Thursday, December 31, 2015

News from Nearby: Scotch Plains Mother & Organ Donor to Walk in 2016 Rose Parade

Tap Into Clark

Donna Albanese-Demair and her parents at Dairy Queen Plainfield. Credits: Donna Albanese-Demair

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ – On Jan. 1, a familiar face from Scotch Plains will walk alongside the 13th annual Donate Life Float in Pasadena, CA, in the 2016 Rose Parade.

Donna Albanese-Demair, owner of the Plainfield Dairy Queen, will be among the 12 individuals walking in the Rose Bowl who have donated a kidney to a family member or a stranger. She recently hosted a celebration with NJ Sharing Network and organ donors.

In 2002, as a mother of three children, Donna made a life-changing decision and underwent transplant surgery to donate a kidney to her mother, saving her life.

“At the age of 43, I had an opportunity to reevaluate what is truly important in life. The little stuff does not matter,” she said. “Life is precious, we must find the good in all things and when we reach out to help others we end up helping ourselves the most.” Continue reading

 

Banning woman’s daughter to be honored in Rose Parade

Record Gazette | David James Heiss

Barbara Do Couto tells supporters about the life — and afterlife — of her daughter, Debra Botelho, and discusses the process used in the making of Botelho’s “floragraph” that will be used in the Donate Life float in the Rose Parade, during a ceremony at San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital in November.

The late Debra Botelho’s eyebrows consist of coffee grounds, as does her hair. Her lips are pure cinnamon, her pupils ground rice; her face is finished with farina.

The background for this giant brooch is comprised of cut dried mums.

Because Botelho’s body has provided tissue transplants for more than 50 people since she died at age of 35 in Jan. 2006, today, during the 2016 Rose Parade, her face will be one of 58 floragraphs that grace the Donate Life float as it makes its way down Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena.

Her mother, Barbara Do Couto, of Banning, helped decorate Donate Life’s float entry in Placentia, and worked on the floragraph.

Do Couto, who is an ambassador for Donate Life, was informed in July that her daughter’s visage would be among those selected for the float in 2016. Continue reading

 

A rose to honor those who donated organs this year: Dennis McCarthy

Los Angeles Daily News | Dennis McCarthy

Carla Hentz, Myra Carta, Paula Marbach and Mina Sadighi. ICU nurses from Providence St. Joseph’s and Holy Cross place roses on the Donate Life Float for the 2016 Rose Parade. The roses represent the donor families from their hospitals who donated their loved one’s organs in the last year. Courtesy Photo

Intensive care unit nurses from hospitals all over Greater Los Angeles came to Pasadena this week to place roses on OneLegacy’s Donate Life float in honor of all the families who donated their deceased loved one’s organs this year so others might live.

They were all working in their own ICU’s the night a tragedy happened — when a son or daughter, father or mother was wheeled into their hospital hanging on to life by a thread.

While their devastated loved ones sat in a waiting room nearby praying for a miracle but fearing the worst, these nurses cut their breaks short to make regular visits to sit with them and try to keep their hopes up.

“We hugged them, held their hand, and gave them hope,” Paula Marbach says. “And when hope was lost, we cried and mourned with them. Now we’re back with a rose to honor and thank them.” Continue reading

 

Taos man's heart lives on at New Year’s parade

Santa Fe New Mexican News | Cody Hooks

When the floats start rolling down the streets of Pasadena, Calif., for the 127th annual New Year’s Day Rose Parade, one Taoseño, Maj. Kelley Allen Chase, will be there in more ways than one.

His portrait, rendered in thousands of seeds, leaves and flower petals, will be among 60 such floragraphs honoring people who gave the gift of life with their organs. And now, three years after receiving Chase’s heart, Ralph Howell will be walking strong for millions to see.

Chase, a husband and father of two, was killed during a training accident with the Oklahoma City Police Department in 2012. Though his life took him away from Northern New Mexico, Chase was born and raised in Taos. His mom, Jacquelyn Chase, said “he worked on the ski team, played baseball, soccer, all the usual things” when he was growing up here at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.Chase, a husband and father of two, was killed during a training accident with the Oklahoma City Police Department in 2012. Though his life took him away from Northern New Mexico, Chase was born and raised in Taos. His mom, Jacquelyn Chase, said “he worked on the ski team, played baseball, soccer, all the usual things” when he was growing up here at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Continue reading

 

Teen's organ donation honored on rose parade float

Richmond Times-Dispatch | Bill Lohmann

Katie Barton of Powhatan County is among the 60 organ donors honored with a “floragraph.”

When she was little, Katie Barton used to sit before the television on New Year’s Day and watch the Tournament of Roses Parade, made famous for its floats made of flower blooms.

On Friday, more than a dozen years after her death in a traffic crash, Katie will be in the parade and on one of those floats.

When she was little, Katie Barton used to sit before the television on New Year’s Day and watch the Tournament of Roses Parade, made famous for its floats made of flower blooms.

