Saturday, October 31, 2015

Carve out time to register as an organ, eye and tissue donor


Terry Deitz Reveals the Terrifying Story of Being Pulled from Survivor

People | Steve Helling
Deitz, 56, tells PEOPLE about the scary experience and how his son is doing today.
It was such an emotional situation to watch you get pulled from the game. You must have known when Jeff Probst walked onto your beach that it wasn't good news.
Absolutely. Whenever he shows up, it's never good news. And so he gets me from the shelter and as I'm walking down the beach, I'm not sure what he's going to say. I've got an 85-year-old mom and an 85-year-old mother-in-law, so I'm wondering if something happened to them.
And then the first thing he said was, 'Your son, Danny.' And I thought, 'Oh, my God.' He had just gotten his license; did he get in a car crash? I was so afraid that I was going to hear the word D-E-A-D. It was the worst moment of my life.
Wow. That sounds awful.
Jeff didn't know much either because of HIPAA laws. So we were really in the dark. All we knew was that something serious had happened.
Did Danny have any previous health problems?
No. None at all. This is the kind of thing that you hear about athletes who fall down on the field and never get up. He had a type of enlarged heart: dilated cardiomyopathy. It started to present itself right after I left for Cambodia.
My wife and Danny had just eaten lunch at Panera, and they went to the doctor because Danny wasn't feeling right. The doctors thought it was bronchitis or something else. They took an X-ray and realized that his lungs were clear but his heart was enlarged. They sent them to emergency room. It all happened so fast.

Twins who helped change organ donation laws celebrate 40 years since their own transplant


CARMEL, Ind. -An early trick or treater was ready with a trick for her twin sister.

They're marking 40 years since a kidney transplant that made national news and changed organ donation policies.

Merrilyn Sikorski was 11 years old when doctors in Boston told her that her kidneys were too small and she did not have long to live. Her twin sister, Merrily Cundiff, wanted to donate one of hers but she had to go to court to be the first child under the age of 18 to volunteer a kidney.

"Just this morning, I was thinking about my sister, and just so thankful that she's here and that she's an amazing person," said Cundiff. "She has shown me such perseverance with things that have been very difficult in her life and joy with all of the things that she's had to deal with, and so I'm just thankful that I was able to...provide really something very simple." VIDEO, continue reading


Pedal for Life group remembers Donaldsonville organ donor

Donaldsonville Chief | Leslie D. Rose

DONALDSONVILLE – On Oct. 22, a group of cyclists on a life-saving mission stopped for a brief visit, on their way to New Orleans for the Donate Life America conference.

Beginning their long distance journey at Kinnick Football Stadium in Iowa City, Iowa, the team of cyclists included Bruce and Tiffini Brockway, riding in honor of their son, Garrett. The Brockway’s Team Garrett riders made a point to stop in Donaldsonville’s Louisiana Square to celebrate the life of Shawn Elizabeth Guillot.Both the Guillots and Brockways know not just the pain of losing their children, but also the joy of watching their lost loved ones give life.

More than 20 years ago, Don and Peggy Guillot’s 15-year-old daughter, Shawn Elizabeth, gave life to six people and sight to two others as an organ donor after her tragic death. In 2013, the Brockway’s son, 10-year-old Garrett, became an organ and tissue donor, saving five lives, and helping to improve vision for two others.

Peggy Guillot, who has been an organ donor activist since her daughter’s passing, set up the meet with the cyclists. She contacted Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency (LOPA), Mayor Leroy Sullivan – who gave The Brockways ‘the key to the city’ and Ascension Catholic High School – where Shawn Elizabeth was a student at the time of her passing. Continue reading


Friday, October 30, 2015

Fallen officer to be honored in Rose Parade

WTVM | Marie Waxel

Faulkner Family

MUSCLE SHOALS, AL (WAFF) - Donating your organs can change lives.

For a former Alabama Law Enforcement officer his generous spirit lives through his organ donations following his untimely death. His family is now getting the opportunity to share his story across the nation.

