Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Transplant Games close with a promise to return

M Live | Brian Van Ochten

Team Utah and Idaho won the team cup during the closing ceremonies of the Transplant Games of America at Devos Performance Hall in Grand Rapids, Mich. on Tuesday, July 31, 2012. (© Matthew Busch/Mlive.com)

GRAND RAPIDS, MI -- The Transplant Games of America, which celebrates the second chances for organ transplant recipients throughout the U.S., got a new lease on life when the West Michigan Sports Commission and local organizers teamed up to rescue the the Olympic-style sports festival.

It now appears there'll be an encore performance in 2014.

The closing ceremonies of the 2012 Transplant Games of America on Tuesday night at DeVos Performance Hall included numerous references to the festival returning in two years after a stunning leadership effort in putting on a five-day event the National Kidney Foundation abandoned after last year.

"I just didn't want it to end," said T.J. Maciak, a kidney transplant recipient from Hudsonville, whose passion for the Transplant Games inspired a warp-speed local effort to adopt and organize the festival held primarily on the Grand Valley State University campus. "The legacy lives on in a lot of ways. It's the gift of life for a lot of people and I'm confident the games are going to continue in the future."

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Kidney on Special Offer

DW Germany | Peter Hummel

Photo: Picture Alliance/ dpa
Organ trafficking is booming around the globe. While the system isn't easy to figure out, one thing is certain: the rich are benefiting at the expense of the poor.

Wiru is 12 years old and lives in a small village in India. There, three hours south of Delhi, there's a good chance of being able to buy a child like him. Wiru cost 2,500 rupees, or about 37 euros ($45). Since then, he has been working in a factory where he glues together fake Gucci bags. He has to make 200 bags a day or else he'll be in trouble with his owner.

"When I'm big, I'm going to be rich," said Wiru. "Then I'm going to sell one of my kidneys and I won't have to work here anymore."

His father, whom he hasn't seen for three years, did the same thing, according to Wiru.

Word has spread throughout the slums of India's big cities that there is a chance to escape poverty. On the black market, a kidney is worth about 55,000 rupees (800 euros), which is a fortune for many Indians. The country has prohibited the trade in human organs and raised the punishment from two to five years in prison, but that has hardly acted as a deterrent. The business is too lucrative. The risk of being caught isn't great, either, the more so because the donor just has to pose as the recipient's friend and declare the money paid for the organ as a gift. In this respect, the inquiry by an official government agency into the motives of the donation is only a farce.

Kidneys in India are a particularly good bargain

The anthropologist Nancy Scheper-Hughes already pointed out in 2003 in the medical journal The Lancet that transplant tourism was developing into a real economic factor, always going in the same direction wherever it existed: from south to north, from east to west, from poor to rich, from darker skin color to lighter.

A kidney from India or Africa costs about $1,000 (about 810 euros). A Romanian or a Moldovan kidney costs about $2,700, a Turkish kidney up to $10,000. In the US, kidney dealers can earn $30,000 from a transaction, sometimes even ten times that amount.

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Thomas rides cross-country to raise awareness for organ donation

By Jordan Maxwell, Portage Daily Graphic

Dale Sinclair and Quinn Thomas in Portage la Prairie over the weekend. Thomas is riding across Canada to raise awareness on the importance of organ donation. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)

When Dale Sinclair was a baby, he required a heart transplant and 15 years later, he's still going strong, living a quality and athletic lifestyle.

While the local athlete is a definite success story of organ donation, there's still a need for more people to get on board with the idea.

That's why when Quinn Thomas, a second-year medical student student from Laval University, stopped in Portage la Prairie last weekend as a rest stop on his cross-country cycling tour, the Sinclairs wanted to do what they could to support his cause.

"This ride that Quinn is doing amazes us. (Quinn) had the opportunity to meet people who need organ donation. It just seems to mean so much to him and it was a powerful talk that he gave. As soon as I heard it, I thought how I can help out so we put him up. I wish there was more we could do," said Rob, Dale's father.

Dale and his family recently returned from Calgary after participating in the 6th Canadian Transplant Games. Dale, who's a specialist in swimming and track, has competed four times in his short career (Windsor, Australia and Quebec City).

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How Brian Gilliam's New Heart Took Him to the Transplant Games of America

Everyday Health | Jaimie Dalessio, Senior Editor

When doctors told Brian Gilliam he needed a heart transplant in 2008, the then 46-year-old hesitated.

For four years, Gilliam had lived in congestive heart failure brought on by a congenital heart defect (called acquired prolonged QT interval syndrome) that didn't cause him much trouble until he got older. Medication had kept Gilliam's life as normal as possible, but his heart continued to deteriorate — and by 2008 it wasn't strong enough to survive on its own.

Gilliam needed a new heart, but part of him didn't want it.

"I didn't like the idea of taking a heart from a young person who might need it," he says of how he felt back then, before he knew the perfect heart match for him probably couldn't help a younger patient on the transplant list. The idea of sitting at home post-transplant didn't thrill him, either.

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Rabalais Run for Life - October 6

Louisiana Organ Procurement Organization

2nd Annual Bay Area Donate Life Walk 2012

California Transplant Donor Network

Walk to celebrate the gift of life and to honor those who have given. The 2 mile Donate Life Walk 2012 in Fremont, California will raise funds to honor our donor families and to inspire our communities to register as organ, eye and tissue donors. 