On Friday, more than a dozen years after her death in a traffic crash, Katie will be in the parade and on one of those floats.

Katie will be among 60 “floragraphs” — portraits made from flowers — that depict deceased organ donors being honored on the Donate Life float in what has become an annual celebration of organ donation at the Rose Parade. Katie’s father, Jonathan Barton, and her stepmother, Betsy Stark Barton, traveled to Pasadena, Calif., for the event.Katie will be among 60 “floragraphs” — portraits made from flowers — that depict deceased organ donors being honored on the Donate Life float in what has become an annual celebration of organ donation at the Rose Parade. Katie’s father, Jonathan Barton, and her stepmother, Betsy Stark Barton, traveled to Pasadena, Calif., for the event. Continue reading

 

2016 Donate Life Rose Parade Float Floragraph Honoree

Donate Life Float

Your 2016 Donate Life Float Floragraph Honorees.

Click here to see slide show: 2016 Donate Life Rose Parade Float Floragraph Honorees

 

2016 Donate Life Float

Donate Life Float

A sneak peak. The Donate Life Float will be the #36

 

Local mom meets man who got her son's heart after tragedy, transplant

WRDW | Christie Ethridge

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- A local mom's tragedy becomes another man's miracle.

Mary Fallen's son, 28-year-old Rashad Boynton, was killed after a fight at a club back in 2013.

Thanks to organ donation, Rashad's heart gave another man life.

Now, two and a half years later, Rashad's mom is meeting the man who got her son's heart. News 12 takes you to the moment they met.

They were steps he never knew he'd take, walking toward the family of the man whose heart now beat inside his chest.

In that moment, gripping his little daughter's hand, Marvin Freeman's heart beat a little faster as if it knew it was coming home. Continue reading

 

Refugee arrives in Edmonton hoping to save sister's life

CBC Edmonton | Rick McConnell

'Now I will get a new life,' says Janet Machtoub, 'thanks to my sister'

Laila Maaen, left, and her sister, Janet Machtoub, were reunited Thursday at Edmonton International Airport. (CBC)

The two sisters could not stop hugging each other.

Their tearful airport reunion represents a new start for both of them.

It rescued one from a refugee camp in Lebanon and will, they hope, restore the other's health.

Laila Maaen came to Canada on Thursday to give her sister a kidney and a chance at a better life.

"It's a gift from god on my New Year," Janet Machtoub said after her sister stepped off a flight at Edmonton International Airport. "And she is a gift for me."

The family is originally from Lebanon. Machtoub, 35, has lived in Edmonton since 1999 and has been sick for much of the last decade.

Her kidneys are failing and she spends nine hours each night, from midnight to 9 a.m., hooked up to a home dialysis machine. She has already had one failed transplant.

Maaen and several family members were living in Syria when the civil war broke out there. They escaped and spent the past two-and-a-half years in a refugee camp. Continue reading

 

Spring Hill, Kansas, girl to be honored for her gift of life at 2015 Rose Parade

KSHB | Cynthia Newsome

SPRING HILL, Kan. - Hally Yust of Spring Hill, Kan., is one of 60 organ donors nationwide being celebrated on this year's Donate Life America float at the Tournament of Roses Parade on New Year's Day.

Nine-year-old Hally died in 2014 from a bacterial infection caused by an amoeba.

Hally will have a floragraph on the float. Float design teams created a picture of Hally using flowers and seeds. The Midwest Transplant Network sponsors Hally's floragraph.

Hally's relatives were given the honor of adding finishing touches to the floragraph.

Hally's parents, Jenny and Shon Yust, will be in Pasadena, Calif., along with friends and other relatives to see the float. Shon and Jenny Yust donated their daughter's kidneys, and because of that gift, the recipients, two adult men, are able to enjoy life with their families. Continue reading.

 

Oklahomans to be honored in 2016 Rose Parade

Edmund Sun

From left, Rae Ann Gossett; Elke Meeus, the creator of the floragraph of Maj. Kelley Chase; Ralph Howell and Jeff Orlowski.

Three locals will be representing Oklahoma in the 2016 Rose Parade on New Year’s Day. Maj. Kelley Chase and Ralph Howell, both of Edmond, and Rae Ann Gossett, of Shawnee, will all be a part of the Donate Life Float featured in the parade.

Every year, LifeShare of Oklahoma helps sponsor the Donate Life Float in the Tournament of Roses Parade on New Year’s Day to spread the message about organ, eye and tissue donation. As a sponsor, LifeShare is able to send one recipient to ride the float and one donor portrait to be honored on the float.

As an added bonus this year, Nazih Zuhdi Transplant Institute at INTEGRIS Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma City, also sponsored the float and is being represented by a living donor.

This January, Oklahoma will be represented by the following three individuals:

Maj. Kelley Chase, organ and tissue donorMaj. Kelley Chase, organ and tissue donor. Continue reading

 

Organ donor to be honored in Rose Parade

Journal and Courier | Taya Flores

A Fort Wayne apartment fire in 2009 rendered Jennifer Spurgeon brain dead; Her organ donations saved the lives of three people.

