Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tioga man is thankful for gift of a healthy kidney

By Amber Wiedmer | Tioga Tribune
Gifts of all shapes and sizes are exchanged at this time of year, but a Tioga man has received a most unusual gift this year.

Sixteen years ago, Wes Johnson, owner of the Tioga Machine Shop, was diagnosed with a kidney disease that would eventually shut his kidneys down.

At Christmas time last year, Wes and his wife, Janet, went to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., for routine testing and received the news that Wes’s kidneys were going in to extreme failure.
Doctors said a transplant would be vital if he was to live.

He was put on dialysis in May and his treatments lasted four to five hours, three days a week.
“Dialysis isn’t a cure,” says Wes, “It’s a part-time cure.”

The stress dialysis put on his body was sometimes too much to bear. “There were days I couldn’t go to work,” says Wes, “I was so beat and wore out.”

But Wes was able to meet some new people, fellow dialysis patients and caregivers.
“You spend four or five hours with these people and you get to know them,” says Wes.

It was then that Wes’s family started to test to see if they could find a possible tissue match. There was only one match, his son, but he lives in Hawaii, so it made sense to consider someone closer to home if someone could be found.

Stacey Ward, Wes’s niece, called the Mayo Clinic to get the packet so she could test for a match. Wes never asked Stacey to help him out.

“I called Mayo and got the testing kit myself,” says Stacey, “I just never gave him a choice to say no.”
Stacey’s kidney didn’t match.

But after she sent her blood work she was asked if she would be interested in paired donation.
Paired donation happens when you have a family member or friend that needs an organ. Even though you may not match your loved one you could match someone else in need. That person would in turn find some one who could be compatible, until the chain is completed. Stacey agreed to the idea.

But after learning about how many people are in need of kidneys she wasn’t sure they would actually call. More than 84,000 people in America are waiting for a kidney transplant. About 12 of these patients die every day because there aren’t enough donors.

“I figured that we would be pretty far down on the list,” says Stacey, “Considering that Wes had just started dialysis and so many other people needing kidneys.”

But then Stacey received a call from Mayo saying they had a match for her Uncle Wes as long as she was still willing to donate. It was later when Stacey found out how they choose who will get an organ.
“They used to just go with whoever is next on the list but now they go with whoever has people to give,” says Stacey, “So they can help more people.”

Wes said Mayo’s ethics are extremely high.
“You can’t buy a kidney from someone cause they won’t transplant it,” he says.
Before Stacey could donate, extensive tests had to be performed, going over all aspects of her life.
The doctors looked at her emotional, psychological, physical, and medical health, before they would consider allowing her to donate.

“They wanted to make sure I was doing it for the right reasons,” says Stacey.
Over and over again Stacey was asked, “Do you in any way feel pressured to donate, like someone forced you?” Stacey responded saying, ”No I volunteered. I almost have to force him because he was so reluctant to put me through that.”

Anticipation hung in the air while Stacey trudged though the tests waiting to see if they would allow her to donate.

After her tests and meetings with multiple doctors, a committee met to determine if she met the criteria.
Stacey did have to change her lifestyle.

“I had to lose weight and be a little healthier,” says Stacey.
She kept thinking “It would be so nice to have it done and over with so that we could move on with our lives and he could feel better.”

After hearing that she was going to be able to donate Stacey felt relieved.

Wes, on the other hand, was a little leery.

“Stacey called me and I wasn’t too excited about it,” says Wes, “just the surgery part, because I have never had surgery before.”

And after reading some articles Wes became more reluctant.
“Some of them talked like it was like getting run over by a truck,” says Wes, “I thought boy this isn’t going to be a good deal.”

Wes and Stacey went down to Rochester at the end of October to complete final tests. Their surgeries were scheduled for Oct. 28.

Before they were put in surgery Wes and Stacey had to attend surgery class. In this class they teach you what to expect and how to deal with recovery from surgery.

While in the class Stacey met someone who was connected to their chain of paired donations.
“It was kinda neat to meet her.”