Brian Faulkner committed his life to public service through law enforcement, dedicating himself to not only his family, but his community. Faulkner died in March of 2014 from injuries sustained in a motorcycle crash.

"He was always finding a way to help anybody he could and that's just makes me really happy to know he's still able to help people when he's not here,” said son Blake Faulkner.

His wife Heather said her husband was a planner "he had things planned out. He knew that once he left this earth that he wanted to give somebody else the chance of a better life."

One of his plans included organ donation. Continue reading, GA News Weather & Sports


Morgue inks tissue donation agreement

Hanford Sentinal | Seth Nidever

Kings County Chief Deputy Coroner Shawn McRae explains how the donor recovery room works at the new Coroners office on Thursday afternoon.

To some, transplanting a dead person’s cornea into a living donor’s eye might seem Halloweenish. For Kings County and Donor Network West, it’s anything but.

The two entities finalized an agreement this week that allows medical staff from Donor Network West to recover tissue from authorized donors who end up in the morgue. The network will pay the county a fee each time they use the facility.

Car crash victims, people who died in suspicious circumstances and other bodies go to the morgue for autopsies on a regular basis.

Now that Kings County staff have moved into a spacious new morgue facility with an extra examination room (the old, cramped space was in the basement of the former King County hospital on Lacey Boulevard), there is space for network staff to procure tissue from registered donors and get it to patients who need it. Continue reading


Oklahoma Dad puts plea for kidney donor for son on pick-up truck; photo goes viral

OKC FOX | Kylen Mills

A father son bond that can't be broken Edward Shane O'Brien of Meeker says there's nothing harder than watching his son Edward Storm O'Brien deal with kidney failure.

"I've been to treatment with him before and yea it's hard to watch your kid lay there," said Shane.

Storm was born with renal failure and spent a lot of his childhood in hospitals. In 2009 he had a transplant, but that kidney started failing about 2 years ago. Now Storm has to have hours of dialysis 3 days a week.

"I don't know it's hard. I mean limited in what you can eat what you can do, activities, it just depends," said Storm.

Another agonizing wait for a donor, Shane decided to take the search into his own hands. Continue reading


Gaylord Lions Club promotes National Donor Sabbath Registration Weekend

Pestosky News

GAYLORD – Nov. 13-15 has been designated National Donor Sabbath Registration Weekend. The Gaylord Lions Club would like to bring awareness of the need to those on waiting list for corneal and organ donations.

National Donor Sabbath is observed annually two weekends before Thanksgiving. This three-day observance seeks to include the days of worship for major religions practiced in the United States. During National Donor Sabbath, Lions clubs will be urging all faith leaders to educate their congregations about the need for the lifesaving and healing gifts passed to others through transplantation, while also encouraging people to sign up in their state registry as organ, eye and tissue donors. Continue reading


Tissue Donation: You Can Control What Happens To Your Tissues

News Channel 5

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - If you know someone who's benefited from organ donation, you know it's a priceless gift of life.

But you may not know as much about tissue donation, that it has helped fuel a billion-dollar-plus industry.

While there's a lot of good that can come tissue donation, we discovered that there are ways for you to set limits on what happens to your tissues.

To understand the potential for tissue donation, you need to walk in Kim Engelhardt's shoes -- or, more specifically, run in them.

"In December 2000, I was diagnosed with periosteal osteosarcoma, which is a type of bone cancer," she recalled.

It was a tumor in her left thigh bone.

"Being a nurse I had seen so many situations where people did have to have amputations, so that's just what I thought was going to happen to me as well." Continue Reading


Halloween extra sweet for 6-year-old transplant recipient

KETV | Omaha | Andrew Ozaki

OMAHA, Neb. - Halloween is supposed to be fun for kids, especially if it lands on their birthday.

But for one little boy, Oct. 31 will always be the day he got a life-changing treat.

And this year will finally be different.

French fries, chicken nuggets and burgers: it's all soon-to-be 7-year-old Patrick Hoopes eats.

"And bacon," added Dr. Alan Langnas. "So I completely respect that."