Sept. 8th at Lake Elizabeth, Fremont CA
Event Info:
Included in Registration:
T-shirt, light breakfast, goodie bag, activities, quilt area and music

Fundraising Prizes:
To be eligible for prizes, all checks/cash must be turned in by Sept.1st 2012 to:

Attn: Beverly Mayer
California Transplant Donor Network
1000 Broadway, Suite 600
Oakland, CA 94607

Please include the team and/or the walker’s name you are sponsoring

, please register before September 7th 2012. (With your registration you will be entered into the raffle & must be present to win)

** For registrations after August 30th shirt sizes may be limited
**Please “NO” bicycles, rollerblades, skateboards, skates or pets for the safety of our Walkers.
Individuals who raise more than $500 will be entered into a raffle for 2 COMPLIMENTARY SOUTHWEST TICKETS. (all monies must be recieved by Sept. 7th)

Event Location:
Lake Elizabeth Central Park Band Pavilion,40000 Paseo Padre Parkway, Fremont, CA 94538

Need directions? Click here for a map

Event Schedule:

Check-In9/8/2012 8:00 am - 9:30 am
Walk Start9/8/2012 9:30 am - 10:30 am
Closing Ceremony/Raffle9/8/2012 10:30 am - 11:00 am

Registration: $30.00
Early Bird Registration to Aug 1st. Registration will increase to $35 on Aug 2nd.
Youth: $10.00
12 yrs and Under (T-Shirt Only)

Transplant Games helps give woman who had 2 lung transplants motivation

M Live | Cory Olsen

Photo: From left: Kristie Compagner with her daughter Maria, 15, and friend Tammi Green at the Transplant Games of America at Grand Valley State University Monday. (Cory Olsen | MLive.com) 
ALLENDALE, MI -- Standing in line to compete in an event, Tammi Green smiles at all the effort she sees around her at the Transplant Games of America.

With her turn at the long jump just two people away, Green has friends and family to cheer her on.

They've been there all along though, through both of her lung transplants.

"It's just been such a blessing," Green said. "I had my first one when I was 27, and I had a lot of support. I was one of the first around this area (to have a lung transplant)."

"At the time, many people didn't even know you could transplant lungs."

Another unknown was how people close to Green would be affected by organ transplants.

Jenison high school classmate and friend Ronda Passon, who competed in the cycling event on Sunday, is 11 years out from a double lung transplant.

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Colorado's "Save Time, Renew Online" Social Media Campaign Recognized with National PACE Award

Market Wire

Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles, Donor Alliance, Colorado.gov honored by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators

DENVER, Jul 31, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- The Colorado Department of Revenue's Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV), Donor Alliance and Colorado.gov today announced that their joint "Save Time, Renew Online" social media campaign utilizing the fictitious character Guy VROOM has been named the Best Use of Social Media by the annual PACE Awards sponsored by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA). The communications campaign successfully lessened foot traffic to DMV offices and increased registered organ, eye and tissue donors. The "Save Time, Renew Online" campaign aims to educate Coloradans about the ability to renew their driver's licenses online. The initiative is led by the character Guy VROOM, a comical, mullet-wearing "dude" stuck in the 1980s. The joke being that Guy VROOM looks and talks that way because he renews his license online and skips the lines at the DMV, and therefore is able to keep using his old photo, circa 1985. Complementing direct mail and advertising outreach surrounding the initiative, the Colorado DMV, Donor Alliance and Colorado.gov executed a social media campaign to facilitate direct-to-consumer interaction and spur viral appeal with the humorous Guy VROOM.

"The social media campaign helped ensure that 'Save Time, Renew Online' was a success. We are pleased to announce that as a result, 12 percent of all Colorado driver's licenses now renew online, which translates to 160,000 fewer people visiting DMV offices and better customer service," said Mike Dixon, Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles. "This campaign was born out of our need to increase participation in online license renewals to assist in reducing increased customer volume in our driver's license offices as a result of simultaneous expiration of both the 5- and 10-year licenses in 2011 through 2015. We are so pleased that we hit the mark with this creative program."
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Eden woman donates kidney to save husband's life

Go Dan River | Lataya Payne
Photo: Brenda and Rodney Johnson share a pair of kidneys after Brenda donated the organ to her husband following his renal disease diagnosis last year.
One Eden couple discovered they’re more compatible than they thought after a woman donated her left kidney to save her husband’s life.

Rodney and Brenda Johnson were high school sweethearts at Morehead High School, graduating just a year apart in 1978 and 1979, respectively. They’ve been married for more than 30 years and have been through a lot in their time together, including a recent major surgery that left both with one working kidney.

Since he was 31 years old, Rodney has suffered from high blood pressure and diabetes that left him with end-stage renal disease last year. He said he was on dialysis for seven months before kidney failure forced him to find a donor.

“It took about 20 years, but my sickness just killed my kidneys,” he said. “As you get older, it gets worse. This was the end result.”

Once receiving a kidney transplant was the only option for Rodney, his wife Brenda said the entire family decided they would get tested to see if they were a match. 

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Jesse White celebrates National Minority Donor Awareness Day at the Kelly Hall YMCA

Copy Line News Magazine

Getty Images
 +Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, will be joined by 27th Ward Alderman Walter Burnett and Stan Lewis, executive director of the Kelly Hall YMCA, when speaking about the importance of increasing awareness about organ, eye and tissue donation within multicultural communities, August 1. 2012, 2 P.M., at the Kelly Hall YMCA, 824 North Hamlin Avenue, in Chicago.

This is the 16th National Minority Donor Awareness Day. The nationwide observance aims to educate people about the need for organ, eye and tissue donors within multicultural communities. People of color are disproportionately affected by illnesses, like hypertension and diabetes, which can lead to the need for dialysis or a kidney transplant, increasing the number of patients on the national organ transplant waiting list.

According to Donate Life America, there were 1,995 Black donors and 5,857 Black organ transplant recipients in 2011. The same year, there were 1,891 Hispanic donors and 3,923 Hispanic organ transplant recipients. The goal is to inspire people from multicultural communities to become organ/tissue donors.

Transplant Games Closing Ceremonies Tonight

The Transplant Games of America are wrapping up today in Grand Rapids Michigan. Participants from all across the United States came together in a competition event to take part in sporting events such as swimming, volleyball, track and field and more. It has also been a time to honor and remember those who have given the gift of life, so that many others can have a second chance.

Congratulations to all participants for bringing in the GOLD by showing the world to benefits of organ donation and transplantation. We're proud of your achievements!!

For those of us at home you can visit the link below to watch the live stream of the closing ceremonies for the games scheduled for tonight, Tuesday, July 31st at 7:00pm.


National Minority Donor Awareness Week


August 1st Starts National Minority Donor Awareness Week.

Observed annually, National Minority Donor Awareness Week was created to increase awareness of the need for more organ, eye, and tissue donors, especially among minorities. Now in its 16th year, this special observance honors minorities who have been donors, and encourages others to register as donors and take better care of their health in order to reduce the number needing a transplant.

