levels.

Shortly after that, she began the painful, potentially life-long daily insulin injections. That was also when she began changing her diet to accommodate a disease that would send her to death’s door three times.

Watts says that over the years she had found it difficult to deal with her dilemma. She says that she did not follow her dietary guidelines and as a result, her disease took her to dangerous places.

Watts continued to eat the life-threatening sweets. Then at 14, tired of dealing with the reality of her disease, she stopped taking her insulin.

The result was a diabetic coma. Doctors stressed the need for her insulin, and the right diet, but Watts continued down the wrong path despite the warnings and urgings from doctors.

Over the years, she was fall into diabetic comas. Family members with juice or candy would typically revive her.

Watts would continue to go astray and eventually she faced death. Her temperature had risen to 106 degrees and her organs were failing her. She spent two months in the hospital recovering.

Then she went against medical advice again. She became pregnant and gave birth to her first child, Elise. Ten months later, Ethan was born.

In 2003, Watts was a medical student when things went truly awry. Kidney failure went her to the hospital. She had complete kidney failure and ultimately could not live without dialysis.

Every other day, with weekends off, she went to a dialysis center in Norfolk, Va. She eventually became a part of an organ donor program through the University of Pennsylvania and received her first kidney transplant, as well as pancreas.

Although a transplant recipient such as Watts must take daily medication to support her foreign organs, it’s a daily routine she will gladly indulge. And it’s something her family clearly supports.


Ickey Woods Speaks Out About Son's Death

CINCINNATI -- Former Cincinnati Bengal Ickey Woods has a new mission in life: tackling the condition that claimed his son's life.

Woods and his ex-wife, Chandra, spoke exclusively to News 5 about the day their 16-year-old son Jovante died three weeks ago from an asthma attack.

Ickey Woods remembers the phone call he got that night from his younger son and said he replays it over and over in his head.

"He says 'Jo says he can't breathe,'" Ickey said. "He said 'Dad, he collapsed. He collapsed.' I said 'What do you mean?' He said 'He's collapsed. He's laying on the floor.'"

By the time Woods arrived him, Jovante, who suffered from asthma since he was a baby, was being whisked away in an ambulance.

When they arrived at Children's Hospital, doctors started preparing Ickey and Chandra for the worst.
"They got his heart back to pumping but he went 30 minutes without any oxygen to the brain," Ickey said. "So ultimately, that's what actually killed my baby."

After three days of hoping and unanswered prayers, Ickey and Chandra took Jovante off life support and decided to grant Jovante's wish of saving someone else's life

"Most of the teens are not organ donors but my son checked the yes on the organ donor box, so he was able to save five lives," Ickey said.

Now, Ickey and Chandra want to carry on their son's name, saving even more lives by raising awareness about asthma.

"We both grew up with asthma as well, so we thought we knew how to handle it," Chandra said. "We want to push alertness. Be more alert at the first sign. Get that breathing treatment going. Do not put it off."

Ickey and Chandra are now launching the Jovante Woods Foundation. Their hope is to raise awareness about asthma and organ donation. And they want to give away two scholarships. Their calling it the "3.8 to be great scholarship." One will go to a boy and one to a girl. The recipient have a 3.8 grade point average or higher, just like their son.

There will be a benefit for the foundation at Geeter's Bar and Grill in Mason on Sept. 18.


Swedish doctors to climb Mount Rainier for organ donors

Swedish Medical Center is at it again.

Just a few weeks after live streaming a sleep study and a few months after live-tweeting a surgery, the Seattle-based hospital has shifted its attention organ donation.

This time, there's a mountain involved.

A team of doctors from Swedish Medical Center will try to summit Mount Rainier this week. They'll be live streaming the climb, talking about the need for organ donors.

Tuesday, two Swedish doctors, a radiologist and the CEO of LifeCenter Northwest started the climb.

On Wednesday, they'll pause to live stream a chat about why people should register as organ donors, using "backpack" technology powered by solar energy.

Here's what they want you to know, according to a statement from Swedish:

"More than 108,400 people are currently waitlisted to receive an organ transplant in the United States, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing. A new name is added to this waiting list roughly every 10 minutes, and an average of 17 people die each day while waiting for a transplant."

Another group will host the chat from Swedish, talking with a patient who recently received a kidney transplant.

The live stream is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. Wednesday. You can tune in here.


Their bond is sharing the gift of life
By Dennis McCarthy, Columnist LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS

It was a perfect night for barbecue, champagne toasts, and new friends getting the chance to match faces with the names that had come to mean so much to them.

Few of the 40 people celebrating in the backyard of Fern and Ross Bloom's Chatsworth home Saturday night had met before, but you would have never known it.

They gave each other warm hugs and handshakes like they were close family. In many ways, they are. Now.

All of them had either donated a kidney to - or received one from - someone there.

A couple of years ago these people were all strangers. Now, thanks to the UCLA Kidney Transplantation Exchange Program, they're all part of Harry Damon's extended family.

Harry's a retired firefighter from Grand Rapids, Michigan who, out of the goodness of his heart, donated one of his kidneys in June of 2009 to start this donor chain.

It went to a woman named Sheila Whitney, who had the same rare blood type as Harry. To get the kidney, Sheila had to have someone in her family or a good friend (not a match for her) willing to donate a kidney to someone else to keep the chain going.