Aunt donates kidney, saves teen's life


BUTLER -- As Bev Cassity listened to her daughter's doctor's report, only one thing came to mind: "There must be some mistake."

Bev's only child, Kaylin Cassity, was athletic, intelligent, beautiful and only 18. How could she possibly be diagnosed with kidney failure?

"One day in April, I just woke up with a terrible headache," said Kaylin, now 19. "It was so bad, we drove to the emergency room."

A Samaritan Regional Health System doctor performed blood work, which revealed that Kaylin's kidneys were only working at 4 percent capacity.

Mother and daughter listened in shock.

"I think I quit breathing for a second," Bev said. "I went numb."

"I didn't even know what to think," Kaylin said. "We still don't know why."

The teen was immediately transported to MedCentral/Mansfield Hospital, where a biopsy provided similar results.

Four days later, Kaylin started dialysis. Her treatments were four hours a day, three days a week, for seven months at the Mansfield hospital.

For some, the mere thought of such a commitment could drive one to the breaking point. However, Kaylin's positive spirit never faltered.

"My nurses were amazing," the enthusiastic teen said. "We'd paint each other's nails and compareclothes. I was the youngest person in there for sure. Everyone else in there was older and just seemed so depressed coming in and I just thought, I'm never going to be like that. I have a family who loves me. There's no reason to be down."

The sessions weren't the only change in her life.

"My doctor put me on a really strict diet," Kaylin said. "I craved ice chips and had to eat a lot of protein. I couldn't have any starchy foods and no salt."

The new regimen caused her to lose 30 pounds.

"I will admit that that part sucked," Kaylin said with a smile. "I'm 19. You want stuff like McDonald's and couldn't have it. When I first started all this, it was overwhelming to have this all thrown at you in a week. I always looked to God and never really stressed out. I never really had any bad times or breakdowns."

The doctors told her she would need a kidney transplant to bring her "back to normal."

Three potential donors came forward: Kaylin's half-sister, her best friend and her aunt, Karen King.

Although tests revealed that Kaylin's half-sister was the best match, King, 54, knew better.

"I just felt in my heart that I would be the one," said the Willard woman, who is Bev's sister. "I remember my sister calling me when this all started and saying, 'You can't live without a kidney,' and I said, 'She doesn't have to. I have two.'"

A generous King said she had always made strong efforts to stay healthy.

"I used to work out a lot, and every time I'd want to get off the treadmill, I'd say to myself, 'No, keep going. You have to stay healthy,'" she said. "For some reason, I always felt like someone was going to need something from me, although I always thought it would be my brother.

"When I found out about Kaylin, I felt from the beginning that things would be OK. I knew that somehow I would help to bring her healing."

On Nov. 1, after numerous tests, both women were taken into surgery at the Cleveland Clinic.

"When I went in that day, I just remember thinking how glad I was that the months of testing were about to be over," King said.

King's surgery took nearly four hours before Kaylin was taken back.

"I believe I said, 'Thanks for the kidney,' before she went in," Kaylin said. "I can't even put into words what it meant to me that she did this. She put her life on the line for mine. Surgery is a frightening thing. She's an amazing person. We've always been close, but this gave us a bond that many people can't say that they have."

At the time, Kaylin had been a freshman at Kent State University. After surgery, she recovered unusually quickly and is now nearly her old self again physically -- but her mindset and life goals have changed significantly.

"I'm not going back to Kent. I want to help others who are going through similar things. I want to speak out about the importance of organ donations," she said. "I'm going to be talking to my social worker on doing public speaking. I have a great faith in God, and this is something I want to share."

It was faith that encouraged King as well.

"Everyone called me a hero, but I didn't feel like that at all," she said. "Kaylin was the real hero here. She was so strong and brave and faithful to God. I drew strength from her and we encouraged each other. I got up this morning by the grace of God, and no matter what happens in the future, I will still get up by the grace of God. He is the true healer."

Kaylin said the only real difficult part of the last seven months was not having her dad at home.

Jerry Cassity has been deployed overseas for the last 14 months.

