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Showing posts from March, 2013

Joy of new life

Charlotte Observer

Rev. Lib McGregor Simmons speaks to the congregation at the end of the service, husband Gary Simmons (brown shirt), and their son Mac Simmons (blue shirt), during Palm Sunday service at Davidson College Presbyterian Church,Sunday March 24,2013.

Easter Sunday's promise of new life will have special meaning this year for the Rev. Lib McGregor Simmons and her husband, Gary. In January, he got a liver transplant. A month later, he was home, healthier than he's been since they diagnosed his genetic condition four years ago. "Gary is home!!!!" Lib, pastor of Davidson College Presbyterian Church, blogged to the online community that had rallied around the couple.

"As we raise our celebratory glasses of sparkling cider tonight, we will be toasting you, the village of loving support who have embodied our God whom the Psalmist describes so movingly: 'You who live in the Most High, who abide in the shadow of the Almighty, will say to the LORD, 'My…

Meet the kids who wouldn't be here if organ donors hadn't saved their parents

Daily Record UK | Emma Smith
ALL these kids were born after one of their grateful parents was given an organ - a gift that also meant life for these 21 youngsters.

Vicki Ferguson, 33
Mum to Oliver, three, and Harris, one, born after her liver transplant 15 years ago

Vicki, from Cuminestown, Aberdeenshire, had a successful transplant after suffering acute liver failure when she was 18.

Her condition was so severe that her own liver had to be removed prior to a suitable match being found for her.

Oliver and Harris, who was born on Mother’s Day last year, have been a huge blessing to Vicki and her husband Mac.

She said: “I am incredibly lucky to have been saved by organ donation and been able to go on to have my two wonderful boys.

“I have always been a maternal person so being a mum is a dream – I couldn’t ask for better.

“Having a transplant completely transformed my outlook on life and encouraged me to do things I’d never have thought of before, such as going to university.

“I have a lot to b…

Legislation would set up organ donor resource center

SF Gate | The Danbury Times CT
But despite the stress and risk involved, Walls gave former Cowboy Ron Springs one of his two kidneys.

"That's one thing about being called a hero, you're really put up on a pedestal." Walls said. "We don't want anyone to think this is an unattainable feat. This is something that can be done by anyone."

Walls was among witnesses who testified last week to a House Government Reform subcommittee about new legislation introduced by Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-Mo., that bears the football players' names: the Everson Walls and Ron Springs Gift for Life Act of 2007.

The bill would set up a National Organ and Tissue Donor Registry Resource Center to coordinate donor information among states, distribute grants to donor registries and require and explore setting up a living donor database. The database would track the health effects for living organ donors.
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{Register to be an organ,eye and tissue donor. To learn how, w…

Reforms needed for organ transplants

U-T San Diego | Jim Rothgeb
Tim Sweeney was honored by the Temecula City Council last week for being a courageous and outstanding citizen.

A citation was drawn up in his honor. It was a nice gesture. He was roundly applauded. Personal accolades are always a good thing and in this case it was well-deserved.

But I get the impression that Sweeney would trade in a thousand citations if it meant that politicians and members of the medical community would pay more attention to his message.

And that, he said, is that something is askew when it comes to organ donations in this country, and it must be fixed.

Now, there is something you should know about Sweeney. He is terminally ill. He has a disease called primary sclerosing cholangitis. Bile builds up in his liver and it makes it hard to digest food. He often has jaundice and a pain in his gut. He said that while standing in front of the City Council the other night he worried he might get sick.

A new liver would help, he said, even half a liver. …

Raynham kidney recipient promotes organ donation

Enterprise News | Kathleen Blanton

Emily J. Reynolds/The Enterprise
Doug Bingham, 63, of Raynham is a kidney transplant recipient who now volunteers for New England Organ Bank and is a Donate Life ambassador.

The beginning of April means spring to many people. It means hope to Doug Bingham of Raynham.

That’s because April is National Donate Life month. Bingham owes his life to the stranger from whom he received a kidney four years ago.

Bingham, 63, shares the message of hope and renewal as a volunteer with the New England Organ Bank. He also donates his time as a Donate Life ambassador at the Taunton branch of the Registry of Motor Vehicles. He talks to people who are renewing their drivers’ licenses about signing up as organ donors.

“I encourage people to do it,” he said. “I’m a (blood) donor myself and would never hesitate to do it.”

Bingham’s debt toward donors extends into his family.

“My sister’s kidneys failed because of diabetes,” he recalled. “With the seriousness of my sister’s condi…

Organ donation: A fight to survive - South Africa

Mail & Guardian | Faranaaz Parker

I am not a superstitious person but I’ve been putting off registering as an organ donor since I was a teenager because somehow I can’t escape the feeling that the minute I sign the papers I’m going to get hit by a bus.

It's hard to explain why – I can only guess that it has something to do with my reluctance to deal with questions of my own mortality – but I'm not alone. A number of my friends feel the same way.

"I share your fear that I will sign up 'just in time'," said one of my friends.

"People don't like facing their own mortality," said another.

If I died tomorrow, donating my organs could help give up to seven people a new lease on life; donating my soft tissue could improve the quality of life of up to 50 more people. People like Alice Vogt and Nuran Nordien.

When Vogt was a child, she was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, a genetic disorder that causes mucous build-up in the lungs and results in difficulty …

Kidney transplant recipient meets donor before Rangers game

KSAT | Cory Smith
Ralph Gonzales waited 13 years to receive transplant

After 25 years of being diagnosed with end-stage renal disease, Ralph Gonzales finally came face-to-face with the woman who saved his life.

On Saturday, Gonzales met Angelina Pena, who donated her kidney to him in 2012.