It continued on through 20 families, ending in October 2009 when the final recipient with a rare blood type had no one to donate a kidney in her name.

Standing by the pool Saturday night, sipping a beer, Harry watched as family after family walked through the patio doors to meet and thank him in person for starting the chain that saved their lives.

A quiet, unassuming guy, Harry downplayed his contribution, saying only that he was glad he could play a small part in making these families happy and healthy again.

"The kids are swimming in the pool, their parents are smiling and having a good time. Everybody's getting on with their lives after some tough times, and that's a good thing," Harry said.

Ross Bloom was on the kidney transplant list for seven years and doctors had put the odds at 1 per cent that he'd ever receive a matching kidney.

"That's a 99 per cent rejection rate," he said Saturday night, watching his wife, Fern, pour a glass of wine for Dr. Jeffrey Veale, director of the UCLA Kidney Transplantation Exchange Program.

To keep the chain alive, Fern donated a kidney to Joseph Seruto, whose wife, Nancy, then donated one of hers to Michaela Hernandez.

"I was lucky. I'm alive today because of that man and what he's doing," Ross said, pointing to Veale.

The UCLA surgeon has been traveling throughout the country trying to get other surgeons and hospitals involved in the chain donor program.

"The reception has not been as warm as I expected," Veale said. "People are not used to doing something different. They're creatures of habit.

"To me it's a no-brainer. It expands the donor pool by about 40 percent so I don't understand why more surgeons aren't jumping on this."

It's a shame they couldn't have been in the Bloom's backyard Saturday night. They would have been sold.

Midway through the party, a little girl walked up to Fern Bloom. Her name was Bella, Veale's young daughter.

"Do you know who my daddy is?" she asked. "He's that big, tall guy with the shaved head over there. He saves lives."

"I know," Fern told her. "He saved mine."

For more information on the donor chain program, call (310) 794-0696 or go on line to transplants.ucla.edu. and click on kidney exchange.


Spain - 17.5% of organ donations in the European Union in 2009 were made in Spain
Source: ISRIA

Spain remains the world leader with a rate of 34.4 donors per million inhabitants and 4,028 solid organ transplants in total, according to the report from the Transplant Commission of the Council of Europe. The study shows that Latin America, where Spain is carrying out intense work on the training of transplant coordinators, is the continent with the greatest growth in absolute numbers.

The World Transplant Register, which has managed the Spanish National Transplant Organisation (ONT in Spanish) for the last 4 years in collaboration with the World Health Organisation, has recorded 100,528 solid organ transplants around the world, although in many countries in Africa and Asia these figures are considered to be approximations. These figures represent an increase of 1.2% on the previous year. Of these, 69,214 were kidney transplants, 20,280 liver transplants, 5,327 heart transplants, 3,329 lung transplants and 2,378 pancreas transplants.

According to the same figures, Spain, with 34.4 donors per million inhabitants and more than 4,000 transplants performed in 2009, remains the world leader in this field. In fact, 17.5% of all organ donations recorded in the European Union were made in Spain.

This information is recorded in the official publication of the Transplant Commission of the Council of Europe (Newsletter Transplant), in this year's edition which will be available as of the beginning of September (www.ont.es).

This publication is edited by the Spanish National Transplant Organisation (ONT), under the umbrella of the Ministry of Health and Social Policy and is the only source of official information in the world that shows international data on organ donations and transplants.

For the second year running, Europe has recorded a slight increase in the rate of organ donations, with a total of 18.3 donations per million inhabitants, compared with 18.2 the previous year.

According to Newsletter Transplant, the ONT calculated that 9,152 donors were recorded in the EU last year for the 27 member states, representing an increase of 2.2%. This slight increase has enabled the total number of transplants performed to rise to 28,875, an increase of 3.8%.

This figure is quite clearly insufficient, especially if the number of European patients on a waiting list to receive a transplant is taken into account. At 31 December 2009, 64,726 people were waiting for a transplant in Europe (63,107 in 2008).

These figures clearly evidence the urgent need to increase organ donations in Europe: in 2009, these donations only covered 44.6% of the organ needs of European patients.

Spanish model for Europe

Newsletter Transplant also includes the complete text of the European Directive on quality and safety in organ donation and transplantation, approved by virtually all MEPs in May of this year, during the Spanish rotating presidency of the EU. The objective of this directive is to improve access to transplants for 500 million Europeans. EU member states have a maximum term of 2 years to implement this in their national legislation.

Promoted by Spain, this European Directive has taken the Spanish transplantation system, whose prestige and effectiveness are renowned throughout the world, as its model. It provides for the creation of national bodies - similar to the Spanish National Transplant Organisation - and recognises the role played by hospital transplant coordinators in increasing donations. It also introduces measures to guarantee that all transplants performed in the EU are carried out under the same quality criteria, regardless of the country in which they are performed.

The figures from the World Transplant Register show that at least ten Europeans die each day waiting for an organ transplant. It is estimated that this figure - which amounts to 3,791 people in total who died in 2009 while waiting for a transplant - is an underestimation if it is taken into account that in many countries not all those patients who could benefit from a transplant are on a waiting list.

The ONT calculates that when the European Directive and its accompanying Action Plan come into force, the number of donors in Europe could be doubled, from 9,000 at present to more than 18,000 in total. This increase in organ donations would enable 75% of European patient organ needs to be covered, a figure similar to that recorded in Spain.