"Every time we'd talk to him, we'd tell him everything was fine because we didn't want him to worry," Kaylin said. "But mom and I made it work. I've always been a 'mama's girl' anyways. She's been there every step of the way. I could have never done this without her."

"That's what moms are for, honey," Bev said.

Although Kaylin was strong, Bev said there were times she struggled.

"So many nights, I'd shed tears she didn't even know about," Bev said. "I was just so afraid of losing her. There was one night in the hospital that Kaylin said, 'Mom, if Jesus wants to take me to heaven, I'm ready to go.' I told her, 'You can't because I'm not ready to let you go.' She's been amazing. She's always been mature for her age, but her attitude blew me away."

Kaylin said the one thing she hopes others take away from her story is an understanding of the importance of organ donations.

"It's the greatest gift," she said. "You could be giving it to someone who is 19 and still has her whole life ahead of her. It meant the world to me."

Daughter saves mom, Winnipeg, Canada

Sacrifice ensures her mother won’t miss life’s milestones

by Alexandra Paul | Canada Press

WINNIPEG Angela Przybylski tears up at the thought of how her daughter gave her the ultimate gift.
Angela, 46, had a liver transplant in September at the Toronto General Hospital. Her daughter, Larissa Przybylski, was the donor.
Words seem too weak to convey the mother’s gratitude: “She saved my life.”
Two months later, both mother and daughter are well and resuming their lives in Winnipeg. Larissa’s liver has grown back, although doctors tell her that it will take a year to fully recover.
Larissa is 20, tall, willowy and the picture of health. You’d never know that, after doctors removed 65 per cent of her liver to donate to her mother, surgeons rushed her in for a second surgery to treat a complication from the initial surgery.
Nobody asked her to donate. An aunt had stepped forward too and Angela’s other child, a 24-year-old son, is also very close to his mother.
“I was the first one who stepped up (in the family) and said, ‘Book the flights, I really want to go through it,’” Larissa said.
Donating a liver isn’t as simple as signing a surgery waiver sheet.
There were months of testing. While the transplant team is built around a core of surgeons, experts outside the operating room include geneticists, psychiatrists, technicians and social workers.
The Toronto General transplant program is the largest in North America for living liver transplants; about one-third of the 130 to 140 liver transplants a year are from living donors. The surgery in Canada is also done in Edmonton and Vancouver.
Medically speaking, there’s a threshold for excellence and it’s a numbers game: if a program is not going to do 10 to 15 living liver transplants a year, a hospital typically won’t risk it.
Medicare covers the surgery and the doctors. But that’s it. The Przybylski family paid for an apartment in Toronto and flights back and forth from $20,000 raised in a social fundraiser.
Larissa’s testing started in June. Two days before the actual surgery, doctors were still covering all the bases.
At the last minute, Larissa had to pass a genetic test for Marfan’s disease, the same genetic disorder that afflicted Abraham Lincoln, a president in the United States. She was tested because of her lanky frame, long fingers and double joints, all Marfan hallmarks.
As the surgery approached, Angela’s life was literally draining away.
She was yellow with jaundice. Her body was flooded with 50 extra pounds of fluid. With her tissues saturated to the bursting point, the fluid buildup had exceeded her body’s ability to hold it all: Water was leaking out of the tops of her feet, wetting the socks she wore.
“After the surgery, the surgeon told my family that had they not done it, I probably would have lived for (only) a few months. ... It was that bad,” Angela said.
Angela suffered from a disorder called auto-immune hepatitis. A transplant is the only cure.
Every year, patients who need organs die because they can’t get them. Headlines about organ shortages are common, these days.
It’s no surprise, then, that Angela gets teary as she tells her story.
Larissa’s feelings are as tender as her mother’s. Both draw comfort from the other, sitting close together on Angela’s sofa to tell their story.
“She’s my mom. I love her and I know she’d do it for me in a heartbeat.”
Larissa’s composure starts to crack as she says, “I always saw her being there, for when I graduated, when I had children. ...”
Larissa is crying openly now. “If there was something I could do to have her be there, I was more than willing to do it.”