"She was a God-send to me," said Gonzales. "I never thought I was going to meet her. This is awesome."

Gonzales was put on dialysis when he was ten. He received his first kidney transplant in 1989, but the organ failed ten years later.

His wife, Elizabeth, tried to donate her kidney to her husband, but the two were not a match.

In 2009, Gonzales was placed in the Kidney Paired Donation Database at the Texas Transplant Institute's Kidney Live Donor Incompatible Program.

The donated kidney he received from Pena was part of a six-way donor exchange. Pena donated her kidney with the hope that it would be a match with her aunt, who was on dialysis.
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{Register to be an organ,…

Organ donation brings new life this Easter Sunday in Davidson

Charlotte Observer | Tim Funk

Gary and Lib look through the basket of cards and prayers that they received from friends and family members. Easter Sunday's promise of new life will have special meaning this year for the Rev. Lib McGregor Simmons and her husband, Gary. In January, he got a liver transplant. A month later, he was home, healthier than he's been since they diagnosed his genetic condition four years ago. "Gary is home!!!!" Lib, pastor of Davidson College Presbyterian Church, blogged to the online community that had rallied around the couple. The generosity of an organ donor not only gave Gary a second chance at life, it also caused Lib and Gary to commit themselves to promote greater awareness of organ donation in the years ahead. And on this Easter Sunday, Lib will speak from personal experience in her sermon on the joy of resurrection. T.Ortega Gaines -

DAVIDSON On this Sunday morning, when more than a billion Christians cele…

10-year-old liver transplant recipient on a mission to save others

The Windsor Star | Kristie Pearce

Austin Magee, 10, left, Kaidyn Blair, 10, and Olivia Schmidt, 10, register someone for organ donation at the Royal Canadian Legion in Essex, Friday, March 29, 2013. Kaidyn organized a registration drive to promote organ and tissue donation to mark the 10th anniversary of his liver transplant, April 27th. (DAX MELMER/The Windsor Star)

A liver transplant saved Kaidyn Blair’s life nearly 10 years ago and now the 10-year-old boy is on a mission to save others.

Kaidyn is celebrating his 10-year liver anniversary this year by trying to get one person to be a registered donor for each day since his April 27, 2003 transplant.

It’s been 3,653 days. So far Kaidyn has encouraged 243 people to register.

“I want people to sign up because every three days someone dies waiting for a transplant,” Kaidyn said Friday at the Essex Royal Canadian Legion, where he and his family held a registration drive to promote organ and tissue donation. “I have some friends who are still …

Back-to-back medical miracles save tiny twin

Sun Sentinel
Krystina Lopez, her husband Jesus Neira and their three children, from left, Miakrystina, 2, twins Izabella and Jesubelle, 15 months, gather for a group photo with Shands at the University of Florida Pediatric Intensive Care Unit staff members Wednesday, March 20, 2013. At back, from left, are nurse practitioner Barbara Williams, UF student Jenna Jones, UF Congenital Heart Center Clinical Programs Assistant Director Joni Zauhar and pediatric surgeon Dr. Mark Bleiweis. (Doug Finger, Doug FingerThe Gainesville Sun)
GAINESVILLE — Weeks after their twins were born, Krystina Lopez and Jesus Neira were told one of the girls would likely die well before her first birthday.

Born with a rare disease that was hardening the tissue of her lungs, Izabella was not only considered too young for a transplant, doctors said, but odds were against finding a suitable infant donor.

"We were just waiting for God to decide to take her," said Lopez, 26, of Pembroke Pines. "Only Jesube…

Staten Island toddler Jake Schron recovering after heart transplant

Staten Island Live | Tom Dowd
Jake Schron, 22 months, received a heart transplant last Saturday at Montefiore's Children Hospital in the Bronx.
Months. Days. Hours.

On Saturday, the unit by which Shannon and Andrew Schron measure time shifted. It happened the only way it could, the way they knew it would, with a bolt from the blue.

This was day No. 112 in the hospital for little Jake. That was how Shannon opened many of her updates on Facebook. On day 108, Jake turned 22 months old. He had been placed on the list for a heart transplant on day five.

The first notice that the long wait could be ending comes with a maybe. That was what Shannon told Drew when she called him from Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, where she lived with Jake for all 112 days. This was when time shifted from days to hours.

Maybe there would be a new heart for Jake, who had been diagnosed with end-stage dilated cardiomyopathy nearly four months earlier.Read more

16-Year-Old Looking For Kidney Donor

ABC 36 News Lexington,KY | Ellen Bryan

A Lexington teenager who’s beaten the odds before, hit another milestone today. But his family said they’re not out of the woods yet.

On his 16th Birthday, Braxton Upthegrove’s mom, Michelle Upthegrove, remembers when doctors came into her hospital room after Braxton’s complicated birth to tell her he wasn’t going to live.

“They let the entire family say their goodbyes before I saw my child. And then I got to say my goodbyes,” Michelle said. “But today he's still here. And we are celebrating.”

Celebrating with family and friends, who Braxton said helps him to keep fighting because Braxton is still struggling with his health.

“I'm looking forward to finding a kidney so I can get better,” Braxton said.
And hopefully not get hooked up a machine every night.”

Braxton is hooked up to a dialysis every night for about 10 hours. He needs a kidney donor to get better before his body becomes too unstable for a transplant.

“To donate life is such a huge pa…

Share your support for organ & tissue donation. Add your name to the Wall of Life!

