Thursday, February 28, 2013

Organ and Tissue Donation Helps Former Local Student

WIFR | Whitney Martin
ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Right now there are 6,000 people on a waiting list for an organ or tissue donation in Illinois. The state says of those patients, nearly 400 will die this year while waiting for a match, but not all conditions are life threatening.

Former Harlem football stand-out Brenton Benedict went from breezing by the sidelines to sitting on them, after suffering a sports related knee injury five years ago.

“I try playing it starts to hurt and it gives out again, even when I wear a brace while I play,” said Benedict.

Now in college, the 19-year-old is taking a new approach to healing his pain after more than three unsuccessful surgeries, his dad Steven put him on an organ and tissue donor's list to receive new cartilage and a section of that supports the knee cap.

It took six months to find a match. Benedict had surgery at Rush Hospital in Chicago. We're told parts from the transplant came from a 14 year old who recently died.
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{Register to be an organ,eye and tissue donor. To learn how, or}


[WASHINGTON, DC] – U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Thad Cochran (R-MS) introduced bipartisan legislation to improve the quality of life for people with kidney disease. The Comprehensive Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage for Kidney Transplant Patients Act would assist thousands of Americans under the age of 65 who are being cut off from Medicare after 36 months by extending coverage of immunosuppressive drugs for kidney transplant recipients.

According to United Network for Organ Sharing, approximately 25,000 organ transplants were performed last year in the United States. The vast majority of transplants – over 15,150 Americans in 2012 – are provided to patients in need of a kidney because they are living with end stage renal disease (ESRD) or kidney failure. However, for thousands of working Americans who have not yet reached 65 and are not disabled, treatment coverage is cut off after 36 months regardless of their ability to pay for lifesaving therapy that can run more than $1,000 a month.

“Of the 100,000 patients waiting for an kidney transplant, those patients lucky enough to undergo a successful transplant should not have to worry about being able to pay for the medication that will reduce the risk of organ rejection,” said Durbin. “In 2000, Congress passed legislation that provided older or disabled individuals lifetime coverage for immunosuppressive drugs through Medicare. Today’s legislation will extend that coverage to all patients trying to live healthy lives after kidney transplants.”
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DPS Signs Up Record Number of Organ Donors

NBC DFW | Kristi Nelson

NBC 5. A heart-shaped donor log is embedded on the donor's license or ID card -- legal proof of the person's consent to donate his or her organs.
Procedural changes at DPS leads to surge of potential organ donors
The Texas Department of Public Safety is signing up Texans in record numbers to be organ and tissue donors.

A heart-shaped donor log is embedded on the donor's license or ID card -- legal proof of the person's consent to donate his or her organs. The person's family cannot revoke the decision.

"When we first started the registry, we couldn't get 50,000 registered in a year," said Pam Silvestri, Southwest Transplant Alliance spokeswoman. "And we got triple that in 30 days in January."

In January 2013, 152,000 people registered to be organ and tissue donors, more than the two previous January totals combined.
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NHS Organ Donation Campaign - St Andrews Partnership - UK

NHS Organ Donation Campaign

If you believe in organ donation, prove it

Would you take an organ if you needed one? Nearly everyone would. But only 31% of us have joined the Organ Donor Register.

More than 10,000 people in the UK currently need a transplant. Of these, 1000 each year – that's three a day - will die waiting as there are not enough organs available.

Please help us to turn people’s good intentions about organ donation into action by registering on the NHS Organ Donor Register.

2013 Dash Best Dressed Contest

Gift of Life Donor Program 
Every year, dozens of teams show their pride and create their own t-shirts. We are always blown away by the creativity and passion our supporters put into their designs. It really brings it all home for everyone at the Dash to walk around and see a sea of color and tons of messages of support surrounding around the Art Museum and up West River Drive

This year, we’re upping the ante. We want to know who is the best dressed team at the Dash and we’re letting our Facebook fans decide by a popular vote. Submissions are now open, so start brainstorming and submitting your designs! OnApril 13 at midnight, voting will open and you and all your friends and family will be able to votes once per day until 11:59 pm on Friday, April 19th. The winning team will receive a special award on stage at the Dash and be crowned the 2013 Best Dressed Team at the Dash! Make sure to share your story of why you run the Dash in your submission. Be creative. Be inspiring. Tell your story. Have fun!