How Rahn Bentley came to be Grand Rapids' first heart transplant patient on Thursday

GRAND RAPIDS -- Rahn Bentley was 10 miles away from Spectrum Health’s Fred and Lena Meijer Heart Center downtown when he got the call late Saturday afternoon.

His doctors had found a donor heart and were ready to perform the transplant he was waiting for.
A little over an hour later, the 50-year-old Kentwood resident was undergoing the surgery that would make him the first heart transplant recipient in Grand Rapids.
“He got the call at 5 p.m. and was being wheeled into the operating room at 6 p.m.,” recalled his twin brother, Ray Bentley, a former Buffalo Bills football player, West Michigan native and sports broadcaster.
“I’ve played in Super Bowls, and it doesn’t even come close to seeing my brother when he woke up yesterday,” Bentley said. “We were both crying and holding each other. Our birthday was Thanksgiving, so this was a hell of a present.”
The successful transplant comes just two months after the arrival of head transplant surgeon Dr. Asghar Khaghani, who was hired in July from England and has performed more than 1,000 heart transplants. And it happened less than a month since United Network of Organ Sharing(UNOS) agreed to transfer Rahn Bentley’s transplant listing from Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago to Spectrum Health’s heart center in Grand Rapids.
The identity of the donor is confidential, but Betsy Miner-Swartz of “Gift of Life,” Michigan’s Organ and Tissue Donation Program, said the donor was among the 2 million people listed on the state’s registry.
Khaghani said Tuesday the eight-hour operation began late Saturday and went into early Sunday. It was performed by a team of four cardiothoracic surgeons, including Dr. Robert Hooker, who studied heart transplants under Dr. Norman Shumway, a pioneer in the procedure, and has performed 12 in his career. The group was backed by a team of dozens of health professionals.
“A year and a half ago, Rahn was dying,” said Dr. Michael Dickinson, a cardiovascular specialist with Spectrum’s West Michigan Heart group who is certified in heart transplant patient management and has managed Rahn Bentley’s care. “When you witness this, you realize that it truly is a remarkable gift and a miracle.”
Khaghani and Dickinson said the complicated procedure went as well as could be expected, especially since doctors had to remove an artificial heart pump they had installed earlier this year.
“If we said we didn’t learn anything from what we did, boy, would we be fools,” Dickinson said. “That being said, I was really pleased it went really smoothly.”
Ray Bentley said it was a little “nerve-racking” to have his brother be the first heart transplant patient in Grand Rapids, but his family had confidence in Khaghani and Hooker’s abilities and were happy he was able to stay close to home, as he wanted.
“We had 20 (friends and family) in the waiting room while he was in there,” Bentley said. “If he had been in Chicago, that would not have been possible.”
The family is also benefiting from the fact that Spectrum is essentially footing the bill for the transplant and the expensive anti-rejection medication Bentley must take.
Each heart transplant is expected to cost about $544,500 and Spectrum is projecting the program will lose about $2 million in the first year. Hospital leaders have said they expect a net loss of about $226,600 per transplant because of the assumption that two-thirds of patients will not be able to pay.
That is likely because the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, as well as many private health plans, will not pay until there have been at least 10 transplants. Khaghani said they expect to perform 12 heart transplants in the first year.
“We need to have a track record. We carry the cost on the front end,” said Matt Van Vranken, executive vice president of Spectrum Health and president of Spectrum Health’s Hospital Group. “The investment is going to yield huge dividends.”
The first pay-off is Rahn Bentley, who was born with a congenital heart defect and had his first open-heart surgery at the age of 6 at Butterworth Hospital, his brother said. Rahn has since had a total of four open-heart surgeries, including one earlier this year when doctors installed a left ventricular device (LVAD). In 2004, he was featured in a Press article after he suffered a heart attack and three co-workers saved his life by performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation until paramedics arrived.
Rahn Bentley’s 27-year-old son, Jordan, said he has lived his whole life with his father being ill and, in the past few months, has been his primary caregiver and changed his bandages daily. That’s why seeing his dad wake up after surgery was “awesome.”
“The first thing he said when he woke up was ‘Give me a hug, son’ and pulled me right in,” Jordan Bentley said.
On Tuesday, Ray Bentley said a healthy color had returned to his brother’s face, and he was up and moving around and in good spirits. Khaghani said Bentley could be sent home within 10 to 12 days.
In February, Spectrum received approval to perform transplants and had 18 months to do the first or risk losing authorization. Prior to that, Henry Ford Hospital System, Children’s Hospital of Michigan, and the University of Michigan Health system were the only locations in the state allowed to do heart transplants.
When the next transplant could occur is unknown, because doctors cannot predict when donor organs will come available, Dickinson said. But, he said, three other patients who are waiting for heart transplants have transferred their listings with UNOS and Michigan’s organ and tissue donation program “Gift of Life” to Spectrum, and other patients are being evaluated.
“We are not trying to transfer every patient listed at another center,” Dickinson said. “We want patients to go where they will get the best care.”
Organ trafficking active between Egypt and Syria, says report
Hoda Rashwan