And his parents and his doctor couldn't be happier.

That's because until eight months ago, Patrick could only eat through a tube. He was born with a condition called gastroschisis, which means his intestines were outside of his abdomen.

His parents, Emily and Brian Hoopes, knew this and the challenges they would face when they adopted Patrick when he was 5 days old. Continue reading VIDEO


Liver Awareness Month Wrap-up

Indiana Donor Network
As we wrap up Liver Awareness Month, we urge you to learn more about your liver.

The liver is the largest internal organ in the body- and it performs many jobs. It processes what you eat and drink into energy and nutrients your body uses and filters out harmful substances from your blood. At least 30 million people—or one in 10 Americans—have some form of liver disease. Over 15,000 Americans are awaiting a life-saving liver transplant, including nearly 70 Hoosiers.

Make your donation decision at


You have the power to SAVE Lives
We are asking you to register as an organ, eye and tissue donor today.
In California:
...Please, it is important to share your deccison with your family.

2016 Donate Life Float" Floragraph Honoree - Brice Fabing

Donate Life Float

Seventeen-year-old Brice made the decision to become a donor after witnessing a family friend save lives. “I would like to be like Big Gabe - I would like to help others too!” he told his mother. A month later, a car accident took Brice’s life and Brice’s family found themselves back in the same room Big Gabe held. Knowing their son’s decision to save others with his gifts of life, Brice’s parents supported donation. After four days of waiting, it was discovered that Brice’s rare blood type matched with a man in need of life-saving gifts. Although Brice is gone, his gifts of life live on in Jim Stavis, who is riding on the Float this year.

Sponsored by: PARAGON STEEL

For more on the  Donate Life Rose Parade Float


Babble | Alice Gomstyn

I’ve never been one to put much thought into my Halloween costumes. My most, er, interesting one to date was the Hester Prynne outfit — the fictional adulteress of The Scarlett Letter fame — I fashioned for myself in high school. (At the time, some assumed the giant “A” emblazoned on my dress stood for Alice. Sigh.)

Once I became a mother, however, any thoughts I had of dressing up for the holiday went out the window; I concentrated on my kids’ costume needs instead. I’m impressed with any parent who manages to dress both themselves and their children for trick-or-treating, parades and the like … and I’m triply impressed with California mom Kristi Ouimet: She’s put together not just a cool costume, but a costume with a cause: raising awareness for organ donation.

Ouimet and her son Matthew, 3, who received a liver and kidney transplant last year, together created a giant replica of Ouimet’s driver’s license, complete with a hole for her head. Beyond its large size, the mock license bears another striking difference from the real thing: it features the logo and website of Donate Life America, a non-profit group that promotes organ donor registries. Continue reading


Rise in number of North East organ donors, new figures reveal

Chronicle Live | Craig Thompson

Liver transplant patient Phoebe Pace

Numbers of organs donors in the North East has risen by nearly a quarter in just four and a half years.

Figures disclosed in parliament showed 846,355 people in the region were on the NHS Organ Donor Register as of this month.

That is an increase of 154,330, or 22.3 per cent, on the 692,025 people who were on the register at the end of March 2011.

It means that roughly one third of all men, women and children in the region have declared willing to donate.

There are currently more than 300 people waiting for transplants in the North East.

Earlier this year, more than 20,000 people across the region agreed to become organ donors after a Chronicle and Journal campaign to boost the number of lifesavers in the region smashed its target. Continue reading


Maddie's Dash to raise funds for local infant's liver transplant

The Wilson Post

Maddie's Dash 5K and Children's 1-Mile Costume Fun Run will be held on Saturday at College Hills Church of Christ for the Children's Organ Transplant Association (COTA) in honor of Maddie Whitlock, a Mt. Juliet area infant in need of a liver transplant.

Seven-month-old Whitlock is listed for a liver transplant at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston, and funds are being raised to assist with transplant-related expenses. Whitlock was diagnosed with Biliary Atresia at only two months old, and the Whitlock family needs an estimated $50,000 to pay for transplant-related expenses. Biliary Atresia is a chronic, progressive liver problem that becomes evident shortly after birth. It occurs once in every 18,000 births, and the cause is unknown.