Donate Life Arizona
Donate Life Arizona has recently unveiled their new web site featuring a moving 'Live on Arizona Wall of Life' honoring recipients, and donors and more.  Share your support for organ & tissue donation. Add your name to the Wall of Life, I have so why don't you!Go to:
Follow Donate Life Arizona on their Facebook Page

American Transplant Foundation 1+1=LIFE Photo Competition!

American Transplant Foundation | Jenny Butler
In celebration of Donate Life Month and the lives saved through transplantation, the American Transplant Foundation is thrilled to invite nominated transplant centers to participate in our 1+1=LIFE Photo Competition!

This fun initiative is designed to raise awareness surrounding the critical need for organ donation during the month of April, National Donate Life Month. Our hope is that by engaging patients in this initiative, together we will showcase the health of transplant patients who either received or gave the Gift of Life .

To demonstrate the transformation of life that comes through organ donation, transplant recipients who received an organ from a living donor and living donors will participate in this one-of-a-kind photo competition!

Transplant patients who photograph themselves sporting their 1+1=LIFE t shirt and doing something healthy and active will be voted on by YOU! Voting will start April 22nd and the winner will be announced…

FLDRN Asks New Yorkers to Increase Organ Donor Enrollments During Donate Life Month

Finger Lakes Recovery Network
The 10th annual National Donate Life Month in April promotes life-saving organ, eye and tissue donation and transplantation.

Rochester, NY – Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network (FLDRN), the nonprofit organ procurement organization that serves New York State’s Finger Lakes, Central and North Country regions, is urging its residents to get the word out about organ donation in April.

More than 800 people in FLDRN’s service area are desperately awaiting organ transplants.

Rob Kochik, FLDRN’s executive director, says, “This special month of the year offers a unique opportunity to highlight the good that transplants do, and how they’re only possible because of the generosity of donors.”Read more


Diffuser FM | Joe Robinson

Members of Pearl Jam, the Stooges, Social Distortion, Bad Religion, Black Flag, Rancid and many other bands are teaming up to raise money to help guitarist Frank Ruffino — founder of the influential Orange County, Calif., punk band China White — get the liver surgery that may save his life.

Vans Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman has started the Unite the United Foundation to bring together the various rockers to help Ruffino’s cause. The foundation will hold a benefit auction via eBay that’s slated to start April 20. Items set to go up for bid include autographed guitars from members of Social Distortion, Rancid, Bad Religion, Slayer and more; signed posters, DVDs and CDs from Pearl Jam; signed prints of Lemmy from Motorhead; and much more. Check out the complete list of items here.

Although it’s an online auction, the items will be on display during two viewing parties, one on April 14 in Los Angeles and the other on April 20 in Huntington Beach, Calif. In the m…

Presidential Proclamation -- National Donate Life Month, 2013

The White House

Today, more than 115,000 men, women, and children are on the waiting list for an organ transplant. To help them get the care they need, millions of Americans choose to be organ and tissue donors -- a decision that reflects not only profound generosity, but also our commitment to one another. During National Donate Life Month, we renew the call for organ and tissue donation.

Most people can be donors, and the need is great. I encourage Americans of every background to learn the facts about organ and tissue donation, consider signing up for their State's registry, and talk to family and friends about their decision. Information and resources about how to get involved are available at

Together, we can respond to the donor shortage that keeps thousands of patients from getting life-saving care. Let us mark this month by rededicating ourselv…

FBI agent risks job, life to rescue brother

NV Daily | Jason Wright

For three weeks, I've spent hours researching an inspirational man from Las Vegas whom I've never met. I've exchanged emails, read personal letters, listened to audio recordings and chatted both over the phone and over good food with his family.

His name is Danny Knapp and I can't wait to meet him someday face-to-face. And by the time this three-part series is complete, I'm confident you'll want to meet him, too.

To appreciate this man's story, you must know that Danny Knapp is a lifesaver. Not the clichéd lifesaver that covers your Sunday school class at the last minute because you've got a runny nose. Nor the type who loans you $5 for lunch when you realize you're low on cash.

Perhaps he's the one you call a "lifesaver" because he volunteered to tend your kids for three days while you and your spouse disappeared for a much-needed weekend away?

No, he's not that kind either.

But yes, he'd probably do all thos…

Circleville Mother Who Died After Beating Leaves Behind More Than Friends, Family


COLUMBUS, Ohio - Though Brittany Jeffers lost her own life, she has the potential to save eight others as an organ donor.

Brittany Jeffers, 21, was declared dead early Thursday after she was beaten in a Circleville neighborhood.

The young woman’s mother, Emily Harvey, said she currently is being kept on life support so her organs can help others.

Jeffers’ aunt, Melody Hill, said as an organ donor, Brittany leaves the world the gift of her life.

“There are two recipients waiting for her organs, right now they're looking for a heart,” Hill said.

Her heart will be given to someone on the national waiting list.
According to Lifeline Of Ohio, every 48 hours, an Ohioan dies waiting for an organ.
Continue reading
{Register to be an organ,eye and tissue donor. To learn how, or}

Easter egg hunt, carnival benefits 6-year-old in need of heart and double lung transplant

Montgomery Media | Jennifer Connor

Last Easter things were much different for Weston Keeton, a 6-year-old awaiting a heart and double lung transplant.

Last year, Weston’s mother, Julie, hid Easter eggs around the cardiac unit at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where he was being treated so he could still participate in the holiday.

This year, surrounded by his six other siblings, Weston took off in an Easter Egg Hunt on an indoor turf field at BucksMont Indoor Sports Center in Hatfield amidst a crowd of 5- to 7-year-olds.

The Easter Egg Hunt and accompanying carnival benefiting Weston and his family March 23 brought out nearly 600 attendees throughout the four-hour event, according to event organizers.