Glenview physician joins Kari’s Klimbers up the Hancock

Glenview Announcements | Kathy Routliffe
Steven Ferkau of Chicago, a double lung transplant receiver, participated in the Hustle Up The Hancock event on Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013. | Ryan Pagelow~Sun-Times Media

GLENVIEW — When Dinesh Shah’s niece told him last year about “Hustle Up the Hancock”, the 94-floor climb to the top of that Chicago architectural landmark, he was intrigued. The Glenview resident and physician was also disappointed; he’d missed the chance to take part.

This year, though, niece Krishna Patel of Skokie signed both she and her uncle up to be part of Chicago resident Steve Ferkau’s 120-strong Hustle team. Bright and early Sunday morning the two joined a river of climbers toiling to the 94th floor of the Hancock. Shah, resting up after the Feb. 24 challenge, estimated he made it in about 33 minutes, while his niece beat him handily by hitting the top in about 24 minutes.

In completing their climbs, Shah, Patel and other members of “Kari’s Klimbers” helped Ferkau raise money for the Respiratory Health Association, while also raising the public’s awareness of the need for life-saving organ transplants.

Ferkau’s team name commemorates Kari Westberg, the 17-year-old Iowa teen whose lungs, donated to Ferkau 13 years ago following her fatal aneurysm, saved his life when his own lungs, destroyed by cystic fibrosis, failed him.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Organ Donation Provides Diabetes Patients With Sudden, Life-Changing Cure


Three diabetes patients were cured overnight this month after they received a new pancreas at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, showing how organ donations can help save lives. NY1's Health reporter Erin Billups filed the following report.

Both Leander Torres of Richmond Hill, Queens and Neal Bertron of Long Island have lived most of their lives with type 1 diabetes.

"You've got to take shots every night, maybe three to four times a day. It was a challenge," Torres says.

But after receiving new pancreata, they are now cured.

"It's a dramatic, immediate effect," says Dr. Lloyd Ratner, a transplant surgeon at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center.
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Kidney recipient celebrates one year post-transplant

My Monticello News | Melissa Cason
Nena Thomas celebrates a birthday Thursday, Feb. 28. It’s not her actual birthday, but it’s the day she began to live again after spending more than seven months on dialysis.

“Thursday will be a year ago since my kidney transplant,” Thomas declared. “Me and my donor (Tasha Butler) will be celebrating our birthday this weekend.”

For Thomas, her journey to the transplant table was long, frustrating and filled with disappointment.

Thomas’ journey began when she was diagnosed with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, or FSG. According to medical journals, FSG is an illness where scar tissue forms in some of the glomeruli of the kidney.

Because of her condition, Thomas had to have dialysis three times per week.

“It was draining on me,” Thomas said of her dialysis treatments in October 2011. “It maked me so tired.”

Since there is no cure for FSG, Thomas was told she needed a kidney transplant.

In the beginning, 16 possible donors were tested to find a match for Thomas. In late 2011, Thomas said her son, Michael Lochala, was her best chance because he is her son, even though they have a different blood type.

She explained the doctors at UAMS wanted to try an experimental transplant that would allow her A positive son to donate his kidney to Thomas even though her blood type is O positive.
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Distribution plan for kidney donations stirs ethical debate in United States


It makes no sense, say organ transplant experts, to put a kidney likely to last five years in a young, otherwise healthy recipient bound to live many more decades. Photo credit: ©2013 Thinkstock

To Americans, the notion of medical rationing is distinctly un-American. They hold firmly to the ethic that everyone should have an equitable shot at treatment and cures, even if that ideal holds up far better in theory than in practice.

Now, a proposed overhaul of the US kidney donation system has put the uncomfortable question of rationing squarely in the face of policy-makers and medical professionals.

It's a debate likely to become familiar across the landscape of US health care as the medical system grapples with overbearing demands from an aging population, as well as an expected surge in patients resulting from the expansion of insurance in President Barack Obama's health care law.

In short, the proposal is to match the best 20% of kidneys from deceased donors with the 20% of recipients who are most likely to live the longest with those organs. The remaining 80% of kidneys and patients would be paired largely as they are now, by a standard waiting list adjusted for geographic location and a few other factors.
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Promising breakthrough for transplant patients

Science Codex
A team led by Dr. Marie-Josée Hébert from the University of Montreal Hospital* Research Centre (CRCHUM) has discovered a new cause of organ rejection in some kidney transplant patients. Her team has identified a new class of antibodies – anti-LG3 – which when activated lead to severe rejection episodes associated with a high rate of organ loss. This discovery, which holds promise for organ recipients, was published in the online version of the American Journal of Transplantation.