Donation rate in the rest of the world

Newsletter Transplant also includes data from the United States, Canada, Latin America and Australia. One of the stark figures emerging is the decline, for the third year running, of the donation rate in the United States, which stands at 25.5 per million inhabitants (compared with 26.3% in 2008), with a total of 8,021 donors last year and 28,254 transplants.

In Canada (14.5 donors per million inhabitants), donations have also declined slightly for the second year running, as has taken place in Australia (11.3 donors per million inhabitants), where the donation rate has fallen by almost 1 percentage point.

Latin America, a continent where Spain has been collaborating for the past six years in the programme entitled 'Cooperation and training alliance for transplant professionals', is the geographic area which has recorded the greatest increase in terms of the total number of donations. Last year, a total of 3,410 organ donors was recorded, with an increase of 8%. These donations have enabled 12,249 transplants to be performed, representing an increase in the total compared with the previous year. Despite that, the donation rate (6.3 per million inhabitants) has fallen slightly on the previous year (6.5 per million inhabitants), due to an increase in the size of the population.

Transplants in Spain

The transplantation of organs in Spain, which remains the world leader in the field, continues to grow in a sustained fashion, mainly thanks to the donations of families of elderly people who have died. In 2009, there was a total of 1,605 donors, representing an average rate of 34.4 per million inhabitants. This figures resulted in 4,028 transplants being performed, with maximum numbers recorded in kidney transplants (2,328) and lung transplants (219). These figures were complemented by 1,099 liver transplants, 274 heart transplants, 97 pancreas transplants and 11 intestine transplants.

The ONT has implemented its 'Strategic Donation Plan 40', with the objective of reaching 40 donors per million inhabitants, and which includes measures such as promoting live donations, cross donations and non-heart beating donations, as well as increasing donation awareness among that part of the population born overseas.

The Ministry for Health and Social Policy is grateful to all those people who have participated in the donation and transplantation process and to Spanish society in general for their contribution so that Spain can occupy this privileged position in the world rankings and, above all, for the benefit provided by their actions to thousands of patients.


Germany rethinks approach to organ donation after Steinmeier gives kidney
Source: DW World - DE

Around 12,000 Germans are waiting for an organ donation. Some politicians think that a model where everyone is presumed to be a donor unless they have said otherwise could give a much-needed boost to organ donation.

When German opposition leader Frank-Walter Steinmeier donated his kidney to his sick wife last week, he put organ donation in the spotlight. But most transplants don't come from living donors like Steinmeier, but rather from people who have died but whose organs are still in good shape.
In an interview with the Welt am Sonntag newspaper, Rolf Koschorrek, who heads the Christian Democrats' parliamentary health committee, said he was ready to fight for a system that presumed consent rather than asked for it.

He told the paper that he sees the "opting out" model as "an opportunity to significantly improve the supply of donor organs."

A common approach in Europe

Many other European Union countries take the approach championed by Koschorrek, including Austria, France and Spain, where more than one out of every six of the EU's organ donations in 2009 took place.

Dr. Guenter Kirste, the medical director of the German Organ Procurement Organization, told Deutsche Welle that he thinks assuming everyone is a potential donor would change the conversation for the better.

"I would prefer a kind of presumed consent," he said, "because it makes it easier to talk to the people and say, well look, your brother, your sister died for this and that reason. Now we are going to talk about organ donation, which we will do if you have no objections."

Presumed donors

Professor Hans Lilie of the German Medical Association said he worries that discussions of a presumed consent could actually have the opposite of the desired effect.

"I worry that such a debate will spark fears in the public," he said, "and that it could actually reduce organ donation numbers."

Lilie, who heads an interdisciplinary research center on medicine, ethics and law at the Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg, says that by forcing people to choose one way or another many people who are unsure may simply decide to say no, a decision it would be difficult for relatives to reverse. He's also concerned about the rights of those people that such an opting out model would automatically make donors.

Doctors ask permission regardless of model

Spain's health ministry recently released a statement crediting its system with its high organ donation numbers. 4,028 organs were transplanted in Spain in 2009 compared with just 1,297 in Germany. But the press release didn't mention the country's presumed consent model. Instead it cited its centralized national authority for organ donation and the presence of transplant coordinators in Spanish hospitals as the reasons behind the country's success.

Both Kirste and Lilie agree that what would benefit organ donation numbers in Germany the most is better organization and someone in each hospital who is specially trained to identify and recruit potential donors.

"That's exactly how Spain has done it," said Lilie, "with well-paid doctors who are responsible for recruitment. And that's what we want to reproduce in Germany."

According to Kirste's statistics, in only about 10 percent of donation cases do doctors find a consent card on a person who has died in Germany. The vast majority of organ donations are decided upon by the family.

Kirste, who likes the idea of presumed consent, said studies show that doctors approach the families of the deceased the same way, even if the country's has presumed consent. They ask their permission to use their loved one's organs in a transplant.


Child waiting for new heart receives rarely used vascular assist device
By Emmanuel Romero | PLAINS DEALER

Lane Eberhardt has been on the waiting list for a heart transplant since last September.