Waiting List Candidates by Ethnicity*

Donation Data: African Americans
Get data and statistics about organ donation.
Donation Data: Asians
Get data and statistics about organ donation.
Donation Data: Hispanics/Latinos
Get data and statistics about organ donation.
Donation Data: Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders
Get data and statistics about organ donation.

*Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN). Data as of May 25, 2012.

In 2011:
  • 40%of all those receiving transplants were minorities
  • 70%of minority transplant recipients received kidneys
  • 34%of all deceased donors were minorities

Parkside man wins two gold medals at Transplant Games

Delaware County Times | Patti Mengers

Howard Pritchard, an organ donor currently competing in the Transplant Games of America at Grand Valley State University in Michigan, will be bringing home the gold this week.

The 60-year-old Parkside resident finished first for living donor in his age group on Saturday for his performance in the transplant games’ 5K and on Monday for executing the 100-meter dash in 16.46 seconds. Pritchard is part of the award-winning Team Philadelphia with at least five other Delaware County organ recipients or donors. The transplant games began Saturday and end today.

Today he is planning to compete in bowling, the event his brother, John “Matt” Pritchard, competed in before his death at age 42 from juvenile diabetes in 2001. In 1991,
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LifeShare Oklahoma - 'I am Hope'

LifeShare Oklahoma
This week, Donate Life Oklahoma will be sharing their stories of hope. 

Brian and Audra Skaggs could not have imagined the struggle that lay ahead when their son Jhett was born. A small clue came when Jhett stopped breathing and he had to be taken to the neonatal intensive care unit. Doctors said there were small holes in his heart and that they would heal.

Audra, a pre-kindergarten teacher at Lexington Elementary School, and Brian, a cattle rancher had been eagerly awaiting the arrival of their second child. They already had a beautiful daughter, Merit and they knew she was going to be a wonderful big sister to the new baby. When her baby brother arrived, they were all thrilled. At first, Jhett seemed to be thriving. Then, at around four months, Audra began to notice that Jhett would nurse for a little while and then scream. They tried formula, but the screaming episodes were lasting longer, sometimes 20 minutes at a time.

Elderly woman killed while jaywalking in Edinburg

Valley Central | Action 4 News
Family speaks out about woman's death and her life

An elderly Edinburg woman is dead after she was hit by a car while crossing the street on Sunday night.

It all happened off Schunior Road and 18th Street around 8:45 p.m. Sunday.

Edinburg police told Action 4 News that a 2001 Dodge passenger car hit 69-year-old Maria De Los Angeles Garza while she was crossing the street.

Paramedics rushed Garza to a local hospital with serious injuries but she died a short while later.

According to police, the 20-year-old male driver was not under the influence of alcohol or drugs. He will not be cited.

Caregiver in need of transplant support

Rome News Tribune | Brittany Hannah
Photo: The Rome Area History Museum is hosting a fundraiser for Harriet Powell to help offset the costs of medication associated with a needed kidney transplant. (Contributed photo)

Caring for others has come naturally for 58-year-old Rome native Harriet Powell. After graduating high school, Powell began studying nursing at Coosa Valley Tech and has strived to improve others’ quality of life at several hospitals and care positions since then.

“I just always loved working in the nursing field and helping people,” said Powell. “It was just a thrill and I really enjoyed it.”

Powell is now faced with her own medical hurdle. She is in need of a kidney transplant because of her diabetes and has been on a waiting list for the past year.

“It takes a toll on your life,” said Powell. “It’s a lifestyle change, but I’m still grateful that they do have dialysis to sustain your life until you do get a transplant.”

In order to offset the expensive costs of medications that will help prevent transplant organ rejection, the Rome Area History Museum is hosting a dinner and dance fundraiser for Powell on Aug. 11 at 8 p.m. with unlimited food and drink provided for a minimum donation of $15.

Powell is enrolled in the Georgia Transplant Foundation’s Transplant Fundraising Program and is eligible to receive a dollar-for-dollar match of as much as $10,000 that will be used for post-transplant related costs.

Read more: RN-T.com - Caregiver in need of transplant support

Jeff Seidel: Walking miracles abound at Transplant Games

Detroit Free Press | Jeff Seidel

ALLENDALE -- Chink. Chink. Chink.

Chris Spieth walked down a sidewalk with three gold medals clanging together at his chest. His singlet dipped down, revealing a pink scar down the middle of his chest.

Spieth, a 16-year-old from Sheboygan, Wis., received a heart transplant on June 8, 2010.

"I feel amazing," Spieth said Monday after winning the 100, 200 and long jump at the 2012 Transplant Games of America at Grand Valley State University.

Anne Spieth, his mom, smiled hard, looking around. "Everywhere you look," she said, "there are walking miracles."

More than 1,000 athletes from 40 states are in the Grand Rapids area for this event, which features donors and recipients competing in a range of sports, including basketball, cycling, bowling, golf, swimming, tennis and volleyball.

If the Olympic Games are about bringing the world together in the spirit of peace and competition, then this was something even more powerful. This was a celebration of life and generosity and trying to win a gold medal to honor somebody else.
3-kidney, 1-heart relay team

This was my favorite moment. One single race.

6-month-old still waiting for heart transplant

WISTV, Columbia South Carolina | Meagan Norman
CHARLESTON, SC (WIS) -Are you an organ donor? Have you ever thought about what would happen if someday you were on the transplant list?

A 6-month-old girl is in that position at MUSC. She needs a heart, and right now has an artificial heart keeping her alive.

The device, a Berlin Heart, is a rare device that has to be shipped to the hospital when needed.
Doctors say it often leaves patients in better shape for a transplant, but the waiting and not
knowing when that time will come can be difficult for any family.

Colleen Mullis blogs at the cribside of her 6-month-old daughter, Kathryn Ann. For the last 2 months, she's re-located from Columbia to Charleston's MUSC hospital while her baby waits for a heart.

"When she was born she was a perfectly normal, healthy baby. Nothing had appeared," Mullis said.

With no indication then that anything was wrong, Mullis and her husband took their daughter home to join their 2-year-old son, Vann. For 2 months, they thought they had a healthy and happy little girl and family, but a pediatric appointment would change all that.