Rejection is one of the major obstacles to organ transplantation. For the most part, it occurs when the recipient's immune system recognizes the transplanted organ as a foreign body that must be eliminated. However, even when there is a good donor-recipient immunologic match, the recipient's immune system can attack the transplanted organ's blood vessels. Called acute vascular rejection, this phenomenon often leads to a high rate of graft loss.
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(Not so) New discussion of monetary incentives for organ donation

Market Design|Al Roth
Update: a comment correctly points out that I somehow linked to an old story below:(I'll follow with some more up to date material tomorrow...)

NBC news has the story, on the latest, cautious support for amendments to the 1984 National Organ Transplant Act that prohibit even experiments designed to understand the effect of monetary incentives on organ donation:

Docs push for tests of cash rewards for organs: Medical group wants to go beyond altruism to motivate cadaver donors

Most people who donate organs after death need no reward beyond altruism, but others could use a little nudge, according to the nation’s doctors.

That’s why the AMA has waded into the controversial waters of offering financial incentives for cadaver organ donations, a proposition that can’t even be examined without modifying the National Organ Transplantation Act.What’s not so clear to the American Medical Association is what kind of incentives — and in what amounts — might encourage potential organ donors and their family members to follow through.

That’s the 1984 federal law that prohibits payment or any kind of “valuable consideration” for organ donation.

This month, the AMA voted to move forward with plans to amend the law to allow pilot studies to settle the incentive issue.
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Stop using illicit Chinese organ transplants: experts

Taipei Times | By Alison Hsiao
‘BLOODY HARVEST’:More than 88% of Taiwanese who go abroad for their transplants go to China, where forced harvesting from executed prisoners is reportedly common

Foreign medical and legal specialists yesterday discussed legislative developments in their home countries on regulating organ transplants abroad and urged the Taiwanese government to recognize the seriousness of the organ-harvesting crimes perpetrated in China and to legislate against organ transplants using illicit or unknown organ sources.

In a round-table discussion organized by the Foundation of Medical Professionals Alliance in Taiwan, doctors and human rights advocates invited by the Taiwan International Care Association for Organ Transplants called any organ transplant done at the expense of another person’s life and “organ harvesting” undertaken without the consent of the organ providers “a crime against humanity.”

In the context of the growing global demand for organ transplants in recent years, illegal trafficking and trade of human organs and transplant tourism have raised serious concerns and caused raging controversies.
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On The Waiting List With Jhett....Day 107

Donate Life Oklahoma

Jhett is a six year old Oklahoma heart recipient who has been placed on the transplant waiting list for a second new heart. He went back on the waiting list in Houston on November 13, 2012. Here is the latest update from his mom, Audra:

Jhett had his clinic visit this week. It went well. His heart function has actually improved by 15%. His heart rate is still high so the doctor has increased one of his meds to slow his heart rate a little more. They took some extra blood to keep his tissue type up to date. The antigens in Jhett's body are the recognition system for knowing what is invading his body and what is not. A donor heart is seen as an invader, so if the antigens are lower the less likely the body will reject it. Jhett's antigens are not in a high percentage so he has a better chance of getting a donor heart sooner than someone whose antigens are much higher.

We have to keep in mind this go around that we are transplanting a donor heart in place of another donor heart which makes it more complicated. The meds have got to work harder together to refuse rejection this time. 

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Shake your way to the MVA

Living Legacy Foundation
The Living Legacy Foundation performs in the Harlem Shake in support of organ, eye and tissue donation.

FROM the FARM: Chocolate Chip Muffins a heartfelt recipe | By Philip Potempa
Valparaiso University sophomore Barrett Younghans, 20, of Goshen, Ind. displays his recipe for Chocolate Chip Muffins.

February is National American Heart Month.

It's been extra special for one of the students in my public speaking class at Valparaiso University.

Barrett Younghans just celebrated his one-year anniversary during Valentine's Day week for when he received a heart transplant.

Younghans, 20, of Goshen, Ind., is a sophomore and in fine health, all courtesy of his gift from an organ donor. Of course, every day, he takes 30 pills, many prescribed as assurance his body won't resist his new heart as it continues to adapt to his body.

Younghans was a high school athlete who played football, baseball and was on the swim team. His father, Barry Younghans, is principal of Goshen High School, and his mother, Lisa, is a sixth-grade teacher.