As an infant, Lane was diagnosed with a severe aortic stenosis, a heart valve defect that prevents complete blood flow from the heart's left ventricle to the rest of the body. In February, his parents took him to the Cleveland Clinic after he experienced trouble breathing and showed other signs of heart failure. By May, he had deteriorated so much that his cardiologists recommended a ventricular assist device.

Now, the 8-year-old New Philadelphia resident is only the third patient in Ohio to receive the EXCOR Pediatric implant.

Manufactured by Berlin Heart GmbH, the device is supporting the function of Lane's diseased heart until a suitable donor can be found.

Traci Reichman, Lane's mother, is now an ambassador for LifeBanc, an organ-donation advocacy group in Northeast Ohio.



Most people don't like to talk about death and organ donation, but Kate Stodart's job is to do just that. The Reporter has a quick chat to her about her role as communications manager at DonateLife Queensland.
Q: What exactly is your role at DonateLife Queensland?
A: As the communications manager, my role is to promote the issue of organ and tissue donation and encourage people to have discussions with their family about their wishes.
Q: What fostered your passion for organ donation?
A: It's an area of health that interested me because I had exposure to it in the 80s when liver transplants were first happening at the Royal Brisbane Children's Hospital. At the time it was still very pioneering and it was exciting to watch that and see the possibilities for people who without this medical technology would die. It's nice to know that my work can directly contribute to one person living, but also honours the donor and the donor's family who have given an amazing gift.
Q: What do you think is the biggest misconception surrounding organ donation?
A: I think people are unaware of how important it is for their families to know that they are willing to go ahead with organ donation. A lot of people say ‘yes I want to be an organ donor' in their mind, but don't verbalise it to their loved ones. Once we speak about death and donor donation more openly, we will have more donors.
Q: What has been the best organ donation story you have heard of?
A: I guess there's not one that stands out to me, but what stands out to me is the characteristics of the donor families...and that is their generosity and their strength and their dignity in saying yes to donation when it is the worst time of their life. That's what keeps me in the job.
Q: How long can donated organs be kept for?
A: Once the heart and lungs have been removed from the body they need to be transported within four to six hours, the liver has 12 hours, and kidneys can be kept for 24 hours. The shorter the time frame the better of course. Regarding tissues, corneas can be kept 10 days, heart valves stored up to five years and bone tissue can't be used before six months because it needs to go through treatment, and after that it can be kept for five years.
Q: What do different religions believe about organ donation?
A: Most religions are for donation, but a lot leave it up to individual choice. The issue of a low donor rate is not a health issue but a community issue. Until the community decides to donate we can't improve the donor rate.
Q: Can you understand why some people may be fearful of organ donation?
A: Look, donation is a very, very personal choice and varies for the individual. My job is not to coerce people into donation but to help them find the information to make a yes or no decision, and to then discuss that with their family.
Q: If you could get one message out there what would it be?
A: Discover the facts about organ donation, decide if you want to donate or not, and discuss your decision with your family.


Organ donation rate up under new law

The organ-transplant rate has increased markedly following the introduction of revisions to the Organ Transplant Law on July 17 that eased the requirements for transplants from brain-dead donors.
In the three weeks to Sunday, five cases of organ donation from brain-dead donors were reported.
This figure is greater than any monthly total recorded since the Organ Transplant Law was enacted in 1997. The previous high was in January 2009, when four cases were reported.
The Japan Organ Transplant Network announced Sunday that a man in his 40s had been declared brain dead in a hospital in the Kanto-Koshinetsu area under the criteria stipulated by the revised law, and that his organs had been donated for transplantation.
The man had been hospitalized for encephalopathy, a disorder of the brain. Although it was unknown whether the man had expressed a wish to donate his organs, his family consented for his organs to be donated.
Before the law was revised, less than 10 cases of organ donation by brain-dead donors occurred per year on average. Such donations were only possible if the patient had explicitly expressed his or her wish to do so should they become brain dead.
If the donation rate of the past three weeks continues, the yearly total will rise to more than 80, surpassing an estimate by the Japan Society for Transplantation (JST).
Prior to the revisions, consent from the patient's family allowed the kidneys and pancreas to be removed for transplantation after a patient had suffered permanent cardiac arrest. About 100 such donations were made annually.
JST believes that some families who would have consented to organ donation under the conditions of the old law will be willing to consent to donation at the stage of brain death.
Of the five cases reported since the revisions came into effect, it is known that one of the donors had verbally expressed to his family his intention to donate his organs. The donors' wishes could not be confirmed in the other four cases.
In the case announced Sunday, the family reportedly told Japan Organ Transplant Network officials that they knew they could give consent for the man's organs to be donated, even if he had not explicitly expressed his wish to do so.
Jiro Nudeshima, a researcher at the Tokyo Foundation, said he thought people have come to accept the intention of the revised law.
"However, we don't know what the future holds, as organ donation is an unpredictable matter," he said.