Syrian authorities have arrested several members of organ trafficking rings operating between Egypt and Syria, according to a report published by the Syrian newspaper al-Watan.
The report published Monday said the security apparatus has arrested eight members of one ring in the Syrian city of Aleppo. The group sold organs to a hospital in Cairo.
The paper urged Egyptian authorities to put an end to this crime that largely affects the poor.
The paper said the hospital where illegal operations affiliated with the trade took place recorded people trying to sell their kidneys.
Investigations reveal typical organ trafficking operation provides the donor with US$6000, the facilitator with US$600, and the recipient with US$11,000.
Meanwhile, Abdel Hamid Abaza, a Minister of Health adviser, said the law organizing organ transplant will go into effect mid-December after the cabinet of ministers approves its executive rules.
In a statement to Al-Masry Al-Youm, Abaza said that the penalty for organ trafficking could include 25 years imprisonment under the new law.
Hospitals will be subject to regular scrutiny, Abaza went on, and any hospitals operating in defiance will face closure.
There are only 15 hospitals capable of receiving organ donations and carrying out organ transplants for free, he added.
Translated from the Arabic Edition.

Organ donation, transplant at U-M keeps NHL referee’s son on the ice, Michigan

O’Halloran family helps promote fundraiser for transplant recipient summer camp: “Little Chill” is an outdoor hockey game at U-M’s Big House Dec. 5
Ann Arbor, Mich. —At 3-years-old, Devin O’Halloran was up on skates, learning to glide across the ice just like his dad, who is a National Hockey League referee. But even then, his parents knew their little boy faced much bigger challenges than learning to maneuver around a rink.
Devin was born with a rare disease that prevented his body from producing an enzyme that keeps his liver healthy. For Devin, the disease ravaged his little body even more rapidly than expected.
At just five years old, Devin received a liver transplant from the University of Michigan Health System.
“I’ve been healthy ever since. I remember the day of the transplant, riding in a wagon to the operating room with my mom and dad. Dad got to come into the O.R. with me and I remember telling him I love him right before I went under,” says Devin, who is now 20 and a student at Northwood University in Midland, Mich.
Devin did get to play hockey and now works as a referee, just like his dad. For the O’Hallorans, it’s fitting that hockey is the draw of a Dec. 5 fundraiser for the University of Michigan Transplant Center’s Camp Michitanki, a summer camp for kids who’ve had transplants.
The game, dubbed “Little Chill at the Big House,” will feature two games and four AAA hockey teams playing outside on the ice at Michigan Stadium --- one week before the “Big Chill,” the sold-out outdoor game between U-M and Michigan State’s hockey teams.
Tickets are only $5 and available by calling 734-763-5665 or visiting www.facebook.com/UMTransplantEvents.
“Honestly, there’s a lot of kids that want to go to camp and a lot of families can’t afford it after a transplant,” says Devin, who attended the camp and later became a counselor. “At Camp Michitanki, you get to hang out with every other kid who has had some sort of organ transplant, and you realize they’re just normal kids. They get to feel normal, because everyone else has a scar just like them.”
The kids who go to Camp Michitanki really illustrate the miracles made possible through organ donation, says Jeffrey Punch, M.D., U-M’s Jeremiah and Claire Turcotte Professor of Transplantation Surgery and Chief of the U-M Division of Transplantation.
“I think seeing transplant work for the young really emphasizes what a miracle it can be,” says Punch. “One organ donor can save many lives, up to eight or more individuals.”
Nationally, there are more than 108,000 people on a waiting list for an organ. That’s about the number of people who could sit in the Big House to watch the upcoming Little Chill.
Punch says he hopes this event will continue to spur more people to sign up to donate organs after their death.
“Transplant surgery is very successful, but there are not really enough organs to go around. The waiting list is going to get longer, given that we put more people on the list than we transplant each year. So we need to get the message out about the good that transplant can do,” Punch says.