J-Walk'N Organ Donor Registry Drive comes to Parkway North

St Louis Today 
J-Walk'N Organ Donor Registry Drive

Event Date: April 6, 2013 – Saturday 
Time: Register 8:30am
Organ Donor Registry Drive
J-Walk’N Contact Information: Vanessa Hughes – 314-581-2934

St. Louis Missouri April is organ donor awareness month. 

The Larry Hughes Foundation is proud to announce the recent partnership opportunity with the Parkway North High School for the 3rd Annual J’Walk N, an organ donor registry drive in honor of Justin B. Hughes and Dana Spencer (organ donor). 

We are encouraging the students from all Parkway High Schools to join us as we attempt to spread the word about the need of potential organ donors. We are inviting our corporate sponsors, local dignitaries and all of our surrounding communities. Our mission is to sign up 300 new organ donors by the end of 2013. We are reaching out to the community to help the foundation reach the goal.
Visit our website for updated information:

Eugene Woman Receives Double Organ Transplant

KLCC Eugene Oregon NPR | Tiffany Eckert
Ten months ago Eugene resident Renee Dale was on a waiting list for an organ transplant at Oregon Health and Science Center. The 46-year old diabetic needed a new kidney and pancreas. Last month, Renee got the news she’d been waiting for--compatible organs had been donated and were ready for her.

Renee: “I got the call on Martin Luther King’s birthday and the surgery was done that evening. The first couple days were pretty rough but every day since then has just been a blessing.”

Since she was diagnosed with Type I diabetes as a child, Renee Dale's world has revolved around insulin shots and food restrictions. Then, she needed surgeries and dialysis just to stay alive. Following the transplant, Renee is experiencing something new: freedom.
“I pretty much can do anything.”

No more shots or dialysis treatments. Right after the 8-hour surgery, Renee’s new pancreas started producing insulin. The new kidney began filtering toxins, controlling her blood pressure and-- making urine, something her body had *not done on its own for six years. 

Organ donor bills go to governor's office

Rapid City Journal | Bob Mercer
PIERRE | Organ and tissue donation will be getting a higher profile in South Dakota.

State senators gave final legislative approval Tuesday to two measures intended to provide more publicity for organ donation and to make registration easier.

Both bills now head to Gov. Dennis Daugaard for his signature to become law. He has made more public participation in organ and tissue donation a priority for his administration.

HB1162 would allow for special decals recognizing organ donors on license plates, which would allow residents to show their support for organ donation, Sen. Tim Rave, R-Baltic, said.

He said it would be similar to other specialty plates. Senators voted 33-2 for final passage. House Republican leader David Lust of Rapid City was the prime sponsor.

The other measure that was approved Tuesday, HB1217, would require the Department of Public Safety to establish an online registry.

The measure came from the governor. It also formally requires the department to distribute information in a variety of ways.

“It’s important to note that much of this is already being done,” Sen. Larry Rhoden, R-Union Center, said.
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An extraordinary act of human kindness

Independent Herald, Oneida TN | Ben Garrett
Justin Goodman (right) stepped up to the plate when his friend and fellow coach, Scott County Storm league director Paul Owens (left) needed him.

It has been written that the game of football creates binding ties that transcend social circles and last years after the gridiron has been left behind.

For two Scott County men who have dedicated years of volunteer service to the community’s youth football league, that idea could not be more accurate.

Paul “Crock” Owens, of Oneida, and Justin Goodman, of Robbins, had never met until both became affiliated with the Scott County Storm football league. But when one man found himself facing a major medical need five years later, the other did not hesitate to step up.

Owens suffered kidney failure in 2011, a complication of high blood pressure. He resigned himself to a long wait on the organ transplant registry. The average wait time for a kidney is five years.

In the meantime, he was forced to spend nearly three hours a day — at least five days a week — undergoing dialysis.

That’s where Goodman stepped in.

Frank Bruno adds clout to campaign

Shields Gazette 
ADDING CLOUT ... Frank Bruno fighting Oliver McCall on his way to winning the WBC Heavyweight title. Inset, grateful mum Sharon Eckert with a picture of Miley.

A TRIP to South Tyneside by former world heavyweight boxing champion Frank Bruno will boost a lifesaving charity.

Bruno will be in the borough in April, and the event will help raise cash for the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital which tried to save South Shields baby Miley Turbitt.

Miley died at the age of 14 weeks while waiting for a donor heart to become available for transplant.