Plan on organ donations soon

English.news.cn   2010-08-31 09:28:31

 BEIJING, Aug 30(Xinhuanet) -- Shanghai is working on a detailed regional plan under a national pilot program to better manage organ donations, prevent illegal organ sales and make sure organs are given to patients most in need of transplants, officials with the Shanghai Red Cross said yesterday.
The plan will force all hospitals to report their patients and demands for organs to the local Red Cross, which lists patients based on the urgency of their need for organs.
Currently, organ distribution is mainly run by hospitals, which provide organ transplant service and get the organs through their own network.
The program, authorized by the Red Cross Society of China, is being carried out in 11 cities and provinces; each tasked with designing a new post-death organ donation system in line with local situation and cultural background. So far trials have started in Tianjin City and the provinces of Guangdong, Liaoning and Zhejiang.
After a one-year trial, the central government will set up a national system on the basis of the experiences of each participant city/province.
"Though Shanghai is still in the planning stage, we are on a tight schedule to make it as perfect and feasible as possible," said Zhou Xianglan, a director of the Shanghai Red Cross.
Officials said local authorities are careful about organ donation administration, since it is a new and challenging issue.
"Body donation has been running smoothly in the city for years but organ donation is different," Zhou said. "How to effectively collect the organs and give them to the most suitable patients in time are complicated issues."
Shanghai had its body donation in 1982. By last year, the city had received applications from some 28,300 people, of which some 5,200 had their wishes fulfilled.
Officials said Shanghai also receives application from expatriates for donating their body though no decision has been taken on expatriates' organ donations yet.
Presently, volunteers can register to donate their body for medical use and only the cornea from the eye for transplant. The new organ donation plan will allow the donation of key organs like heart, liver, lungs and kidneys.
Dr Fan Jia, a liver transplant expert and a member of the local pilot's expert commission, said the new system can better regulate the source and use of organs, while calling for better management of the organs. "Key organs like the liver must be taken five minutes after the heart stops, or they are useless."


Overton sonographer found her own cancer; she awaits liver transplant

OVERTON — Trisha Grote has been doing ultrasounds on humans and animals for 17 years, so when she scanned her own liver, there was no mistaking what she saw.
“Back in May, we were in Connecticut setting up for an equine lab, which we’ve done a hundred times. We had a new piece of equipment, and I wanted to see what the image looked like, so as we were setting up I said, ‘Oh, I’ll just scan my liver quick to get an image,’” Grote said.
“Lo and behold, it was full of tumors. I had had no symptoms. I felt completely normal, so it was quite a shock to me.”
Grote has worked as a sonographer for small animals and horses for the last five years. She also helps veterinarians set up and train with new equipment. She said she chose to scan her liver that day because it’s an easy organ with which to test the machine.
“It’s a big solid organ and gives me a pretty good indication if the machine is set up right or if I need to tweak something. It’s easy to get to. So as a sonographer, when I look at my liver, I think, ‘Oh, no. It’s metastatic cancer,’ meaning it had spread to my liver from somewhere else. That’s what it looked like, and several tumors looked like a bullseye tumor, which is a metastatic tumor,” Grote said.
She finished her work and returned home, where she immediately called Kearney surgeon Tom Sorrell, who helped her get into see his father, Michael Sorrell, a hepatologist at the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha.
The results of CAT scans, an official ultrasound and a liver biopsy were sent to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., to be analyzed. Grote’s liver has about 15 tumors and the largest is about 1½ inches in diameter. She was diagnosed with hepatic epithelioid hemangioendothelioma, a rare liver cancer.
“It’s a very rare type of primary liver cancer, and Kearney actually did not know what it was,” Grote said. “When the doctor walked into the office he said, ‘I have a diagnosis for you. I know what you have and the only treatment for you is a liver transplant.’”
Grote wasn’t immediately placed on the transplant list because more testing found lesions in her lungs. After thoracic surgery in late June, doctors determined the lesions were benign, and she was placed on the transplant list.
She said throughout the process, her medical background has been a blessing and a curse.
“You know too much, if that makes sense. When I was at the Medical Center in school, I used to scan the ultrasounds on the transplant patients, and I would think to myself, ‘Man, I hope I never have to have a liver transplant.’ You know what it entails. Granted, it’s been 17 years ago, and I’m sure recovery time is better now, but I think sometimes you do know too much,” she said.
Grote said her first reaction when she heard her diagnosis was to think of her husband, Larry, and children, Peyton, 12, and Gracie, 11.
“I traveled with my job when I was doing it, and it makes you slow down and appreciate life and not to take it for granted. You never know. When they tell you you have cancer, my first reaction was, ‘I want to see my children grow up, graduate and get married.’ From a mother’s standpoint, that’s what I would like to see. You just want to make sure you tell the people you love how you feel. You take it one day at a time and appreciate every day you have,” she said.
If she doesn’t have a transplant by October, Grote’s doctors will re-evaluate her and submit another letter to try to earn her more points toward her MELD score, a system that determines the severity of liver cancer and prioritization on a transplant list.
“Right now, my score is a 22 and the highest score is a 40. That’s a pretty good score. I feel completely normal. I still don’t have any symptoms. It’s hard for me to think that I have cancer and that I’m going to go in and be sick for a while.”
Grote said blood type, tissue matching and size are all important when matching an organ donor with the person receiving the organ.
“We could also do living donor. They would rather me get an entire liver, so we haven’t gone that route yet. I’ve had a lot of people who would like to be tested to donate part of their liver for me. I struggle with that — having someone go through all that. I just really have a hard time with it. I don’t know when they will decide we should look into that,” she said.
Grote said she encourages everyone to consider becoming an organ donor. “My blessing is going to be someone else’s tragedy, and that’s very difficult to think about, but if you can have a tragedy and turn it into some good, for all the people on the transplant lists out there, I think to donate life is a true blessing.”
Grote said she has relied on her faith and prayer to stay positive.
“I’m a very positive individual. I really am. You have your down days when you sit and think, ‘I have cancer and I’m just waiting. I’m not doing anything. Is it going to go somewhere else?’ That’s definitely my biggest fear, that it will spread somewhere else. You just have to have hope, and that helps you conquer the fear. I have a lot of support through family and friends,” she said.
Several of Grote’s friends plan a benefit for her and her family at 5 p.m. Friday at the Overton Golf Course.
“It’s very overwhelming. The generosity that I have received has been overwhelming. I don’t even have words to describe it. I’ve had support from my work. My daughter’s 4-H group had a horse show and donated money to me from that benefit. I mean, it’s just been amazing,” she said.
“I have cancer, but I’ve had a lot of blessings with the cancer. I was able to find it and had the resources and the knowledge. I knew Dr. Sorrell, who helped me get in to see his father. There have just been huge blessings through all of it.”