U-M has one of the oldest and largest transplantation programs in the country and U-M surgeons perform transplants of hearts, lungs, pancreases, livers, kidneys, and corneas. About 400 to 450 transplants are done at U-M annually, mostly kidney transplants followed by liver, heart, lung and pancreas.
Dan O’Halloran, Devin’s dad, says it’s impossible to sum up the gratitude he has for the donor and the donor’s family. It’s a priceless gift.
“Devin’s been given a second chance at life. It’s a reminder every day when he takes his medicine that he’s got a gift that he has to take care of,” says Dan O’Halloran. “You know, the donor’s family had a child that passed away at a young age and that would be the most difficult thing I could imagine going through. For them to give a gift like they gave to us and to Devin, you know I don’t know if there’s any words that are adequate to say thank you for that.”
Signing up on the Michigan Donor Registry is simple. Go to www.giftoflifemichigan.org, Gift of Life Michigan is the state’s federally-designated organ and tissue recovery organization and acts as intermediary between donors, their families and hospital staff. Gift of Life Michigan, in collaboration with the Michigan Eye-Bank, provides all services necessary for organ, tissue and eye donation.
“This gift of life has made all the difference in the world to me,” says Devin, who says he wants to do all he can to promote organ donation. “I talk to my friends at school and make sure they are organ donors because they know what I’ve been through and they know how hard it is for me and for all the other people out there that need a transplant.
“Receiving an organ makes you look at life in a completely different way. I try to do all I can to life my live fully, because I know I’m on my second chance,” says Devin.
About U-M’s Transplant Center: Since the first transplant in Michigan took place at the University of Michigan back in 1964, more than 7,652 patients have benefited from our program.
Utah Man Takes on Lake Tahoe

What does swimming and organ donation have in common? For swimmer, James Jonsson, they are both things he is passionate about.

01_Before the start

James is a marathon swimmer who is currently training to break the world record for a lengthwise swim across Lake Tahoe. He is doing this swim to bring attention to the need for others to register as organ, eye and tissue donors. His challenge to everyone – “If I can break the world record, will you commit to being an organ donor?”

James first recognized the importance of organ donation in the early ’80s when his father, who was also a competitive open water swimmer, went into kidney failure. A transplant in 1986 gave his father back his quality of life and he was able to continue competitive swimming.

In 2003, James became acquainted with donation from both sides when his son tragically passed away. He was an organ donor and that decision has impacted several lives. James has exchanged letters with some of the recipients and is grateful that organ donation allowed something positive to come from his son’s death.

The Daily News of Open Water Swimming recently published an article about his upcoming swim. James plans on making this 22 mile swim on August 4. To take James’ challenge and register your wishes to be an organ, eye and tissue donor, log on to www.yesutah.org.

Kidney Exchange Registry Goes National, Ottawa, Canada

Living Donor Paired Exchange becomes first Canada-wide organ
donation registry

OTTAWA, November 30, 2010 /Canada NewsWire/ - Yesterday, the Living Donor Paired Exchange performed the first match run to include kidney patients and donors from all across Canada. In doing so, it became the first Canada-wide organ donation registry.

The LDPE registry facilitates living kidney donations between patients with a willing but incompatible donor and another pair in the same situation. It is a partnership between Canadian Blood Services and transplant programs across the country, and was launched as a three-province pilot in January 2009. Since then, all other provinces have gradually joined the registry, and with Quebec firming up its participation in October, the initiative has become Canada-wide in scope.