Her family have launched a campaign called In Miley’s Memory which aims to encourage more people to sign up to the organ donation register.

They have also launched a petition campaigning for a change in the organ donation system – to one which is automatic unless a person chooses to opt out.

Bruno, who became a national hero when he won the world title in 1995, will be at Hedworth Hall, South Shields on April 25 for an “Evening with ...” event.

During the evening, as well as Frank taking questions from the floor, an auction of boxing memorabilia will be up for grabs, with the proceeds going to Miley’s family.

Family who lost 3-year-old saves others

WIVB | Ed Dranch
BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - The family of a 3-year-old Buffalo boy made a brave decision after he was tragically killed in a fire at his east side home. Malachi Watkins' organs will be donated and potentially save up to five other children.

Malachi and his mother, 23-year-old Laqueisha Watkins, were killed in the fire.

His grandmother, Prophetess Cherise Shabazz said, "The family is really trying hard to work together, and you know just pull through this, because who would expect this?"

A growing memorial now sits outside the home where the boy and his mother were killed last Friday. Malachi's kidneys and intestines have been donated through UNYTS, a service that matches donors and recipients. His family says it's a way his life can go on through others.

MORE | You can use this form to join the UNYTS Donor Registry

UNYTS Vice President of Organ Services Kevin Gramlich said, "People generally feel more willing to give organs of their children because they want that legacy to live on."

Heart transplant forever connects Rockford man and Wisconsin mom

Rockford Register Star | Melissa Westphal
Gary Robb and his wife Fran Robb sit Monday, Feb. 25, 2013, in their Rockford home and talk about the heart transplant Gary received in April 2009

ROCKFORD — The heart that beats in Gary Robb’s chest will connect him forever to Patty Duerkop, nearly 250 miles away in northern Wisconsin.

Robb, 72, received a heart transplant in 2009 at UW Hospital in Madison, Wis., after suffering for years with congestive heart failure. The donor was Duerkop’s only son, 16-year-old Andrew Duerkop, who died after being hit by a car while riding his bicycle.

A year after the surgery, Robb traveled from Rockford to Madison to meet Duerkop for the first time. When they met, Duerkop placed her head against Robb’s chest to hear his heartbeat.

Today, Robb is in fine health and happy that the opportunity to thank Duerkop blossomed into a special friendship.

Several of Andrew’s other organs also helped people who needed them. Duerkop, who lives in Eau Claire, has talked to families of some of the other organ recipients, but her relationship with the Robbs is by far the closest.

More than 3000 turn out for Donate Life walk

Canberra Times | Larissa Nicholson
Photo: DONATE LIFE WALK 2013. St Clare's girls near the end of the walk. Photo: Rohan Thomson

A record number of people braved wet weather to participate in Gift of Life's Donate Life Walk on Wednesday morning.

More than 3000 people gathered at Regatta Point by 7am to walk around the lake as part of the event promoting organ donation.

Event organisers said the number of walkers eclipsed last year’s attendance partially due to the widespread involvement of groups from government departments.

A spokeswoman for the Organ and Tissue authority speaking from the event said it went well despite some rain in the early morning.

Run for Halachic Organ Donor Society this Sunday

Our Tribe and Joys | Alia Ramer
I’ve been filling in at NJJN for a week or so, and one of my tasks has been to edit the community page listings. The Halachic Organ Donor Society sent the following press release today, but it won’t make it to the printed page. A, it’s not happening in New Jersey, and B, you can’t send a press release for publication the day the paper is printed. (Our deadline is 10 days before the issue date.)

The effort is honorable, though, (and my publication is more on-demand) and maybe you know of someone who’d like to run and/or donate, so send this link along to others…

Central Park Race to Benefit Halachic Organ Donation

New York, NY, February 26, 2013 — A 10-year-old Jewish boy was injured in a car accident in New York City. Upon arrival at the hospital he was declared brain dead. The HOD Society facilitated consultation between several rabbis and his family who ultimately chose organ donation. Eight children’s lives were saved.

Read more from Our Tribes and Joys

The 2nd Annual Halachic Organ Donor Society Race will take place at 10 a.m. on Sunday, March 3, in Central Park to raise money for the HOD Society. There will be a 5K and 10K race (walkers are welcome) that will be run by adults as well as preteens (ages 8-12). Prizes will be awarded to the top three finishers in both race categories (such as an iPhone, an iPad, etc) and a round-trip ticket to Israel will be awarded to the person who raises the highest amount for HODS.