Family's cross-country trek to promote organ donation lands in Connecticut
Amanda Cuda, Staff Writer

Mike Grenier (top left) stands with wife Sheri, daughter Chloe, 10 and son, Levi, 13, stands in front of Sea View Snack Bar on Greenmanville Avenue near Mystic Seaport. The Greniers, who hail from Illinois, are traveling the country trying to get as many people as possible to register as organ donors. Mike Grenier is a donation recipient. Last week, the family arrived in Connecticut, where they plan to stay until Wednesday. Photo: Contributed Photo / Connecticut Post Contributed

There was a time when Mike Greiner's entire existence hinged on a phone call.

Seven years ago, Greiner, 41, formerly of Lincoln, Ill., was on a waiting list to receive a kidney and pancreas transplant. It was a tense time for Greiner and his family, as they longed for word that a suitable donor had been found. "When you're on that list, you're basically waiting on a phone call that lets you know whether you're going to live or die," Greiner said during a phone interview Monday afternoon.

For Greiner, the phone call came. But, for many others across the country, it never arrives. According to Donate Life America, a nonprofit that aims to educate the public about organ, eye and tissue donation, there are about 106,000 people nationwide in need of organ transplants. About 18 of these people die every day.

As the recipient of a life-saving organ donation, Greiner wanted to encourage others to register as donors. So, he and his wife, Sheri, sold their house, packed a van with suitcases and headed out with their two children on a cross-country tour of the United States. Their road trip started in April and they arrived in Connecticut, their 18th state, last week. They'll be here until Wednesday, touring the state and talking to anyone they can about the importance of organ donation.

Greiner said he considered the trip, which should take about a year, the best way to advocate for his cause to as wide an audience as possible. Throughout their journey, the Greiners are running a challenge to see which state can register the most new donors. In each state they visit, the Greiners pick a certain date on which as many residents as possible are supposed to register. In Connecticut, that day is Tuesday.

Though there are 86 million donors registered nationwide, that number represents only 37.1 percent of U.S. residents aged 18 and older. In Connecticut, about 37 percent of the population aged 18 and older are potential organ donors.

Every year, more than 6,000 people die waiting for transplants. Greiner was fortunate, in that he only spent six weeks on the donation waiting list. His need for a donation came from a 30-year bout with diabetes, which had damaged his organs. Greiner was on the verge of starting dialysis when he learned that a match had been found. The transplant not only saved him from dialysis, but, due to the new pancreas, he's no longer a diabetic. "I'm actually better than I was before," he said.Greiner said he has a good relationship with his donor's mother, who supports his campaign to register donors. "She really considers what we're doing the continuation of her daughter's legacy."

Kari Mull, program manager for Donate Life Connecticut, said she thinks the Greiner's road trip is terrific. "It's a really neat way they can visibly support their cause," she said.

Greiner said the whole family is enjoying the voyage, including his children, Levi, 13, and Chloe, 10.

Throughout the year on the road, the kids are being home-schooled (or, rather, "van-schooled," as their dad puts it). So far, he said, it seems they're getting a lot out of the experience. "They're really having fun." he said.

The trip isn't all work. The Greniers have been enjoying the sights of each state they visit. In Connecticut, they've visited towns as far-flung as Milford and Mystic, where they're spending their last few days in the state before moving on to Rhode Island.

Sunday, August 29, 2010


Sparta mom awaiting lung transplant dies; her story prompts hundreds sign up to donate organs
Source: MLive.com


Kerry Hutchins wondered from her hospital bed not too long ago what it would take for more people in Michigan to sign up to be organ donors.

The 33-year-old Sparta woman, born with cystic fibrosis, figured telling
her story might help.

“When are we gonna start talking more about it?” Hutchins said earlier this month. “Maybe when you can put a face to it. When you can say, 'Remember that girl we read about with CF? The one who needs lungs?’”

Hutchins died Saturday morning at the University of Michigan Health Systems, where she had been living since April, hoping for a double lung transplant that would save her life.

"She lost the good fight,” her dad, George Roby, said. She was surrounded by family.

Hutchins’ doctors took her off the organ transplant waiting list Wednesday, after deciding she was no longer strong enough to survive transplant surgery.

Hutchins got part of her wish -- she moved many people to sign up as organ donors.