“For him to be well enough to run with all the other kids is so thrilling,” Julie said.

Originally from east Tennessee, the Keetons have been split between their hometown and Philadelphia since June 2011 when Weston was admitted to CHOP, where doctors told the family he needed a heart an…

R.I. Blood Center, Organ Donors Join Forces For National Donate Life Month

Smithfield Patch | Elisabeth McNamara

April is National Donate Life Month – celebrating the heroes who donate blood, donate bone marrow and donate organs.

The Rhode Island Blood Center, its marrow program, and many leading organ donation groups are joining together in April (National Donate Life Month) to increase awareness of the need for both blood and organ donors, and the use of blood products associated with many organ transplants.

The idea is to encourage people across Rhode Island to consider donating blood, registering their bone marrow, and making sure you've signed up for organ donations after death.

On Tuesday, April 2, there will be a press conference showcasing four people who have benefited from donations and transplants.
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{Register to be an organ,eye and tissue donor. To learn how, or}

Raising organ donation awareness

Brant News | Colleen Toms

Photo by Colleen Toms, Brant News. BCI student Cara Humeniuk, 18, regularly visits with patients at the SC Johnson Wax Dialysis Clinic at the Brantford General Hospital.

One organ donor can save up to eight lives and enhance up to 75 more.

But it takes more than signing a donor card to be a donor.

That’s the message 18-year-old Cara Humeniuk wants to bring to her schoolmates at Brantford Collegiate Institute during national organ donation awareness week, running April 21 to April 28.

“I went to get my health card renewed and the lady didn’t ask me if I signed my donor card or registered my consent,” Humeniuk said.

That oversight didn’t sit well with Humeniuk.

“Organ donation is a big deal for me and I think people need to be more educated on it,” she said. “A lot of people think that they just have to sign their donor card, but they actually need to register their consent.”
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{Register to be an organ,eye and tissue donor. To learn how, www.donatelife.…

Organ Donation Registration Drive

Blackburn News

Kaidyn Blair is encouraging people to become organ donors.

An Essex boy is holding an organ and tissue donation registration drive in honour of his 10 year anniversary with a new liver.

Kaidyn Blair’s dream is to have 3,653 people register consent to organ and tissue donation signifying the number of days he’s lived since receiving a transplant. “It’s really important because every three days someone dies waiting for a liver,” says Blair.

The registration drive is being held at the Essex Legion between 12:00pm and 3:00pm and can also be completed online at
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{Register to be an organ,eye and tissue donor. To learn how, or}

Double kidney transplant man Colin heaps praise on his tragic donor sister


Dublin brothers Colin (49) and Paul Clare (39) underwent a brother-to-brother living kidney transplant just two months ago. Photo: Angela Halpin

Dublin man Colin Clare is urging more people to become organ donors by highlighting his own family's remarkable story of organ donation.

Colin, who has undergone two kidney transplants, lost his sister Sandra to a brain haemorrhage in July 2011.

Mother-of-three Sandra (46) suffered an aneurism while at a football match with her children and died three days later.

Sandra's husband made the decision to donate her organs while she was on life support, in order to save further lives.

In a tragic twist, Colin (49), who had his first kidney transplant 22 years ago, was preparing to begin dialysis after his kidney failed when Sandra died.
Continue reading
{Register to be an organ,eye and tissue donor. To learn how, or}

Kadlec Regional Medical Center raises Donate Life flag above hospital

KVEW TV | Josh Peterson
April is National Donate Life month, and Kadlec Regional Medical Center is raising awareness about the impact you can make by being an organ donor.

This morning, hospital staff members raised a special flag on top of the hospital for everyone in the area to see.

The flag says Donate Life.

It will stay on top of the Richland hospital until the end of April.

Several transplant recipients and family members of donors gathered at the hospital to watch the flag rise to the top of the building today.

We spoke with a Kennewick man who received a heart transplant in 2006.

Steve Arbogast tells us he knew he had a bad heart, but never thought he would need a transplant.

He says if he did not get one, he would not be standing here today.Continue to read

Meaningful return for Wake Forest’s Walter, Jordan

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Ken Sugiura

Perhaps the best news to report about Kevin Jordan is that his biggest physical concern these days is the quadriceps muscle that he pulled last summer.

“When it’s cold, it’s hard to get loose,” said Jordan, Wake Forest’s left fielder. “Besides that, I’m 100 percent. My kidney’s doing fine.”

Jordan, his kidney and Demon Deacons coach Tom Walter are back in Atlanta together for the first time since the kidney was Walter’s, and Jordan was anything but fine. Two Februarys ago at Emory University Hospital, Walter donated his kidney to Jordan, then a Wake Forest freshman suffering from a diseased kidney. The act brought widespread attention to the two.

They are here this time to face Georgia Tech in a three-game series that begins Friday evening. They are changed and intertwined forever, but the two are happy to let that aspect of their relationship take a step back.
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Western People 
The parents of a four-year-old girl who had a life-saving heart transplant when she was a baby have reminded families of the importance of organ donation.

John and Orla Smith said they would be forever grateful to the family who, having lost their child, decided to donate to give 11-month-old Keela a new chance at life.

"Keela was born a beautiful healthy baby, just like her older brother Oisin," Ms Smith said.

"Like most families, we were just getting on with life and never contemplated that organ failure would visit our door. We would urge all families to have the discussion about organ donation and now."Continue reading

Duffy's Law nears enactment

The Times News | Steven Huffman
An ongoing tribute to Duffy Collins moved a step closer to reality Thursday, a bill in his honor passed unanimously in the N.C. House.