"She has something we call hydrotropic cardiomyopathy where the heart is very, very thick and very, very weak," said Dr. Minoo Kavarana, a pediatric surgeon.
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Monday, July 30, 2012

Stopping for Sportsmanship

Mid-America Transplant Services

Photo: Deven Shelton, left, and Team Virginia’s Joe Eitzel

If only the entire world would show the level of sportsmanship, friendship, and respect as the track and field competitors did Monday at the 2012 Transplant Games of America in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Meet Joe Eitzel. Joe is a member of Team Virginia and a 10-year-old liver recipient who had a rare disease called ornithine transcarbamylase deficiency (OTC). The condition causes ammonia to build up to unsafe levels in the blood because the liver lacks the necessary enzymes.

Many children with OTC have developmental delays and can’t walk. Joe ran the 50 meter dash Monday, but stopped just short of the finish line.

You see, Joe was competing against Deven Shelton from Team St. Louis. Deven is six-years-old and also has OTC. Deven uses a walker in 50 dash.

The two met at the 2010 Games in Madison, Wisconsin and had an instant bond.“Joe immediately took to Deven,” Joe’s father, Rich, said. “I think there was that connection. Joe knows TC.”

On Monday, Joe knew he was racing against Deven, and that he could beat Deven in the race. He also knew there were four competitors for three medals. As Deven made the walk down the front straight away in front of more than 1,000 fans cheering him on. Joe stopped just short of the finish line. He turned, and cheered for Deven until he crossed the finish line. Then Joe crossed the line.

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Parents of 15 month old boy on transplant waiting list plea for others to talk about organ donation

ITV News | Andy Bonner

Photo: Little Jack Morris remains in hospital in Newcastle Photo: ITV

The family of a 15 month old boy from Liverpool are urging parents to talk about organ donation.

Jack Morris is being kept alive by an artificial heart.

He's one of eight children under two years old waiting for a transplant.

Jack has been in hospital since March after doctors diagnosed why his breathing kept stopping.

He has dilated cardiomyopathy, which prevents oxygenated blood being pumped around the body properly. He's unlikely to survive without a new heart.

You just don't expect it. He was such a healthy baby. There are no words to describe what emotion I felt when I realised how severely sick he was.


Jack is being treated at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle - one of only two in the country to carry out children's heart transplants.

Back home in Anfield, Liverpool, Jack's father is trying to make life as normal as possible for big brother Alex.

Chris Morris is all too aware that Jack is one of eight children aged under two waiting for a new heart.

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Plumber turned genius painter after receiving a kidney transplant surgery


According to reports, the 44-year-old Gary Leif Dayton, currently living in southeast London with his wife Violetta Rita. A few years ago, unfortunately, suffer from polycystic kidney disease in critical condition. This is a serious hereditary disease, prone to renal dysfunction and the gradual deterioration of the development of polycystic kidney disease uremia. Boutros Boutros-Ghali’s father is 33 years old,air jordan, the disease claimed the life. In the organ transplant waiting lists, waiting for a long time, Gary finally looked forward to matching donated kidneys.

It is reported that in the past, art exhibitions, to “hate the extreme”, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, now began to frequently patronize the famous museum in London. Ghali convinced that his kidney donor is a “great painter”,christian louboutin, the latter drawing genius “genetic” gave him. Order to confirm his suspicions, he also devoted to who donated the family wrote a letter, and now are waiting for a reply. Boutros Boutros-Ghali said: “really is a famous painter,burberry pas cher, the genius ‘genetic’ to me, so amazing. People (from organ donors) that inherited personality traits, it is true.”

In a London hospital in 2008, he successfully treated kidney transplant, since then have one healthy kidney. Incredible, past the art know nothing about the Gali transplant, as if overnight, to artistic inspiration. Inspiration flowing, he started to use a brush to paint “canvas” in a variety of materials, transformed into “genius artist”!

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Transplant pioneer from Beverly helped launch the Betty Ford Center

Southtown Star Suntimes | Maureen ODonnell

Photo: Dr. James W. West (center) and fellow doctors Raymond P. Murphy (left) and Richard H. Lawler performed the world’s first human organ transplant in 1950 at Little Company of Mary Hospital in Evergreen Park.

Dr. James W. West made medical history when he helped perform the world’s first human organ transplant in 1950 at Little Company of Mary Hospital in Evergreen Park on a woman in desperate need of a kidney.

His subsequent research — and personal experience with alcohol dependence — led him to help launch the famed Betty Ford Center for treating addiction.

“He was beloved by Mrs. Ford,” said John Boop, president of the Betty Ford Center Foundation, who credits Dr. West with a large part of the California center’s success.

In 1975, the longtime Beverly resident helped Monsignor Ignatius McDermott found Chicago’s Haymarket Center, a pioneering facility for the treatment of substance abuse.

“He was the original ‘Most Interesting Man in the World,’ ” said his son, William J. West. At one time, “He played banjo in an all-doctor band to raise money for Little Company. It was the ‘Emergency Room All-Stars.’ ”

The last surviving physician from the historic kidney-transplant team, Dr. West died July 24 at his home in Palm Desert, Calif., at 98.

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The woman who lived

BY: Creig P. Sherburne, Atascadero News

Photo: Atascadero News photo Courtesy of Meara Schmidt · Meara Schmidt is on a last-ditch medical device which filters CO2 out of the blood. Here, hooked up to all the equipment during her four-month stay at the UCLA medical center, she goes for a stroll with her gear. • Creig P. Sherburne/Atascadero News · Srting scars from her trachea and ECMO treatments — you can't see the scar from the lung transplant — Meara and Jeffery Schmidt are just a couple of days away from celebrating their fifth wedding anniversary. As little as six weeks ago, they didn't think it would happen.

Atascadero residents Meara and Jeffrey Schmidt will celebrate their fifth wedding anniversary on Saturday July 28. They'll spend it fishing at Santa Margarita Lake.

This year's anniversary will be a very special one for the couple. Not only is Meara lucky to be alive at all, she's lucky that she's out of bed, able to walk on her own.

Meara has a genetic disease called cystic fi- brosis. It attacks the lungs causing thick, sticky mucus which traps infection-causing bacteria to build up. For Meara, it meant growing up with asthma-like conditions. But it also means she has to clear her lungs by coughing a lot more than other people.