So far in August, 309 people who signed up as organ donors at Gift of Life Michigan cited stories about Hutchins as their motivation, says Tim Makinen, communications director for Gift of Life Michigan, who explains those who sign up can choose to mark a box on the form saying where they heard about organ donation.

The number of people from Kent County who signed up in the week following the story about Hutchins, whether or not they indicated their motivation, was 776, he says, more than twice a typical week.

“The increase was substantial and impressive,” Makinen says.

Roby says the family talked about that with Hutchins in her last days.

“She is making a big impact,” Roby says. “People have told us from all over the country that they read about her, and signed up.

“We really hope Michigan can get on board,” Roby says.

Michigan ranks 42nd nationwide in the percentage of registered drivers who have officially expressed their wish to be organ, eye and tissue donors.

Many residents aren’t aware it isn’t enough anymore just to sign the back of their driver's license or state ID. You have to join the Michigan Organ Donor Registry by going online or visiting a Secretary of State office.

Registered donors receive a red heart sticker to affix to their driver’s license.

Comments from readers in The Press and on MLive.com have been streaming in, telling how people heard about Hutchins, then went online to register as organ donors.

“Please extend the sincerest sympathy of a stranger to Kerry and her family,” writes a woman named Sarah. “Please tell them that I registered to be a donor online... and I attached the sticker to my driver’s license last week. They are all in my prayers and I hope it is a comfort to know that Kerry's story added at least one person to the registry.”

“I always thought I was an organ donor, just by signing my license, and was surprised to read that this is not so,” writes a pediatric nurse named Sue.

“I became an ‘official’ organ donor shortly after reading your first article. I wish more people were aware that they need to go that extra short step to make being a donor a reality. I guess I just wanted to thank you for opening my eyes, even more, to the need for donors.”

At Gift of Life Michigan, Makinen says Hutchins’ story and a video they produced about her are now part of the organization’s orientation for new employees, and all current employees have seen them.“Kerry puts a beautiful face on the people we’re trying to help,”

Makinen says. “And her story provides motivation to redouble our efforts.”

Funeral arrangements are pending for Hutchins, who is survived by her husband, Matthew Hutchins, of Sparta; sons Aiden Hutchins, 4, and Cordell Brown, 13; father and stepmother George and Glenda Roby; mother and stepfather Beckie and Bill Southwell, brother Lee Roby and others.

George Roby says Gift of Life has been contacted, so that Hutchins, a registered organ donor, might give life to someone else.


Friday, August 27, 2010


Barbour County man gives hope to others by giving the gift of life
By BEN SIMMONS, Staff Writer | The Intermountain

BIG HEART — Terry and Christine Moore were married for 20 years.
When Terry died of an aneurysm on Sept. 17, 2009,
he donated his organs so others could receive a second chance at life.

A 49-year-old man has a new heart. A 61-year-old woman has a new liver. A 38-year-old woman has a new kidney. These people, and many more, all have former Belington Council member Terry Moore to thank for their renewed lease on life.

Moore died on Sept. 17, 2009 of a brain aneurysm and donated his organs to the Center for Organ Recovery and Education. His wife, Christine Moore, recently attended a gathering in Pennsylvania to celebrate his life, along with many others, who have donated their organs to those in need.

"He always wanted to help as many people as he could in his life," Christine Moore said. "This was his final testament of what he stood for, to help and take care of others. He wanted to be remembered as a helpful and loving person. He was trying to do his best to show others the love of God and what men could do."

As a public servant, Moore served two-terms on Belington Council and coached Jerry West Basketball, while refereeing games for the league.

"He was out to help as many children as he could," Christine Moore said. "With his donation, he was able to give his infected lung to cystic fibrosis research for kids under the age of 12."

Terry and Christine were married for 20 years and worked together at Wal-mart. She said he is sadly missed.

"Terry was the most wonderful man I ever met," Christine Moore said. "He was brilliant. Everything I ever wanted or needed, if it was in his power to get it for me, he would do it no questions asked. He took care of the house and all the bills and everything."

Christine Moore recently received a letter from CORE stating how her husband's body was used to help others. It states:

A 49-year-old man is a recipient of the heart. He is married with three children. He was on the transplant waiting list for more than a year.

The recipient of the liver is a 61-year-old woman. She is retired from her job and has two sons. Her family is looking forward to spending precious time with her.

The left kidney was transplanted into a 38-year-old woman. She has one son and worked as a cashier prior to her illness.

A 45-year-old woman received the right kidney. She is married and has two children. Employed as a director of a funeral home, she enjoys church related activities.

The left cornea was transplanted into an 84-year-old woman and a 45-year-old woman is the recipient of the right cornea. Though these recipients will never know Terry Moore, they will think of him each time they see a child smile or gaze at the beauty of the changing seasons, the letter states.

Also, if the tissue is healthy enough for transplant, Terry Moore could continue to help others for many years. The donated bone, tendons, iliac crest and fascia may aid others in need of surgical procedures to restore movement to an arm, leg or knee. The donated skin may aid in a variety of procedures.

The letter stated Terry Moore would also be honored in A Special Place, the park-like area outside CORE's Pittsburgh headquarters dedicated to donors and their families.

For more information on CORE visit the website www.core.org or call 800-DONORS-7.