"The inclusion of all provinces in the LDPE is a significant development for patients as it increases the pool of donors. And of course the larger the pool, the more likely patients are to find a match and receive the transplant they need," said Dr. Graham Sher, CEO, Canadian Blood Services. "This is a prime example of how better collaboration and integration can improve donation and transplantation rates in this country, and ultimately, save more lives. It is what sets top performing countries apart."

The LDPE has registered 185 donor/recipient pairs from across the country, and has been responsible for facilitating 57 kidney transplants since the launch with an additional 16 scheduled for surgery in the weeks ahead.

Critical to the registry's success has been the inclusion of non-directed donors - a person who is entered into the registry, unpaired and willing to donate to any one in need. "Non-directed donors are selfless heroes that have created 'domino exchanges' which are responsible for 45 of the 57 transplants to date," said Dr. Ed Cole, Chair of the National Kidney Registries Advisory Committee and University Health Network Physician-in-Chief. "Non-directed donors greatly increase the number of available matches, but best of all, since they enter as a single rather than a pair, it means that at the end of the domino chain, one patient on the deceased donor waiting list also gets a transplant."

In addition to going Canada-wide, the registry has celebrated some other important milestones of late, including:

...the first LDPE surgeries performed in the province of Nova Scotia;

...the first patients in Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador receiving transplants;

...matches and transplants for highly sensitized (difficult-to-match) patients;

...and first instance where kidneys were shipped as part of a living donor exchange from one Canadian centre to another, demonstrating that transporting the kidney rather than the donor is feasible in some circumstances.
"A transplant is generally the preferred treatment for people whose kidneys have failed but far too many patients are dying while waiting" said Paul Shay, National Executive Director of The Kidney Foundation of Canada. "Each kidney transplant saves the health care system up to $40,000 annually. The 57 transplants that have happened as a result of this registry will save the system millions of dollars and improve the quality of life of the transplant recipients beyond any monetary value."

The concept of a national registry for LDPE was proposed by the Canadian Society for Transplantation and the Canadian Council for Donation and Transplantation (merged with Canadian Blood Services). It was developed, implemented, and is currently operated by Canadian Blood Services. Two more registries - the national organ urgent wait list and a registry for highly sensitized (difficult-to-match) kidney patients are now in development and are planned for roll-out in 2011.

Delivering these registries is part of the mandate Canadian Blood Services was given by the Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers of Health in 2008 to help improve Canada's performance in organ and tissue donation and transplantation (OTDT). The mandate also included assuming the activities of the former Canadian Council for Donation and Transplantation (CCDT), as well as leading the efforts of the OTDT community to design an integrated system to improve clinical patient outcomes, increase the quality of life for patients, and improve the system's efficiency.
About Canadian Blood Services

Canadian Blood Services is a national, not-for-profit charitable organization that manages the supply of blood and blood products in all provinces and territories outside of Quebec. Canadian Blood Services also oversees the OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network, and provides national leadership for organ and tissue donation and transplantation. Canadian Blood Services operates 43 permanent collection sites and more than 20,000 donor clinics annually. The provincial and territorial Ministries of Health provide operational funding to Canadian Blood Services. The federal government, through Health Canada, is responsible for regulating the blood system. For more information, please visit:
www.blood.ca. For information on living donation or the registry, please visit:www.blood.ca/organsandtissues and click on "Living Donation".