WHAT: 3.5 mile race (Professional Timing System)
WHERE: Starting line at 72nd Street ~ Central Park
WHY: To celebrate HODS 10-Year Anniversary
WHEN: March 4, 2012 at 9 a.m. ; 8 a.m. check-in
COST: $25 advance registration fee ~

Rationing Organs for Religious Refuseniks

Patheos | Adam Lee
Since new medical advances always catch my attention, I read with interest this article about “bloodless” lung transplants being pioneered at some hospitals – that is, salvaging and re-infusing the patient’s own blood, rather than relying on transfusions from donors. It’s being sold as a cost-saving technique and a way to lessen the risk of allergic reactions or other rare side effects, plus it conserves donated blood so that more is available for emergencies. But the technique was developed for a different reason, which I bet you can guess:
Ms. Tomczak, who was baptized at age 12 as a Jehovah’s Witness, insisted for religious reasons that her transplant be performed without a blood transfusion. The Witnesses believe that Scripture prohibits the transfusion of blood, even one’s own, at the risk of forfeiting eternal life.
I must be jaded, because the idea of a Jehovah’s Witness refusing blood and dying because of it doesn’t shock me any more. But this story had a gut-wrenching twist: Rebecca Tomczak, the Witness who’s the subject of the article, was adamant that she wanted the lung transplant, but not a blood transfusion, even at the cost of her own life. She forced her surgeon to agree that if there was a disaster, if she started to hemorrhage on the operating table, he had to stand back and let her die:  Do you agree with Mr. Lee's position?

Drive, West End Restaurants to Host Reedy River Rivalry Event

Our Sports Central
Greenville, SC- If you've ever been to a game at Fenway Park, you're well aware that the experience begins hours before first pitch, with a street carnival atmosphere on Yawkey Way. On March 2nd, the Greenville Drive and Donate Life SC will join forces with Liberty Tap Room and Grill, and Mac's Speed Shop to host an exciting event in conjunction with the highly anticipated Reedy River Rivalry, between the South Carolina Gamecocks and Clemson Tigers.

"We are thrilled to be able to host the Reedy River Rivalry game again in 2013, as it is one of the premier rivalries in college baseball," said Drive General Manager Mike deMaine. "But we want this event to be more than just a baseball game. We know this will be a great time for fans to interact with others and enjoy themselves before and after the game."

Beginning at 10 AM, two hours prior to gates opening at Fluor Field, fans can experience live music, interact with fellow Clemson and South Carolina fans, and enjoy excellent food and drinks from participating restaurants, as well as Carolina Pride hot dogs, Pepsi of Greenville, GreenCo Beverage, and Budweiser of Greenville.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

U.S. Transplant Wait-List

For readers outside the state of California, please visit or

Inside Arkansas Children's Hospital: Heartbeat of a child

TodaysTHV | Ashley Blackstone
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Every 10 minutes another name is added to the national organ transplant list. In the U.S., more than 115,000 people are waiting. Keeten Heskett, 2, from Arkansas is one of them.

How to Become an Organ Donor

If you didn't know Keeten personally you would never know his struggles. "He is not any different than anyone else," says his mom Lacey Holligsworth.

The playful, independent and very inquisitive toddler seemed to be fascinated with our THV 11 cameras

"He is used to a camera, so he is blinking," explains Hollingsworth. "Everyone loves him."

Holligsworth was five months pregnant when she found out that her first child would be born with a heart defect. She says, "It was really scary. I had him at UAMS and just a few minutes after he was born, he was taken by ambulance over here."

Hundreds to Race Through Ybor and Help Give the Gift of Sight

SouthTampa-HydePark Patch
From officials at ChappellRoberts:

Join us as hundreds of people sprint, run or walk through Historic Ybor City in the 12th Annual Race for Sight 5k run and 1-mile walk held by the Lions Eye Institute for Transplant & Research.

All proceeds from the race go to helping the blind and visually impaired across the globe.

This year, in an effort to support organ donation, the LifeLink Foundation is teaming up with LEITR for a “Donate Life Florida Linking Hands Event” before the race. Additionally, LTG Franklin L. Hagenbeck, USA (Ret.), former superintendent of WestPoint and advocate for physical education, will hold a moment of silence for our troops and officially kick-off the race festivities.

Below are the event's details:

The general public can register for the race here.