"The family and friends of Maddie Whitlock want to encourage everyone in the community to attend our upcoming 5K in an effort to help give Maddie a second chance at life," Event Chair Jessica Robinson said. "One hundred percent of the profits from Maddie's Dash will assist with transplant-related expenses." Continue Reading



ABC7 New York | Kimberly Richardson

YORK (WABC) -- The Mets may be down two games, but all hope is not lost. They just have to win two games at Citi Field to get back on track.

That's why one die hard fan started a campaign to help give the team a little "oomph".

Social media gave her "oomph" when she needed a double lung transplant and now, she wants to pass it on to her favorite team.

"I wanted to send them extra oomph especially now, they're down by two," said Starck Monte.

It's how Katy is showing her support for the Mets. It may seem unusual until you're reminded of who she is and what all this talk about "oomph" is about.

"I figured why not? I don't know if it will help at all, but I know the oomphs really helped when I was really struggling," Starck Monte said. Continue reading


Thursday, October 29, 2015

Senators owner Eugene Melnyk to launch organ transplant education campaign

Ottawa Citizen | Peter Robb

Eugene Melnyk is a man with two missions at least.


Eugene Melnyk is back in business with a new urgency. TONY CALDWELL / POSTMEDIA

The Ottawa Senators owner says he feels great urgency about his hockey team finding a way to win a Stanley Cup soon.

And he says he is determined to help educate the public about the importance of organ transplantation and how to improve donations.

To that end, he told the Ottawa Citizen, he will launch a public education campaign in November.

“I’m starting this thing on liver transplants,” he said in an interview. It will be “a campaign to get more people to recognize how easy it is to sign up” and why it is important to do so.

“We are going to try to hook up with the NHL and other Canadian teams to do this.”

The Senators owner has been more visible since the launch of the 2015-16 NHL season. While he is still recovering from his liver transplant surgery last May, he is more available for media interviews and is very much back in charge of the hockey team. Continue reading


Communities rally around friend waiting for liver transplant

Argus Leader | Jill Callison

For weeks, Steve Haug's friends competed for the chance to drive him to Sioux Falls.

A failing liver meant twice-weekly trips to Sioux Falls for a procedure to remove built-up fluid in the abdomen. That meant five hours travel time and three to four hours while the procedure to remove 10 to 12 liters of fluid took place.

For 56-year-old Haug, though, picking up the phone to ask for a chauffeur probably was more difficult than the procedure itself, said his sister, Jan Voigt of Rapid City.

"It was hard for him, but he had many, many people offering to give him rides," Voigt said. "Picking up the phone to ask somebody to help was the hardest thing."

Haug's friends in the Willow Lake and Carpenter area aren't stopping there. They have planned a benefit for Sunday to benefit Haug, who has been unable to work for about a year. Haug worked in Child Protective Services for the state of South Dakota for many years before becoming a bookkeeper for the Wheat Growers cooperative in Carpenter several years ago. Continue reading


Mother raises awareness for organ donation after death of son

WBSF | Joseph Wenzel IV

SPRINGFIELD, MA (WFSB) - A mother remembers the son she lost one year ago this week, but she said she's not letting her grief stop her from fulfilling his dying wish.

Cory Garwacki passed away a year ago this week. Cory's mom Elizabeth Garwacki said he was a hero until the end.

“He was always smiling, always,” Elizabeth Garwacki said. “He appreciated life and really, I mean, really appreciated every day. He made the most out of every single day he had."

Elizabeth Garwacki held back tears while talking about her son, who was born with short gut syndrome. It’s a condition where he was missing the majority of his intestine.