She said that physical education classes, for instance, were all pretty tough.

"I've always had trouble, it's always been an ordeal," she said. "But I've always had encouraging parents."

But she always kept the disease under her hat, so to speak. She didn't want special treatment. "I always wanted people to know me, just me. I didn't want them to think of me as 'cystic fibrosis ,'" she said.

So she did what anybody would do: she lived life. She did things. She had friends. She met a guy and married him.

"I told [Jeffery] I had fibrosis from the very beginning," Meara said. "Being in the medical field , he knew what it was and he wanted to be with me. He is amazing and is the light of my life. I couldn't ask for anything more." Jeffery is a vet, working part time at an Atascadero office . He and Meara moved in with Jeffery's parents about a year ago, when he found a local job. Jeffery took the part time job in no small part because of Meara's illness.

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Transplant Games of America - Team Nebraska

Donate Life Nebraska

Follow Team Nebraska @ Donate Life Nebraska

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ESCONDIDO: San Diego Charger Eric Weddle to appear at fundraiser for local boy

Escondido | Eric Warth

Auction items are being sought for a dinner to help pay for transplant surgery needed by an Escondido boy with a rare condition.

Eli Olsen, 9, has hereditary pancreatitis, cystic fibrosis and celiac disease. Because of the condition of his pancreas, his diet is extremely limited, he often has severe pain and he receives much of his nutrition through liquids pumped directly into his heart.

Specialists have recommended an islet cell transplant and removal of his pancreas, and his family is trying to raise about $500,000 for the operation.

San Diego Charger Eric Weddle is scheduled to appear at a Sept. 8 dinner and silent auction in Mission Bay to benefit the family. Proceeds will go toward the Children Organ Transplant Association

To purchase tickets, visit: www.CotaForEliO.com or call Lyndsi Bennett at 800-366-2682, ext. 207.

To donate items to the auction, call Jenny Harkleroad at 760-715-8899.

Story source

Brain dead may be life-givers - India

Asian Age | Vinod Nedumudy 

States like Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka have made it mandatory for doctors to make queries and encourage relatives of the brain dead to donate organs

Swathi Krishna, the 17-year-old girl, who will soon be out of hospital with a slice of her aunt’s liver, has brought in to focus issues connected with organ donation in a State that still fights shy of the life-saving option.

Organ donation is intricate in Kerala even if one volunteers to donate out of humanitarian concern. If the donor is not a first degree relative, some 50 certificates have to be produced to facilitate organ donation.

A lot needs to be done in the State apart from relaxing laws and creating more awareness among people. It’s easier to use healthy organs of the brain dead patient and save lives, but that’s easier said than done.

“On the average 4,000 road accident deaths occur in Kerala and 10 per cent of them are brain-dead patients. However, at Amrita we’ve been able to get only three brain-dead patients in road accidents for liver donation in the last six years against a total 170 transplants,” says Dr S Sudheendran, who fixed the liver on Swathi and gave her a fresh lease of life.

Compared to this, Amrita used livers of 10 stroke victims to save as many lives. Of the 23 liver transplants done at Lakeshore Hospital so far, only one brain-dead patient’s organ was available.

Dr Philip Augustine, managing director and gastro chief at Lakeshore, said doctors, who broached organ donation with relatives, would be looked up on with suspicion in Kerala.

Awareness Day to promote minority organ donors

The Hour

WINDSOR -- LifeChoice Donor Services will celebrate the 16th National Minority Donor Awareness Day on Wednesday.

The nationwide observance aims to educate minorities of the desperate need for organ, eye and tissue donors within multicultural communities nationwide, according to a news release.

The observance encourages people from all racial and ethnic groups to become donors by registering at www.donatelifenewengland.org. It also draws special attention to minorities, who make up 56 percent of the more than 115,000 men, women and children on the national organ transplant waiting list.

Minorities are disproportionately affected by illnesses such as hypertension and diabetes, which can lead to end-stage renal disease and the need for dialysis or a kidney transplant, contributing to the higher number of minority patients on the national organ transplant waiting list.

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Shane’s Rib Shack Raises over $10,000 for the Georgia Transplant Foundation for Third Consecutive Year


FLOWERY BRANCH, GA (July 26, 2012) – Today, Shane’s Rib Shack presents a check for over $10,000 to the Georgia Transplant Foundation at the Shane’s Rib Shack Flowery Branch location. For the third consecutive year, Shane’s Rib Shack has partnered with The Georgia Transplant Foundation (GTF), to help raise money to support transplant recipients and donors throughout the Nation. Participating Shane’s Rib Shack locations raise money by donating $0.10 per drink sold in April and May to The Georgia Transplant Foundation to support their cause.

The Georgia Transplant Foundation, founded in 1992, provides financial, educational, and emotional support to transplant candidates, recipients, living donors, and their families throughout the state of Georgia. However, while the majority of their efforts are based in Atlanta, the foundation is able to reach out to those in need outside of Georgia, as long as one party– the recipient or donor - is a Georgia resident.

In three years, Shane’s Rib Shack is proud to have raised over $30,000 for the Georgia Transplant Foundation and plan to continue their support for years to come. Shane’s Rib Shack founder, Shane Thompson, has always been an avid community supporter. For updates on Shane’s Rib Shack’s community involvement, store openings and promotions follow Shane’s Rib Shack on Facebook, Twitter or visit their website at www.shanesribshack.com.

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Donate Life Inspires - Summer Sale

Donate Life Inspires

The creators of the Donate Life Inspires Jewelry have been personally touched by donation and have made it their passion to do all they can to provide hope, love and inspiration to those who have given, received or who are waiting for a life-saving transplant.

As we all know, no one asks to be in the situation of organ donation - either in need of a transplant or having a transplant - but we all share a common connection. It is through this connection that we are honored to create inspiring jewelry to wear each and every day to honor the life given, received, offer hope to those in need and inspire others.