The Flood Sisters Kidney Foundation of America Presents 1st Annual "Love. Give. Life." Park Avenue Fashion Show

Top Fashion Designers Betsey Johnson, Nanette Lepore, Elene Cassis and Others Join to Highlight Importance of Altruistic/Unrelated Living Donors Sponsored by The National Association of Professional Women (NAPW)

New York, New York (Vocus/PRWEB) November 30, 2010
The Flood Sisters Kidney Foundation of America celebrate the importance of altruistic/unrelated living organ donors with their first annual fundraiser, “LOVE. GIVE. LIFE.” Park Avenue Fashion Show in New York City on December 2nd at the Audi Forum, sponsored by the National Association of Professional Women. In America, there are over 108,000 people in need of an organ and there are 85,000 people waiting for a kidney with 17 people dying daily, as they wait for a transplant.
The Flood Sisters Kidney Foundation was inspired through the three sisters’ efforts to save their father’s life by locating a living, unrelated kidney donor on Craigslist.
Through the sisters’ effort, the first-ever social media-based approach to locate a living donor resulted in their father avoiding the delays often experienced by patients who rely on a national registry -- waiting for kidneys from cadavers while undergoing years of dialysis. This also sparked a whirlwind of media attention, leading to five organ transplants and national support for their effort including such highly respected organizations as the National Association of Professional Women (NAPW).
“NAPW is honored to sponsor The Flood Sisters Kidney Foundation’s ‘Love. Give. Life.’ Park Avenue Fashion Show,” says Nicole Zeitzer-Johnson, NAPW’s Director of Communications. “The creativity, innovation, and perseverance of these three professional women reflect the spirit of our membership, capturing the way so many women quietly contribute to society on a daily basis.”
Featured speakers include Kristin Molini, multiple organ transplant survivor who has appeared on The Early Show, and NAPW’s Nicole Zeitzer-Johnson. The event will be hosted by CNN producer, Phil Rosenbaum and health producer, Maria Dorfner.
According to the Flood sisters, Jennifer, Cynthia, and Heather, a donation from a living donor has a greater than 90 percent success-rate for the first year. “A live kidney transplant avoids repetitive dialysis and immeasurably improves the quality of life for the recipient and often for the donor and the donor’s family,” says Jennifer Flood, President and Founder of The Flood Sisters Kidney Foundation of America.
“Craigslist began and today still is the place where people help each other with everyday needs – and in the case of The Flood Sisters Kidney Foundation these are ‘everyday needs’ that save a life,” says craigslist founder Craig Newmark. “I salute the Flood sisters and all those who embrace our values of ‘treating others as you would want to be treated.”
The 6pm event features both a fashion show by Betsey Johnson, Nanette Lepore, Elene Cassis, and emerging designer Michael Forde – who was Esquire Magazine’s “Best Dressed Man in NY in 2005” as well as a silent auction with music by celebrity DJ, Ani Quinn of 4AM. Hors d'oeuvres and cocktails will be provided by Quintessential Wines and décor will feature exquisite flower arrangements provided by Mar Wilson Designs; with furniture provided by CORT, a Berkshire Hathaway Company. Models will be walking down the runway with Asian-inspired umbrellas provided by Brelli.
The first fifty guests will receive gift bags with gifts by InStyle Magazine, Nicole Miller, Salon Ziba and Bare Escentuals. The evening’s silent auction will feature special gifts from such great names as David Yurman Jewelry, Tory Burch, Nike, Calvin Klein, Ivanka Trump Jewelry, Ellen Fisher, Titleist, Disney, Aspen Sports, Hotel Jerome of Aspen, Co., Trump International Hotel, Sonnenalp Resort of Vail, Co., Scarborough & Tweed, STYX, The Oak Room at the Plaza Hotel, The Museum of American Finance, Wall Street Walks, Build A Bear, Moving Hearts Foundation, The New York Yankees, The New York Mets, The New York Rangers, The New York Knicks and more!
Quote start“LOVE. GIVE. LIFE.”Quote end
Tickets can be purchased online at http://www.floodsisters.org for $75.00, $95 at the door. For more information about NAPW visit http://www.napw.com. For more information, contact The Flood Sisters Kidney Foundation of America at 646-287-2900.
About The Flood Sisters Kidney Foundation
Founded in 2008, the mission of The Flood Sisters Kidney Foundation is to inspire people to become living donors and to encourage kidney patients to use non-traditional means of reaching suitable living donors. Through an aggressive program, the foundation is tirelessly spreading the word that a kidney from a living donor is usually a better match than a cadaveric kidney, and reduces the risk of infection.