Cory Garwacki was only supposed to live a few days, but he made it past his 27th birthday. Continue reading

WFSB 3 Connecticut


Superior rallies behind resident in need of transplant

Mineral Independent | Adam Robertson

Photo by Adam Robertson/Mineral Independent Connie Schoening Connie Schoening has seen wide-spread support from the Superior community in dealing with her illness; she was diagnosed with an auto-immune disorder a about decade ago.Photo by Adam Robertson/Mineral Independent Connie Schoening Connie Schoening has seen wide-spread support from the Superior community in dealing with her illness; she was diagnosed with an auto-immune disorder a about decade ago.

SUPERIOR – Connie Schoening, a Superior resident for 20 years, was diagnosed with an autoimmune form of Hepatitis in 2004. Her coworkers at the Mineral Community Hospital have since rallied behind her for support as well as helping to raise money for medical fees.

According to Schoening, this form of Hepatitis causes the immune system to stop recognizing friendly cells from bad ones. At the moment, they are attacking her liver, necessitating an eventual transplant.

“I’ve tried other medications, but it’s not curing it,” she said. “The only cure would actually be for the transplant.”

The last few years have been the hardest. She said fatigue has been an issue and her doctor gave her orders to cut back time at work and rest. While the hope is for it to be a long way off, she will also eventually need to quit her job entirely. Continue reading


Wiseguys guide to organ donation

The Signpost | Cecily Kiss

Intermountain Donor Services is teaming up with Wiseguys Comedy Club in Ogden and Ogden Peak Communications to host a free comedy night on October 28th. (Emily Ferguson / The Signpost)

Intermountain Donor Services is teaming up with Wiseguys Comedy Club in Ogden and Ogden Peak Communications to host a free comedy night on October 28th. The event, “The Wiseguys Guide to Organ Donation,” will feature local comedians, including Craig Bielik.

There are a lot of myths and misconceptions about organ donation. We have been working with Wiseguys Comedy Club and a great group of comedians to find ways to use humor to get people to think about some of the issues and clear up the common misconceptions,” Dixie Madsen, the public education and public relations coordinator for Intermountain Donor Services, said.

“Many people don’t want to think about dying or organ donation, so getting people to have that conversation with their families can be difficult. If we can make the topic a little light hearted and get people to laugh a little, they are more open to talking about donation,” Madsen said. Continue reading


Tattooed Heart: One Transplant Recipient’s Ink Tribute to His Organ Donor

UpVoted | Nick Dyen

"I'm an extremely lucky person."

It started with an earache.

At 12 years old, Florida resident Tim L.—better known on Reddit as user MoTioNz—went to the doctor for a routine checkup. Though the boy complained of ear pain, the doctor examined his heart as well and discovered an unrelated arrhythmia.

He referred Tim to a specialist at a nearby hospital, where the 12-year-old received a startling diagnosis: dilated cardiomyopathy, a possibly life-threatening disease of the heart muscle.

“Basically my heart was too big and wasn’t pumping blood properly,” Tim explains.

To correct the problem, the cardiologist implanted a pacemaker, but in the nearly two years that followed, Tim’s health declined steadily.

“I was constantly sick,” he remembers. “I had lost nearly half my body weight, and it kept getting worse and worse.”

His doctors informed him that he would need to receive a heart transplant.

“[That] isn’t something every 14 year old wants to hear,” Tim says.

After an improbably short amount of time on the transplant list—just one week—Tim found a donor whose heart wasn’t a match for anyone above him on the list. Continue reading 

You have the power to SAVE Lives
We are asking you to register as an organ, eye and tissue donor today.
In California:
...Please, it is important to share your deccison with your family.

2016 Donate Life Float: Floragraph Honoree - Betsy Niles

Donate Life Rose Parade

Betsy was a vibrant and loving woman. She was a giver throughout her 60 years of life and was famous for finding the perfect gift for each occasion. On March 30, 2011, Betsy was walking to catch the train to work in the city and was hit by a van just yards short of the Upper Montclair train station. The following day, Betsy passed away as a result of a serious head injury. The theme of Betsy’s eulogy was: "THE EXACT RIGHT GIFT AT THE EXACT RIGHT TIME", because on the day she died, Betsy gave two complete strangers the exact gift they needed: her kidneys. In doing so, she gave them each another chance at life.