San Diego couple final link in nation's largest kidney transplant chain

FRIDAY, AUGUST 27, 2010 AT 8:39 P.M.
For Rita and Oscar Ayub, the National Kidney Registry came up with a lifesaving shortcut. It helps find donors for people who need a kidney, but only if they have a partner willing to give an organ to a stranger.
For Rita and Oscar Ayub, the National Kidney Registry came up with a lifesaving shortcut. It helps find donors for people who need a kidney, but only if they have a partner willing to give an organ to a stranger.
Rita Ayub never resigned herself to the idea that her husband, Oscar, would have to wait years for a kidney transplant because her organ wasn’t a good match.
Fortunately for the San Diego couple, the National Kidney Registry came up with a lifesaving shortcut. It helps find donors for people who need a kidney, but only if they have a partner willing to give an organ to a stranger.

To learn more about kidney disease

National Kidney Disease Education Program: http://nkdep.nih.gov/
National Kidney Registry: www.kidneyregistry.org
National Kidney Association: www.kidney.org
The Ayubs became part of an unprecedented chain of 21 kidney transplants at 11 hospitals across the country that began in January and ended Wednesday at Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego.
Oscar Ayub and an unnamed woman from Yucca Valley were the final recipients, thanks to donors including Rita Ayub.
On Friday, Oscar and Rita Ayub sat in his room in Sharp Memorial’s surgical intensive care unit and chatted about the cruise they plan to take now that Oscar won’t be hooked up to a dialysis machine three days a week and sleeping every day in between.
They said they were thrilled to be part of such a massive life-giving effort.
“It’s too bad I don’t have another kidney to donate,” said Rita, who at 53 is a decade younger than her husband. “I would do it again.”
The transplant chain relied on donations involving 21 donors and 21 recipients in seven states. Each person in need of a kidney had a donor partner — a relative, friend, co-worker or possibly a stranger — whose kidney was not a match for them.
The National Kidney Registry, founded in 2007, runs patients’ medical information through a sophisticated computer analysis, matching donors with recipients. The New York nonprofit has become the largest such paired-exchange kidney transplant program in the United States.
Kidneys are the most common organ transplant in the United States yet recipients typically wait four years or more to find a matching donor, even when a loved one aches to help.
The registry now has 2,000 donors in its system with plans to expand, said executive director Thomas Mollo.
“We’ve done 178 transplants,” he said. “Each hospital has to come into the system with a recipient and a donor, so we can continue to pay it forward.”
The 21-transplant chain began Jan. 20 in New York with a donor whose kidney was given to a patient at the same Bronx hospital.
That recipient had a partner donor whose kidney was flown to UC San Francisco Medical Center and given to a recipient. That person’s partner donated a kidney that was sent to St. Barnabas Medical Center in New Jersey.
The chain continued to crisscross the country — including nine surgeries on Tuesday and Wednesday — before finally ending in San Diego.
On Wednesday, Oscar Ayub received a kidney from a woman in New York whose daughter was getting a kidney the same day from a donor in Los Angeles. As Oscar was getting a healthy kidney, his wife, Rita, underwent surgery to give a kidney to the Yucca Valley woman.
The final recipient did not have a donor partner but was on Sharp Memorial’s transplant list. Mollo said the registry is now working on a new transplant chain.
“This is why we get up and go to work,” said Dr. Barry Browne, who performed the transplants at Sharp Memorial.
“With this new way of facilitating transplants, we can do a lot more,” he said. “This allows people who have waited 5-10 years — our last patient waited 12 years — to move up right away and get a kidney transplant.”
Last year, 16,829 kidney transplants were done in the United States. The median wait time nationwide is more than four years and almost 86,000 people are awaiting a transplant, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing.
The agency has contracted with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services since 1986 to administer a national cadaver organ transplant network.
There has been no nationwide program for live donor transplants, however, and transplant centers have relied on their own networks to find suitable organs. Donors and patients also have turned to the Internet, with MatchingDonors.com creating the largest online network.
UNOS started a pilot program this year for kidney paired-donation transplants and five medical centers will participate.
“We expect to have the first of these chains done in the fall,” said UNOS spokeswoman Anne Paschke.
Browne said the need for kidney transplants is expected to continue growing because the leading causes of kidney failure — including diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity — continue to escalate.
Browne called kidney failure “a disease of the working poor” who often can’t afford a healthy diet or to go to the doctor with early symptoms of illness.
More than 600,000 people in the U.S. are on dialysis, including about 2,500 people in San Diego and Imperial counties, and a third are candidates for transplant, Browne said.
The surgery would substantially improve and lengthen their lives, he said.
“The average person with a kidney transplant will live 10 years longer than someone who stays on dialysis,” he said. “Most importantly, you’re no longer hooked up to a machine three days a week, so your quality of life goes up substantially.
“Following a transplant, you can go back to work full time, you can go back to school full time, so it’s really a new shot at life. They really are the happiest patients in the hospital.”
Oscar Ayub was clearly happy on Friday, jokingly pretending to dance from his hospital chair. He is expected to head home early next week and Rita is due to be released from the hospital today. Aside from a little soreness, she said she felt fine and Browne said she will function normally with her one remaining kidney.
The couple said they hope their experience will encourage others not to be fearful about donating an organ.
“They’re giving life to somebody else, like she gave to me,” Oscar said as he reached for his wife’s hand.