Saturday, April 20
Runner’s check-in at 6:30 a.m.
5K and 1-mile walk begins at 7:30 a.m.
Awards and celebration at 9:00 a.m.

Centennial Park in Historic Ybor City
1800 E. 8th Avenue

Sign up at our event page. The participation fee is $25, and registration closes Friday, April 18 at 5 p.m.

Family finds peace by donating organs

WIVB New York | Anthony Congi
BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - A Buffalo family is coming to terms with losing two family members in a massive fire last week. Three-year-old Malachi Watkins and his mother 23-year-old Lequeisha Watkins died after their home on Timon Street was destroyed by fire.

What is helping Malachi’s father get through this tough time is donating his young son’s organs. Malachi’s father had to make the toughest decision a parent could face after learning that Friday morning’s fire claimed the life of his fiancee and left his three-year-old son brain dead. However, he is also comforted in knowing his son will help others.

Gift of life to embrace precious little moments - Australia

Camden Advertiser |  Iliana Stillitano
New beginnings: Tim and Rebecca Stewart with their children, Kayla, 15, Jessica, 14, Jemma, 11, Kiana, 9, Jaida, 7, Andrew, 6, and Anthony, 2. Picture: Simon Bennett

THE moment Tim Stewart held his newborn son in his arms was one he didn't expect to happen.

Craddling Anthony in the moments after his birth two years ago was one of many new memories only made possible because of a life saving operation.

Six years ago, Mr Stewart was suffering kidney reflux as a result of a childhood illness.

The wait for an organ donor was long but when the news reached Mr Stewart's cousin, he travelled from Scotland to donate his kidney.

Gamecock and Clemson fans chose your side!

Donate Life South Carolina

GAMECOCK AND CLEMSON FANS support your team and Donate Life South Carolina at The Reedy River Rivalry! Proceeds from this event go to Donate Life SC. So come to the big tailgate party this Saturday for live music, prize drawings, face painting, lots of food and drinks. Main street will be closed at the West End around The Drive Stadium from 10 AM to 7 PM!

Hazel was the living expression of God's Kindness

LifeShare of Oklahoma

‘Bloodless’ Lung Transplants Offer Hint at Surgery’s Future

New York Times | Kevin Sack
Photo: Eric Kayne for The New York Times. SHARING HOME AND FAITH A Houston couple hosted Gene and Rebecca Tomczak, center, in October so she could get care nearby.

HOUSTON — Last April, after being told that only a transplant could save her from a fatal lung condition, Rebecca S. Tomczak began calling some of the top-ranked hospitals in the country.

She started with Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, just hours from her home near Augusta, Ga. Then she tried Duke and the University of Arkansas and Johns Hopkins. Each advised Ms. Tomczak, then 69, to look somewhere else.

The reason: Ms. Tomczak, who was baptized at age 12 as a Jehovah’s Witness, insisted for religious reasons that her transplant be performed without a blood transfusion. The Witnesses believe that Scripture prohibits the transfusion of blood, even one’s own, at the risk of forfeiting eternal life.

Given the complexities of lung transplantation, in which transfusions are routine, some doctors felt the procedure posed unacceptable dangers. Others could not get past the ethics of it all. With more than 1,600 desperately ill people waiting for a donated lung, was it appropriate to give one to a woman who might needlessly sacrifice her life and the organ along with it?

Monday, February 25, 2013

After perilous three months, young Lexington heart patient is rebounding

Kentucky | Mary Meehan

Marquis Davis with his father Marvin Davis and mother Sherri Withrew. After three months in Cincinnati Children's hospital, family and friends of Marquis Davis, age 10, celebrated his return home to Lexington on Saturday, February 23, 2013. Photo by Mark Ashley

Her 10-year-old son was fine, all the tests had come back negative, and then suddenly, out of the corner of her eye, Sherri Withrow saw her son's leg dangling listlessly off the bed in the emergency room. His heart had stopped.

She tried to rouse the boy, Marquis Davis, then she pushed the emergency button and fell to the floor in shock.

Months later, the Lexington woman struggles to recall the torrent of images as she relives what happened next. Doctors and nurses flooded the room, a determined rush of noise and mayhem. Her son lay motionless. The whining buzz of the heart monitor had gone flat.

Just days before, Marquis, a bright Liberty Elementary School fifth-grader with an easy grin and a love of Nike Jordan shoes, complained of a stomachache. And now, she said, she was afraid he was "never coming home."
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{Register to be an organ,eye and tissue donor. To learn how, or}

Daugaard administration quietly launches new push for more organ donors to sign on

Capital Journal | Bob Mercer

PIERRE, S.D. – The Daugaard administration wants changes from the Legislature intended to increase organ and tissue donation in South Dakota.