Please join us by wearing a Donate Life Inspires piece to spread the message of hope, love, honor and passion to the community. You have the power to inspire others through your story of donation and honor life each and every day by wearing your piece with pride.
Click on image to order or for more information

Transplant Games of America - Team Utah - Idaho

Intermountain Transplant Center
Day 2 medal count: GOLD = 21; SILVER = 4; BRONZE = 4. Team Utah Idaho is on FIRE

Continue following Team Utah Idaho by visiting Intermountain Transplant Center Facebook Page

Transplant Games of America - Team Philly

Gift of Life Donor Program

Team Philly's medal count rises! Starting out Monday with 29 medals: 11 Gold, 15 Silver, 3 Bronze. Here are just a few medals our transplant athletes have won in bowling. Like if you support Team Philly!

To follow and support Team Philly, please visit Gift of Life Donor Program Facebook Page

Transplant Games of America - Chris Klug Foundation

Chris Klug Foundation
Photos from our colleague Chris Klug @ the Transplant Games of America.
To see more, please visit the Chris Klug Foundation Facebook Pages

Elsberry resident gives the gift of life to ailing family member

The Lincoln County Journal
Back Row from left to right is: daughter Stevie Hatcher, Elizabeth Hatcher, husband Shannon Hatcher and daughter Kaylie Hatcher. Front row left to right is: daughter Madison Abraham, son Brandon Abraham, daughter Morgan Abraham and Grandson Kye Garcia-Mauer Jr.

It is not often people get a second chance at life but for Elizabeth Hatcher, of Troy, chance was on her side.

For the last 12-years, Elizabeth has battled with kidney disease, an ailment that approximately 26 million Americans suffer with today, some unknowingly. Two years ago, Elizabeth went into full-blown kidney failure and doctors told her the only options available were to start looking for transplant options or to begin daily dialysis.

“At that point I put the word out there but doctors had me convinced that since I have a rare blood type, O Positive, that it could take the better part of three-years to find a match, if I could find one at all,” Elizabeth said. “I had 12 people step up to the plate and offer help but none of them were a match.”

Thinking she would never find a suitable match, Elizabeth said she began to feel uncertain of her fate. Then one night, coming back from a Christmas party, her answer came from an extremely unlikely person.

“My wife, Melissa, and I were on our way home one night after a party when she told me Elizabeth was in need of a kidney donor with an O Positive blood type,” said Justin Lawver, nephew-in-law to Elizabeth. “I looked at my wife and told her that I was O Positive and would be happy to donate one of my kidneys to her.”

Beautiful Women: Two heroes give gift of life to Glyndon woman

WDAY, Fargo ND | Kerstin Kealy
GLYNDON, Minn. (WDAY TV) - It's the greatest gift you can give: the gift of life. For a Kristi Fabre, organ donation has changed her life…twice over.

GLYNDON, Minn. (WDAY TV) - It's the greatest gift you can give: the gift of life.

For a Glyndon woman, organ donation has changed her life…twice over.

Kerstin Kealy introduces us to Forum Communications next Beautiful Woman.

In every fiber of her being, Kristi Fabre represents the beauty of optimism.

Our beautiful woman team had a chance to meet her at her Glyndon home. Kidney failure has plagued her from childhood, but you wouldn't know it. She has managed to stay strong and positive, sharing her story to inspire others.

It's a story that starts on the picturesque prairies of Clay County. A farmer's daughter growing up like any other child.

Kristi Fabre celebrated the first day of kindergarten, birthdays and holidays, and family vacations.

It was summer when everything changed. Kristi was just six years old.

GVSU to Host Organ Donor Recipients Workshops on Monday

Fox 17 | Haley Otman

ALLENDALE, Mich—If you've received an organ donation, a special workshop will take place Monday to give you some expert insight.

The workshops are made for participants of the 2012 Transplant Games.

Four different presentations are scheduled through Spectrum Health, and Grand Valley State University's Allendale Campus will host.

The event takes place Monday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., in Loutit Lecture Hall Room 101. The workshops are at 1:35 p.m. and 2:10 p.m.

Attendees can choose two workshops to attend. Their choices are:

- "Managing Stress Related to a Transplant"

- "Burned Out? Navigating Treatment Barriers"

- "Acknowledging Losses Within Transplant Gains"

- "A Shared Conversation about the TGA and Our Own Journeys"

NOTE: This workshop is not open to the media.

Spectrum Health is sponsoring the workshops as part of its sponsorship of the Transplant Games of America.

Editorial: Victory for all athletes in Transplant Games

Delaware County Times
All eyes may seem to be on London as the 2012 summer Olympics get into full-swing, but in Allendale, Mich., another event is under way that celebrates athletes with exclusive qualifications.

They are the more than 1,000 organ transplant recipients and donors from 46 states who are participating in the Transplant Games of America at Grand Valley State University.

Formerly known as the U.S. Transplant Games, the event was sponsored every two years by the National Kidney Foundation from 1990 until 2010.

Now the West Michigan Sports Commission and Spectrum Health are hosting the Olympic-style competition for organ transplant recipients and donors with the help of at least 14 co-sponsors.

Nevertheless, the athletes have had to do fundraising of their own in order to compete. Howard Pritchard raised $1,500 with the help of friends, family members, doctors, business associates and anyone else he could tap, so he could travel to the transplant games.

“I do it for him and I do it for me,” said the 60-year-old Parkside resident.

The “him” to whom he was referring, was his younger brother John “Matt” Pritchard. He died at the age of 42 on July 1, 2001, 31 years after he was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes.

Sharing the gift of Michelle's love - Australia

Monash Weekly | Daniel Tran
Heartbroken parents: Sherryl and Kumar Siriwardene with a picture of their daughter Michelle, who passed away when she was only 29. Picture: Gary Sissons

IN the last few seconds of her life, Michelle Parker looked her father, mother and husband in the eye and told her she loved them. Then she closed her eyes.

When her life support machine was turned off earlier this year, she didn't wake up again. She was only 29.

A scan would later reveal she had suffered a massive brain haemorrhage.

When Kumar Siriwardene remembers his daughter, it's impossible not to hear the love in his voice.

"She probably crammed 50 years worth of life into her 29 years," he says fondly. "She enjoyed her life thoroughly, up to the last day she lived."

Early last year, Kumar was on the phone to his daughter about 6.30pm. She was unwell and thought she was coming down with a cold.