House Bill 11, an act to designate every April as organ donation awareness/donate life month is known as “Duffy’s Law” in tribute to the only child of Elon’s Mary Jo Collins and her husband, Bruce.

Earlier this month, the bill cleared the N.C. Senate with similar ease.

“Now, it’s done except for the governor’s signing, and that’s just a formality,” Mary Jo Collins said.

She said she’s hoping Gov. Pat McCrory will sign the bill into law next week, though she said the date isn’t etched in stone.

The bill was sponsored by Rep. Dennis Riddell, a Republican who represents Alamance County in the House. More information about Duffy, as well as information about how to register as an organ donor, can be found at the Duffy Collins Organ Transplant Foundation website at:
Continue reading

The greatest gift of all

South Delta Leader | Robert MangelsdorfMichelle Laviolette (on left) was able to find organ donor Carroll Meilleur (on lright) through a Facebook page she created. Credit: Adrian MacNair
Gord Laviolette is a man of few words, but his silence speaks volumes when he considers the sacrifice Carroll Meilleur is willing to make for him.

After spotting a Facebook page started by Gord’s wife Michelle, Meilleur is donating her kidney to the Ladner father of two, who has spent the past five years undergoing daily kidney dialysis.

Meilleur had never even met the couple.

“When you think about what is being asked…” Gord says, his voice trailing off. “We’re just so incredibly grateful. What an amazing gift.”

Gord’s kidney troubles began in October of 2007, when he received a small cut on his wrist while playing beer league hockey. The cut seemed innocuous enough, but streptococcus bacteria from his hockey gloves caused the cut to get infected.

“It was new gear too,” Gord says. “It wasn’t even that bad.…

BOWLING FOR LIFE Charity Fundraiser

Stacy Kelly, Donate Life Ambassador

BOWLING FOR LIFECharity Fundraiser
WHAT:    All proceeds to goest directly to Donate Life Run/Walk for education and organ donation awarenes
April 7, 2013,   1pm to 4pm
Registration starts at noon

AMF Cerritos Lanes
18811 Carmenita Road
Cerritos, CA 

$20.00 unlimited bowling
Silent Auction
50/50 Raffle
Donate Life Swag

Contact information:
Stacy Kelly:  310.991.1641
Raquel Gonzalez: 562.587.0347

Kim, Organ, Eye, and Tissue Donor

Donate Life Ohio
John, husband
Kim, organ, eye and tissue donor

Kim made working full-time, volunteering and being an attentive mom and wife look easy. But her selfless nature didn’t end even after she suddenly passed away in May 2011 from a massive stroke.

At the time of her death, Kim was a registered organ, eye and tissue donor. Her liver went on to save the life of a 58-year-old aircraft mechanic. Her pancreas relieved a 59-year-old nurse and grandmother from type I diabetes. Eyesight was restored to two people and her tissue was recovered to restore mobility for countless others.

By registering as an organ, eye and tissue donor prior to her death, Kim spared her family the added stress of making a decision on her behalf at perhaps the worst moment of their lives.

“She always put everyone first. It’s just the way she was; she wanted to help people if she could,” said Kim’s husband, John. “She was only 38, but I knew what she wanted. She’s still giving, even now.”

Talk on organ donations planned for April

La Canada Valley Sun | Tiffany Kelly

La Cañada resident Reg Green will speak at a Thursday Club meeting next month about the power of organ donations.

In 1994, Green’s 7-year-old son, Nicholas, was shot and killed. Green and his wife, Maggie, donated Nicholas’ organs to children in Italy, where the shooting occurred, who required transplants.

The event will take place on Thursday, April 4 at 1 p.m. 4440 Woodleigh Lane. Admission is free and tea will be served. Contact Barbara Self at (818) 790-8807 for more information.Story Source

Miracles In Light Of Tragic Loss

WNEP News 16 | Amanda Kelley
MINERSVILLE — Hearts throughout the Schuylkill County area are hurting for a family that lost two little girls this past weekend near Orwigsburg.

The father of one of the girls spoke out, and says despite this horrific situation, the family has found comfort in knowing their girls saved several other children across the country.

Edward Williams was the father of 3-year old Catrina Williams. He says his daughter passed away Monday afternoon, but her spirit now lives on in children across the country and that’s what’s helping his family move past the heartbreak.

“I’d give my last giving breath to be able to just see her smile and say ‘Daddy, I love you’ and hold her again.”

Williams of Minersville says his 3-year old daughter Catrina was full of life, beautiful, joyful, and his little miracle.VIDEO Read more

My Three Lives

LifeCenter Northwest
Dr. Hagan sits with his liver donor, Shemika’s, two sons.
In honor of National Doctor’s Day we are featuring a guest blog post by Dr. Michal Hagan, D.O., Quality Improvement Director for Gift of Life Michigan. As a physician spending most of his life helping others he never expected to be find himself waiting for a life-saving transplant.

In my first life I was a board certified emergency physician for ten years until I contracted hepatitis while working in the Emergency Department. After a nearly fatal relapse I was forced to leave clinical practice.

In my second life I was the vice president of a 600 bed acute-care hospital. During that time I obtained a Master’s degree in Health Services Administration and became certified in Medical Quality. Over the years my liver disease became worse. Eventually I was diagnosed with terminal liver failure. I was evaluated and placed on the waiting list for a liver transplant. After a very long and emotionally draining wa…

City proclaims Donate Life month

The Orange County Register | Tomoya Shimura

Rancho Santa Margarita residents Ani and Matt Taylor receive a proclamation from Mayor Tony Beall, right, during the council meeting Wednesday as the city declares April as DMV/Donate Life California Month. The Taylors' 4-year-old daughter, Kate, stands between them. The couple brought a large printout of their other daughter, Ruby Jane, who died when she was 7 months old while waiting for a liver transplant.

RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA – A local couple whose 7-month-old daughter died while waiting for a liver transplant received a proclamation Wednesday evening as the city declared April as DMV/Donate Life California Month.

Rancho residents Ani and Matt Taylor received the proclamation on behalf of Donate Life California. Their daughter, Ruby Jane, was diagnosed with Caroli's Syndrome, a biliary tree disorder affecting the liver, and died two years ago.

The Taylors founded the Ruby Jane Foundation to rai…

Successful five-organ transplant gives Pollard new life

Weekly News Journal | Lisa Dayley

Thanks to the generosity of a Pittsburgh family who donated the organs of their 15 year old son, Burley’s Mike Pollard has enjoyed an extra 12 years of life. He received a five organ transplant in 2002 as a result of suffering from hollow viscus myopathy. Pollard says he’s eternally grateful for the transplant that allowed him to enjoy his children’s childhood. Credit: Lisa Dayley

BURLEY –Mike Pollard kept feeling sick to his stomach.

The episodes increased to such frequency that Pollard knew something wasn’t right. He met with Twin Falls-based gastroenterologist Dr. Ted Rea who diagnosed Pollard with hollow viscus myopathy. That diagnosis resulted in Pollard undergoing an astonishing five organ transplant in February 2002.

Doctors gave Pollard a year or two to live, but Pollard defied doctors’ expectations and is still living twelve years later. Pollard experienced a few close calls, but bounced back, and now serves as a speaker on organ donation.

April i…

Child ran out of time waiting for heart transplant

Standard-Examiner | By Valeria Balbo Frandsen, Standard-Examiner Contributed

April is National Donate Life Month and like so many other families, my family too has been affected by organ donation. This is a subject that we gave little thought about until the old cliché “life or death” became our literal reality.

In August 2001, my husband and I welcomed our first child into our family. Vittoria was born with Marfan Syndrome, a connective tissue disorder that most commonly affects the heart, joints, eyes and blood vessels. Vittoria didn’t let the physical challenges hold her back as she impacted everyone around her with a very strong, happy, cheerful, fearless, determined, and extremely polite personality. She was as fluent in Italian as she was in English and her artistic abilities were well beyond her years as she was always drawing and sketching in her free time. She truly amazed all who knew her.

Vittoria had her first open heart surgery when she was 18 months old to fix her l…

Wall Honors Organ Donors

NWA online | Christie Swanson

Washington Regional Medical Center Dedicates Display
Anthony Reyes
Jordan Curtis, from left, with Arkansas Regional Organ Recovery Agency, talks Wednesday with Trista Cravens, Jeri Williams and Nicki Pitts, after the unveiling of Washington Regional Medical Center’s Organ Donor Memorial Wall at the Fayetteville hospital in Fayetteville. The wall features the names of people who have donated organs at the hospital. Curtis is the in-house organ coordinator at Washington Regional, and the other three are the sisters and mother of Trenton Williams who donated his organs after his death. The event featured staff of the hospital, families of donors and recipients.

Organ donation is a quick yes or no box checked on a driver’s license application for most people.
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UA surgeon explores heart, lung transplant alternatives

Arizona Daily Wildcats | Kelsi Thorud

Arizona Daily Wildcat Photo courtesy of jo gellerman, director of marketing and community affairs. Zain Khalpey, a UA cardiothoracic surgeon, works with a bioreactor, where organs are placed to develop after being decellularized and seeded with a patient’s stem cells.

A UA surgeon is looking to revolutionize organ transplants.

Dr. Zain Khalpey, a UA cardiothoracic surgeon, associate professor and director of clinical and transplantation research, is exploring ways to regenerate, recondition or create new organs.

Khalpey hopes to create techniques that will drastically change the way the medical field treats and conducts organ transplantation.

“One of the key problems is trying to replete the donor pool, which is ever-shrinking,” Khalpey said. “I’ve been trying to tackle this whole idea ever since I fell in love with doing transplants.”

Khalpey was born in Africa and earned his medical education in the U.K. He studied all across Europe and the U.S. bef…

H.M. Lee, Organ Transplant Pioneer, Dies

Virginia Commonwealth University

H. M. Lee, M.D., an internationally renowned pioneer in organ transplantation and former professor and chairman in the Division of Vascular and Transplant Surgery at the Medical College of Virginia, which became the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, died March 24 at the age of 87.

In the 1950s at MCV, Lee was an integral member of one of only four transplant programs in the world. He was a charter member and the 11th president of the American Society of Transplant Surgeons (ASTS), where he pushed for the passing of the National Organ Transplant Act, and he helped found, along with his mentor, David Hume, M.D., the organization that gave rise to the United Network for Organ Sharing, or UNOS.

“Dr. Lee and Dr. Hume were involved in changing the history of medicine,” said Robert A. Fisher, M.D., H.M. Lee Professor of Surgery and Pediatrics in the VCU School of Medicine. “Lee defined the practice of kidney transplantation for the world and h…

Johns Creek employee s foundation hosts fundraiser for organ donation awareness

Neighbor Newspapers
The Swing Easy Hit Hard Foundation will hold its annual Charity Golf Tournament on April 18 at the Windermere Golf Club to increase organ donation awareness and to raise funds to support the patient and family support programs of the Georgia Transplant Foundation and the Emory Transplant Clinic.

Kirk Franz, recreation manager for the city of Johns Creek, will be celebrating the three-year anniversary of his life-saving liver transplant that he received at Emory University Hospital. Kirk needed a new liver in May of 2010 after being diagnosed with Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis and Cholangiocarcinoma.