Read about all of this year's inspiring Donate Life Rose Parade Float 

You have the power to SAVE Lives
We are asking you to register as an organ, eye and tissue donor today.
In California:
...Please, it is important to share your deccison with your family.

2016 Donate Life Float Floragraph Honoree

Donate Life Float

Brent Christopher Covington was a beloved husband, father, son, brother, friend, and fellow worker. He loved sports, the outdoors, family game night, everything Disney, and most of all, Brent loved his family deeply. As a corrections officer, Brent’s co-workers have expressed that he was well-liked and respected. In July of 2015 at 40 years of age, Brent took his own life. It was a shocking tragedy for all who knew and loved him. Brent’s life inspired so many while he was alive that it was comforting to his family to know, that while his death was tragic, his life would continue to touch others. His donations will be a blessing to many more lives for years to come.

To learn more about the Donate Life Rose Parade Float

Be a symbol of hope for those waiting.

Donate Life Northwest
When someone we know dies, it can call attention to the importance of the spiritual dimension of life. And when faced with the decision of organ, eye and tissue donation during the trauma of a loved one’s death, the question often arises, “What is my religion’s stance on organ and tissue donation?” Most people are not aware of their faith’s doctrine or position regarding organ and tissue donation. As a result, the decision-maker often looks to a faith leader for an informed answer. This November, with your help, we can educate individuals and save more lives.

Today, most faith communities are supportive of donation and the individual choices of its members. Many view donation as an act of compassion and generosity. National Donor Sabbath provides an opportunity for faith communities to share their views and join in the conversation. We ask your assistance in educating your faith community this coming November 13-15 for National Donor Sabbath.  For more information and materials

You have the power to SAVE Lives
We are asking you to register as an organ, eye and tissue donor today.
In California:
...Please, it is important to share your deccison with your family.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

D.C. hospital's new kidney program underscores CEO's strategy 'to do things no one else does'

Biz Journal

Ken Lund, Flickr User

When people think of George Washington University Hospitals, officials want them to think kidneys. More specifically, they want patients to think of the hospital as the place to go to fix the most complex of medical conditions.

As part of that strategy, the hospital is establishing its new Ron and Joy Paul Kidney Transplant Center with the help of a $2.5 million donation from EagleBank's CEO and his wife. They will formally dedicate the center next week.

Under CEO Barry Wolfman, the hospital has made a series of announcements raising its profile, including the creating a new cancer center to speed research and clinical therapies available. Last year, the hospital regained its verification as a Level 1 trauma center and unveiled plans to revive its dormant organ transplant program after an administrative law judge granted the hospital permission to begin kidney and pancreas transplants. The hospital completed its first kidney transplant since restarting the program in January. Continue reading


Man proposed to stunned girlfriend after coming round from organ donation operation

Rossendale Free Press | Bianca Murray

After Jack Buckley woke up following a major organ donation operation, his worried girlfriend Evelyn Robinson rushed to his bedside.

But she was in for the shock of her life when just minutes after coming round from the operation to remove two-thirds of his liver, her boyfriend asked her to marry him.

Jack and Evelyn, of Hargreaves Drive, Rawtenstall, recently moved in together.

Nevertheless care assistant Evelyn, 22, said the proposal - and its timing - left her in complete shock.

She said: “His surgery was six hours, and he was in recovery for over 11 hours because he was so dehydrated.

“I was really worried as they didn’t tell us much when he was in recovery. It was a long time to be waiting for news. Continue reading


Organ donor numbers rise by 4.1million in 4.5 years with one third of Britons signed up

Mirror UK | David Ottewell

The number of people willing to give their organs to save others has risen by nearly a quarter in just four and a half years.

Figures disclosed in Parliament showed some 21.9m people were on the NHS Organ Donor Register as of this month.

That is an increase of 4.1m, or 23.1 per cent, on the 17.8m people who were on the register at the end of March 2011.

It means that roughly one third of all men, women and children have declared themselves willing to donate. Continue reading.