Lt. Gov. Matt Michels testified Monday to the Senate State Affairs Committee. The state Department of Public Safety would be allowed to establish an online system for people to officialy register as organ and tissue donors.

The legislation, HB 1217, from Gov. Dennis Daugaard could receive final legislative approval as early as this afternoon.

South Dakota currently allows people to list themselves as organ donors on their driver licenses and identification cards. That law was adopted in 2001 during then-Gov. Bill Janklow’s final term.

Michels, who was then a member in the House of Representatives, worked on that legislation. He noted Monday that Janklow’s corneas were donated after his death last year. “I’m really, really wondering where they went. I’m sure the person has incredible vision,” Michels said.
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{Register to be an organ,eye and tissue donor. To learn how, or}

More Than a Thousand Missourians Wait for New Kidney

KOMU | Asher Mo

COLUMBIA - More American patients than ever are waiting for an organ transplant to make them healthy - especially when it comes to patients with chronic kidney disease. Nationally, the number of kidney patients on the waiting list has increased by 14,000 from 2001 to 2011. In Missouri more than 1300 patients are currently waiting for a kidney.

"This is one of the biggest issues we have in organ donation right now," said Peter Nicastro, chairperson of the Governor's Organ Donation Advisory Committee in Missouri.

The numbers reflect the service areas of the Mid-America Transplant Services in Missouri which serves St. Louis, eastern Missouri and southern Illinois, and does not include Kansas City.
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Nicastro said the increase has been seen nationwide because more people are opening their eyes to the possibility of getting a kidney and because more people suffer from diabetes which can ultimately cause chronic kidney disease.

{Register to be an organ,eye and tissue donor. To learn how, or}

POLL: Donating organs to save lives

Newscastle Herald | Alison Branley

RELIEVED: After years of being kept alive by an electronic device, Graeme Martyn has a new heart, thanks to organ donation. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

A CHANCE conversation with her husband two months before his sudden death helped Rachel Croft the day she had to decide to donate his organs.

The couple had been discussing a recently deceased acquaintance and organ donation when Damien, who was a donor on his driver’s licence, said: ‘‘They’re no good to you when you’re dead’’.

Damien, 47, had an anaphylactic reaction to an insect bite while driving a truck on the F3 in March, 2011.

The stepfather of two ended up in John Hunter Hospital on life support but without brain function, a rare situation in which organs are viable, and Ms Croft agreed to donate his organs.
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{Register to be an organ,eye and tissue donor. To learn how, or}

Three members of the Spencer family in hospital for transplant operations at the samer time

Adelaide Now | Jordanna Schriever

Rob Spencer with wife Tania and mother Dianne - all three ended up in hospital together for kidney transplant operations. Picture: Naomi Jellicoe Source: adelaidenow
IN a rare coincidence, three members of the same family found themselves in the same Royal Adelaide Hospital ward for transplant operations last month.

Rob Spencer, 44, and his mother Dianne Spencer, 69, each have the genetic kidney disease Alport Syndrome and needed a kidney transplant while enduring months of dialysis treatments.

While Dianne, of Gilles Plains, was on the waiting list for a kidney donor, her son was lucky enough to have a blood group match with his wife, Tania Spencer, 43.

Rob and Tania, of Morphett Vale, spent a year having tests, and having their children tested to be sure they would not develop the disease, and taking medication to prepare for the operations.

"When we had arranged Dianne and her husband Bob to look after the kids, I had this thought 'what if Dianne gets a kidney?' but we certainly weren't expecting it," Tania said.

Just a few days earlier Dianne was woken at 4am to news that a kidney had become available.
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{Register to be an organ,eye and tissue donor. To learn how, or}

Help Spectrum Health gain nation recognition for their sponsorship of the 2012 Transplant Games of America

Gift of Life Michigan
You can help Spectrum Health gain national recognition for advancing the cause of organ donation through its presenting sponsorship of the 2012 Transplant Games of America! They have entered their Transplant Games video in the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship 2013 Film Festival and need you to vote for it.

Videos placing in the Top Ten vote recipients are then judged by a panel. The winner is announced at the International Corporate Citizenship Conference in April.

Click on the link to see the Spectrum Health video entry and cast your vote:

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