Kirk and his wife, Shannon, serve as Liver Transplant Mentors for the Georgia Transplant Foundation and serve on the Emory Transplant Clinic’s Patient & Family Advisory Council.

Read more: Neighbor Newspapers - Johns Creek employee s foundation hosts fundraiser for organ donation awareness
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The Obligation to Say ‘Thank you’: Heart Transplant Recipients’ Experience of Writing to the Donor Family

American Journal of Transplantation
J. M. Poole1, M. Shildrick2, E. De Luca3, S. E. Abbey4, O. E. Mauthner3, P. D. McKeever5, H. J. Ross6,* Article first published online: 22 FEB 2011
DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-6143.2010.03419.x

Transplant recipients are encouraged to write anonymous thank-you letters to the donor family. We prospectively explored heart transplant recipients’ embodied responses to the ‘obligation’ to write a thank-you letter using audio/video-taped open-ended interviews (N = 27). Fifteen of the 19 participants, who wrote letters to the donor family, expressed or visually revealed significant distress about issues such as the obligation to write anonymously and the inadequacy of the ‘thank-you’. Writing the thank-you letter is not a neutral experience for heart transplant recipients. Rethinking the obligatory practice regarding the thank-you letter and developing the necessary support for the recipient through this process is necessary.

Clinical practice e…

Patient returns to Keck Hospital April 5 during special event supporting organ donation

Transplant Cafe

A man who has made it his life mission to raise awareness about organ donation is returning to Keck Hospital of USC, where, 10 years ago, he received a life-saving lung transplant. And when he comes April 5, Bill Widen will bring with him his Donate Life car. Widen drives the Chevy Nova to drag-racing events and hospitals as a way to encourage people to become organ and tissue donors. Donor families across the country have signed the car to show their support.

April also happens to be National Donate Life Month. “People are afraid to put the dot on their license,” said Widen, who runs Donate Life/Signatures Across America. “We talk to them about that.”
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Are You Ready for National Donate Life Blue and Green Day?

Donate Life America
This year's observance will be on Friday, April 19. Check out this great flyer for more details and don't forget to share with your friends and constituents! 
Visit to download the National Donate Life Blue & Green logo, facebook cover, web banners and more.

Don't forget about the National Donate Life Blue & Green Day contest! Click on the 'great flyer' hyperlink above to get your copy

Texans encouraged to sign up as organ donors during National Donate Life Month in April

Humble Observer | Stephanie Thomas

HOUSTON – Donate Life Texas, the state team of organ and tissue donation professionals celebrates April as the 10th annual National Donate Life Month. Originally a week long observance, it was officially recognized as a month-long event in 2003. The celebration commemorates those who have received or continue to wait for lifesaving transplants and those who have given the ultimate gift through donation.

“Increasing the number of registered organ, eye and tissue donors that saves lives is an important part of our daily work. April gives us a focused month to honor the lives of those who have given and received and it provides a perfect opportunity to renew our commitment to saving lives,” said Kevin Myer of Donate Life Texas.
Across the country, more than 117,000 men, women and children wait for a lifesaving transplant and thousands more wait for life-restoring tissue donations. In Texas, more than 11,000 residents wait for their second chance; approxim…

Taylor’s Gift: A young organ donor’s story to take to heart

Toronto Star | Barbara Turnbull
Mother of 13-year-old killed in ski accident yearned to hear daughter’s heart beating inside organ recipient.

Todd and Tara Storch have found purpose in their pain.

On March 15, 2010, their 13-year-old daughter Taylor Storch, smashed into a tree while on a family ski holiday in Colorado. She was rushed to hospital but was pronounced dead the next day.

The grieving parents choose to donate her organs and corneas for transplant and have since experienced the ripple effect of that unselfish act.

The Coppell, Texas, couple is in Toronto this weekend to promote their book Taylor’s Gift (Baker Publishing Group, $15.99), and spread awareness of the beautiful gift organ and tissue donation can be.

“Toronto is an important market for our story,” says Todd. “There’s been lots of interest.”
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Henry’s Louisiana Grill Celebrates National Donate Life Month

Acworth Patch
“Chef Henry’s Challenge” encourages restaurant guests to pledge to register with the Donate Life Georgia.

April is National Donate Life Month and it’s a month of special importance for Chef Henry Chandler of Henry’s Louisiana Grill. Throughout the month of April, Chandler will be raising awareness for organ donation with “Chef Henry’s Challenge to Save a Life.” “Chef Henry’s Challenge” encourages restaurant guests to pledge to register with the Donate Life Georgia registry.

This cause is particularly important to Chandler because he was diagnosed with liver cancer in 2007. He began treatments, which he soon learned were ineffective. A transplant was his only option for survival. Though no donor was immediately available, at the 11th hour, prayers were answered and the Cajun chef underwent a successful transplant surgery at Piedmont Hospital in 2008.Continue reading

Transplanting organs: How are decisions made

7News The Denver Channel | Dr.Dianne McCallister
Dr. Dianne McCallister, Chief Medical Officer at Centura's Porter Adventist Hospital

The recent high profile cases of donated organs after severe auto accidents has raised our awareness of this life-saving gift from the victim's family.

While organ transplantation has become much more common, many of us still have question regarding how it happens, and how decisions are made to use the organs, and to whom they go.
Transplants are such a gift to the recipient - what tissues can be transplanted?

Kidneys, liver, the pancreas, intestines, hearts and lungs are the most widely known, but skin, eyes bones, tendons and heart valves are among the other tissues that are transplantable.

How do organ donors choose to give their organs?