But about 10pm, the Siriwardenes received a call from their new son-in-law, Ash, saying Michelle had collapsed and was screaming in pain. She wanted her mother, Sherryl.

Dropping everything, the couple sped to Michelle and Ash's home. But by the time they got there, she had already collapsed and had been revived by the paramedics.

Opening weekend of Transplant Games in Grand Rapids called 'spectacular'

M Live | Brian Van Ochten
Two competitors embrace after a race Sunday, July 29, 2012 at the 2012 Transplant Games of America at Grand Valley State University. (Sally Finneran | MLive)

ALLENDALE, MI -- Steve VanHeest stood on the deck of the Grand Valley State University pool Sunday afternoon and surveyed the scene while jubilant participants in the swimming competition had medals placed around their necks at the Transplant Games of America.

He just couldn't stop smiling.

VanHeest, who won three medals himself in the pool, felt an overwhelming sense of pride following the first full day of events at the Olympic-style sports festival for organ-transplant recipients from across the nation.

"It's just a blast," said VanHeest, the director of pastoral care at Spectrum Health. "I'm so proud of the West Michigan Sports Commission and Spectrum Health for saving this event and doing a good job of putting it on. We kept the games alive. All of this would not have happened without the involvement of a lot of important and caring people. It's community involvement and philanthropy with a heart."

The Kidney Foundation cancelled the U.S. Transplant Games after last year's event.

In its place, a local organizing effort, inspired by kidney transplant recipient T.J. Maciak of Hudsonville and led by sports marketing executive Bill Ryan and the Sports Commission, rescued the event.

It has been reborn as the Transplant Games of America on the GVSU campus.

Paying it forward: Oklahoma woman's kidney donation continues to help others

News OK | Jaclyn Cosgrove
Liz Gay meets Michalis Helmis at a hospital in Toledo for the first time. Gay, of Woodward, made the decision to donate her kidney to a stranger, and it turned out to be Helmis. The donation sparked the first intercontinental kidney exchange along with a chain of kidney donations. - Courtesy of Liz Gay

It's not easy to explain now, but at 8 years old, Liz Gay knew that she would one day donate a kidney.

Not just knew — felt called by God.

The 31-year-old Oklahoman doesn't pretend that it's easy to explain, but her premonition set off a historical chain of events that saved lives across the globe.

“I think most people have the idea that they want the world to be a better place and that there are things in the world that need to be changed,” Gay, who lives in Woodward, said. “And to think that I got to mildly participate in something that's changing the world, that's changing countries' laws and giving people the opportunity to get these kidney transplants to potentially live when they were dying — it gets me emotional.”

Gay is what's known as an altruistic donor, a healthy person who donated a kidney without a specific person in mind as the recipient. To start the donation process, Gay went to the Alliance for Paired Donation and signed up to donate.

Once she passed through the screening and testing process, a recipient was selected, a man living across the Atlantic Ocean.

Michalis Helmis, a resident of Greece, had been on dialysis for six years. Initially, his wife, Theodora Papaioannou-Helmis, signed up to be his donor. But when doctors ran the tests, they determined she wasn't a match.

Transplant Games of America - Team Maryland

The Living Legacy Foundation
The 2012 Transplant Games of America are finally here! From July 27th – August 1st, Team Maryland, comprised of twenty-nine transplant recipients, living donors, and donor family members will travel to Grand Rapids, Michigan to represent Maryland as they compete in Olympic-style events. Like the Team Maryland Facebook page to stay updated on their progress at the games.

Team Maryland continued to rack up the medals in yesterday’s events:

Swimming – 100 Breast
Hilary Hoagwood, liver recipient – Gold Medal

Swimming – 50 Fly
Hilary Hoagwood, liver recipient – Silver Medal

Swimming – 100 Free
Hilary Hoagwood, liver recipient – Bronze Medal

Swimming – 50 Back
Jose Vargas, heart recipient – Silver Medal
Mike Gahagan, kidney recipient – Bronze Medal

Norm Biondi, living donor – Gold Medal
Christa Gahagan, living donor – Gold Medal
Roy DeGrange, kidney recipient – Silver Medal

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Transplant Games of America - Team Ohio

LifeCenter Organ Donor Network

Transplant Games of America - Team Philly

Team Philly

Transplant Games of America - The Power of Four - Part Deux

The Power of Two
Follow the Power of Two

'I'm just an average person': 20-year-old becomes the youngest ever Good Samaritan organ donor in Britain after giving his kidney to a stranger

The Daily Mail | Anthony Bond

Risking your own life for a complete stranger is a tough decision at any age.
But at the tender age of 20, it is even more remarkable.

But that is exactly what Sam Nagy has just done - to become the youngest ever 'Good Samaritan' organ donor in Britain.

This month the banking administrator had an operation to remove one of his kidneys - which will now go to a complete stranger.

The brave decision by Mr Nagy, from Huddersfield, was taken despite his mother expressing her concerns and admitting that she does not completely understand what motivated him.

Speaking to The Sunday Times, he said the first person he spoke to about his decision thought he was too young and should wait a while.
'By the time I had done all the research... I thought "I am quite mature for my age, what difference is a few years going to make?"

'If there are people on the waiting list who are in quite a bad way... what is the reason for waiting a few years?'

When he applied to become a donor, doctors did not express concerns about his age. His believes this is because he had carried out thorough research into the procedure.

But one person who did raise serious concerns was his mother, Karen, who said she was apprehensive about the operation.

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{Register to be an organ,eye and tissue donor. To learn how, www.donatelife.net or www.organdonor.gov}

Ms. T | For lack of simple diabetes care, a double transplant

Kansas City Star | Alan Bavley

Not too many people know that T’s kidneys failed, and the 29-year-old Kansas City, Kan., woman wants to keep it that way.

She’s always been independent and self-sufficient and doesn’t want others to view her as disabled because she has been on dialysis.

But self-reliance can go only so far. Some things only money can buy, like the diabetes supplies T needs to survive. When she couldn’t afford them, her health took a dive.

T has had type 1 diabetes since she was 11. That’s the kind of diabetes caused by a childhood autoimmune disorder, rather than by adult obesity. T’s diabetes requires regular shots of insulin and frequent blood tests to make sure her sugar levels don’t spike too high or drop too low.