In our state (Colorado), we can choose to be organ donors, and note it, on our driver's licenses.

The decision to donate multiple vital organs, which we hear about after severe accidents, is made after brain …

Saturday, March 30th is National Doctor's Day

Donate Life AmericaIn celebration of National Doctors’ Day, we thank all the physicians who help make donation and transplantation possible! Here’s a touching story of how one doctor learned first-hand about the amazing gift of organ donation.

Pioneering transplant surgeon honored

Lo Hud

David Morris and his daughter, Lauren Green, at his New City home March 22. Dr. Khalid Butt took one of his Morris' kidneys and transplanted it Green. ( Peter Carr / The Journal News ) / Peter Carr/The Journal News

When Dr. Khalid Butt transplanted a kidney from one person to another for the first time in 1971, the operation was risky and still considered experimental.

But by the time the Briarcliff Manor resident retired from Westchester Medical Center 40 years later, he had performed the transplant 4,000 times, mostly in patients from the Lower Hudson Valley.

His half-century-long career spans the history of the nation’s most commonly performed organ transplant.

“He was truly a pioneer,” said Ellen Yoshiuchi, program director for the National Kidney Foundation, which honored Butt with its lifetime achievement award in a ceremony Friday in New York City.

Grateful patients agree.
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5K race to raise awareness, funds for organ donation

KSL | Amy Donaldson

“He’s my role model,” said his mom, Bobbi Kirk. “It’s really hard for him. He goes to dialysis in the morning (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) and is there until 9 o’clock and then he goes straight to work. The (medical) people tell him that most people go home and go to bed because they’re so worn out after dialysis. But he goes and does a very physically demanding job. He’s an amazing person.” And if there is anything the world needs, it is more amazing people.

Because Jace Kirk has had a blockage from birth that led to his kidney failure, his family has been fundraising for medical procedures for most of his life. This Saturday they’ll host and participate in the Kidney for Kirk Hero Dash 5K in St. George. Participants can dress up in costumes — or not — and run 3.2 miles to help the Kirk family cover medical expenses and raise awareness about organ donation.

Kidney for Kirk: 5K Hero Dash
March 30
5536 So. Desert Canyon Parkway
St. George UT, 84790
$20 per individual, k…

Cahal’s organ donation gift gives ‘new start’ to dad Frank

Derry Journal

Cahal McCloskey has always been close to his dad, Frank.

When he left school, the Dungiven lad joined his father - a well- known sheep dealer - in the family business.

The father and son team worked by each other’s side each day and got on well, knowing each other inside out.

Their bond, however, has become even closer in the past year and a half.

In October 2011, Cahal, gave his father a life-changing gift: a “second chance at life” when he donated one of his kidneys to him.

“I don’t see it as heroic, or anything like that. I know it was a good thing to do and I have no regrets at all,” says 29-year-old Cahal, with a huge smile.

The journey that led to Cahal’s selfless act started seven years ago when Frank, now aged 58, started dialysis.

Prior to that Frank, who regularly travelled the length and breadth of the country for markets, used to feel tired a lot. His kidneys were deteriorating and he was put on dialysis five years ago, at home and at hospital.
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Organ donation fell 17 per cent last year – IKA

The Journal IE

Image: spinetta via Shutterstock
The Chief Executive of the IKA said no other European country experienced Ireland’s “wide swings” in donor activity – and that Ireland required infrastructure and funding to stabilise donation behaviour
IRISH ORGAN DONATION figures fell last year to below average, the Irish Kidney Association (IKA) has revealed.

Speaking at the national launch of Organ Donor Awareness Week, Chief Executive of the IKA Mark Murphy said that 2010 was almost a record low for organ donation, 2011 was a record high and 2012, at 17 per cent less than the previous year, was below average.

“I don’t know of another European country, even of a similar size population, with such wide swings in deceased donor activity,” Murphy said. “Unless the required infrastructure and funding is implemented in the Republic, the Organ Donor Consent issue is irrelevant at this time as there is much more to do here before such deliberations take place.”
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New Wales organ donation system could cause ‘havoc’ - Gwent doc

South Wales Argus

WARNING: Professor John Saunders fears the new system for organ donation in Wales could wreak ‘havoc’ on the number of potential donors and organs available

A SINGLE mishandled case of organ donation under a new system to be introduced in Wales could wreak “havoc” on the number of potential donors and organs available, a senior Gwent doctor has warned.

Professor John Saunders fears the Human Transplantation (Wales) Bill creates “hazards” for the present transplantation programme, with the Organ Donor Register a particular cause for worry.

The Bill will introduce a ‘soft’ opt-out system of organ donation in Wales, in which people will be deemed to have consented to donate organs in the event of their death, unless they have stated otherwise.
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Nigeria: Ailing actress Ngozi Nwosu discharged from U.K hospital after organ transplantation

Health Destinations

Last month, ailing actress Ngozi Nwosu of Fuji House of Commotion fame flew to the United Kingdom to have a much needed heart and kidney transplant, with great relief we can tell you the operation was successful and Ngozi is now out of hospital.

We cannot tell how long she’ll be in the UK before returning home, however pictures she sent show how dramatically she’s transformed from the weak, emaciated Ngozi that left the Muritala Mohammed International airport, Lagos, last month.

Since early last year, the Fuji house of commotion troublesome wife and talented actress who played Peaceful Peace has been a shadow of her old self as she continued to emaciate following her body’s on-going battle against undisclosed heart and kidney related ailments, her friends in the industry panicked and raced the earth to raise money for her treatments but even their efforts were not enough until Governor Fashola stepped in.

The governor donated 4.5 million naira after reportedly reading …