All her supplies — the blood test strips, the insulin, the syringes — were covered by her mother’s insurance when T was a child. But T turned 18 long before the Affordable Care Act made it possible for adult children to stay on their parents’ health plans.

T entered junior college and eventually graduated with a marketing degree. She has worked low-paying jobs at gas stations and restaurants, earning barely enough to get by. Diabetes supplies cost more than $400 per month.

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{Register to be an organ,eye and tissue donor. To learn how, www.donatelife.net or www.organdonor.gov}

Athletes ready for European Transplant Games

Irish Examiner

A team of 26 athletes who survived organ transplants or are on dialysis will represent Ireland against the best of Europe next month.

Nine women and 17 men aged from 18 to 74 years will take part in the European Transplant & Dialysis Games in Croatia.

All have had a kidney, liver or pancreas transplant or are on dialysis.

Renowned transplant surgeon Dr David Hickey – who won three All-Ireland football titles in the 1970s – paid tribute to the sports men and women.

“The goal of successful organ transplantation is not only to save lives, but also to enable the complete physical, social, mental and spiritual rehabilitation of people with organ failure,” said the Director of Transplantation at Beaumont Hospital.

“The success of this aspiration is gloriously seen in this group of heroic warriors who will represent themselves, their donors and Ireland at the Transplant Games & Dialysis Games this August.

“They are true Corinthians and more.”

The athletes will compete in badminton, tennis, cycling, darts, golf, petanque, swimming, table tennis, ten pin bowling, tennis, volleyball, mini-marathon and track and field events.

Team captain Harry Ward from Baldoyle, Dublin, has represented Ireland around the world both as a dialysis patient and, in recent years, as a transplant recipient. He had a kidney transplant in 2007.

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{Register to be an organ,eye and tissue donor. To learn how, www.donatelife.net or www.organdonor.gov}

Transplant Games of America - The Power of Four

The Power of Two
Four amazing women, with four double lung and two liver transplants among them? Gold in the 200M medley relay at the 2012 Transplant Games of America! - with Jill Nolen, Isabel Stenzel Byrnes, Anna Modlin and Ana Stenzel.

Drive to expand Medicaid is stalled

But the safety net has some gaping holes, and political uncertainties could make them even bigger...patients end up disabled, on organ transplant lists or suffering chronic pain because the help wasn’t there.

Patients with cancer, unstable heart disease, uncontrolled diabetes — they all show up at Southwest Boulevard Family Health Care looking for help.

Their problems are critical. They need tests, surgery, specialized treatments.

There’s just so much that Sharon Lee, the family practice doctor who runs this Kansas City, Kan., safety-net clinic, can do for them. And sometimes it’s not enough. Her patients end up disabled, on organ transplant lists or suffering chronic pain because the help wasn’t there.

“Everybody believes our society is taking care of people in dire straits, and it’s not,” Lee said.

That’s why she was thrilled that the Affordable Care Act was going to expand Medicaid, the government health insurance program for the poor, in 2014 to cover an additional 16 million people nationwide.

The ACA, “Obamacare” to its detractors, calls for offering free Medicaid coverage to almost all adults with a household income of 133 percent of the federal poverty level or less. In Kansas, Missouri and most other states now, few non-elderly adults qualify for Medicaid unless they have children living at home. With expansion, a single adult with an income of as much as about $15,000 would be eligible.

But last month, the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on the ACA upset that plan. While the court left intact the law’s demand that many people buy health insurance or face financial penalties, it overturned the mandate that states expand their Medicaid programs. So it’s up to each state whether it buys in to the new benefits.

Lee estimated that as many as a fourth of her clinic’s more than 5,000 patients would be newly qualified if Medicaid eligibility expanded. They would gain greater access to hospitals, imaging centers and specialists that now are often out of reach.
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Andover family turns transplant story into something positive

New Jersey Herald | Jessica Masulli Reyes
Photo by Daniel Freel/New Jersey Herald - Jackson Heller, 10, right, plays basketball with his brother, Travis, 5, left, outside of their Andover Township home. Jackson has received two life saving liver transplants.

ANDOVER TWP. — Jackson Heller, 10, has received what golfers like to call a mulligan — a second chance, a do-over.

His second chance came from a lifesaving liver transplant, but Jackson and his family have never forgotten that others are still waiting for their chance. The Andover Township family has raised nearly $200,000 over the last eight years through the annual Jackson's Mulligan on Life Golf Outing to help others in need of organ transplants.

Most recently, the Hellers' efforts funded a family activity center for the Gift of Life Family House, a new home away from home in Philadelphia for family members of
transplant patients to stay at while receiving care at local hospitals.

"It feels great (to help)," Jackson said. "It was rough for my family ... so I know those families must feel pretty scared."

On a recent sunny afternoon, as Jackson played basketball in the driveway with his sister and brother, his mom Gabrielle Heller explained that her son has not always been so healthy and active. Jackson was born with biliary atresia, which means that he was born without the tubes that carry liquid bile from the liver to the small intestine.

If untreated, the disease can lead to liver failure. Jackson was diagnosed with this rare congenital disease at his 8-week check-up, and within two weeks he had his first surgery to connect the liver to the small intestine.

"It was done to put the liver transplant off, but his wasn't a success," Gabrielle Heller said.

Jackson was placed on a transplant list at 14 months old, and after a few months a liver became available from a 1-year-old child that died. He underwent the transplant at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, while his family stayed nearby in a Ronald McDonald House in order to cut down on the three-hour trips from home to the hospital.
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Games expected to generate $2 million impact


GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM)- The 2012 Transplant Games of America are underway in Grand Rapids.

Opening ceremonies at Van Andel Arena Saturday night set the stage for the three day competition, involving 1,100 athletes who are alive today because of transplant surgeries and living donors. The athletes are representing 48 states in 12 sports.

"These people are here to help celebrate Grand Rapids along with organ donation and transplantation, so it's great for the city. Everybody's been raving about what a great city it is, and we're just so excited to have [the games] here," said Bill Ryan, chairman of the Transplant Games of America.

The five day event is expected to inject $2 million into the local economy. The 2012 Transplant Games of America run through Tuesday.