For the past five years, Rhonda Berger of Winamac has advocated for organ donation because it’s the legacy that keeps the memory of her daughter, Jennifer Spurgeon, alive.

Spurgeon, who Berger describes as “that girl who always laughed and giggled,” died in 2009 at the age of 19. Injuries suffered during an apartment fire in Fort Wayne rendered her brain dead.

“Jennifer, herself, was the one who wanted to be an organ donor,” said Berger, who works as a registered nurse for Indiana University Health Arnett Hospital Home Care, which has offices in Lafayette. "She did that when she was 16 years old." Continue reading.

 

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Teen's Parents Behind Rose Parade Float That Encourages Organ Donation

NBC NEWS Los Angeles | GordonTokumatsu

A bad decision led to an uplifting message for one of the Rose Parade's floats, which organizers hope will encourage others to donate organs and help save lives.

Connor Reid Eckhardt was 18 years old when he died after taking one hit of the synthetic drug "Spice."

The July 2014 death devastated his parents, and they mourn his bad decision every single day.

But at the same time, they're proud.

Before the Newport Beach teen died, he made the decision to donate his organs should tragedy strike.

"People need to know -- not only about organ donation -- but people need to know about the dangers of 'legal highs.' Kids are dying all over the world," Veronica Eckhardt, Connor's mother, said. VIDEO, continue reading

 

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Maryland officer killed on duty is laid to rest

Wahsington Post

Montgomery County Police Officer Noah Leotta (Courtesy of Noah Leotta's family)

Two thousand mourners filled a sanctuary Tuesday with overwhelming grief laced with unspoken anger. They’d come to the funeral for Montgomery County Police Officer Noah Leotta, 24, who was killed by a suspected drunk driver on a night when he was working a special assignment to get drunks off the road.

“An unrelenting sadness in our hearts,” Montgomery Police Chief Tom Manger told the crowd.

He spoke of what made Leotta such a good officer: He was honest, smart, courageous, caring. The chief looked to the front row, telling Leotta’s mother, father and sister how sorry he was. He looked out to more than 1,200 formally dressed officers from around the region. And he told a story designed to cut through the anguish.

Manger had recently read Leotta’s performance evaluations — starting with the most recent, then going back to when Leotta joined the force in 2013. Page after page of glowing praise. Manger joked: Was there anything bad? Continue reading

 

Monday, December 28, 2015

'Floragraphs' to honor 3 late N.J. residents at Rose Parade

NJ.COM | Jessica Mazzola

Jova, McCullion, and Niles. (Courtesy NJ Sharing Network/Donate Life)

PASADENA, Calif. — Three late New Jersey residents will be among 60 honored in flower form on the 2016 Donate Life float in the Rose Bowl parade on New Year's Day.

Each year, the organ donation organization and the affiliated NJ Sharing Network create the likenesses of donors from across the country out of flowers, petals, and seeds. 2016 will mark the 127th annual Rose Parade, which Donate Life has participated in for the past 13 years. Its float features "flora graph" portraits of late donors, and riders include living donors and organ recipients.

"The act of organ and tissue donation weaves together a tapestry of donors and recipients, of hope and remembrance, and beloved family and friends who live on through the most miraculous of gifts," Tom Mone, Chairman of the Donate Life float committee, said in a release about the event. Continue reading

 

Mother to share story of daughter's organ donation at Rose Parade

KOAA | Maddie Garrett

This week, a Monument family is headed to Pasadena, California for the Rose Parade to honor their daughter who died while waiting on a liver transplant.

When Kate Gallagher passed away at 26 years old, she went from being a potential organ recipient to a donor herself. Now her family is sharing their story to raise awareness about organ, eye and tissue donation not just in Southern Colorado, but nationwide.

"This is the picture I'm going to have on the donate life float," said Kate's mother, Gail Gallagher, as she flipped through a photo album.

Gail has been invited by the Donor Alliance to ride on the Donate Life Rose Bowl float in this year's nationally televised parade on January 1, 2016. Her daughter Kate is one of 60 deceased donors being honored by a floragraph (portrait made of crushed flowers and seeds) to be displayed on the float. Continue reading, VIDEO.

 

Opinion: How to fix U.S. organ donor system

WPTZ | Karen Hill

(CNN) - Would you opt-out of saving a life like mine?

It may sound like a strange question. After all, you probably don't even know who I am. But that is the stark question that many would be left to contemplate if America makes a much-needed change to its rules on donating organs -- to people like me.

I was two days from graduating college when I was officially told last year that I needed a heart transplant, having been diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy when I was a child. I was still only 21, but everything that I had worked toward so far was about having a long and successful life. Hearing I needed a transplant -- and that my life might be over before it had really begun -- left me feeling like a shell of myself. On top of that, waiting for a transplant doesn't mean that you just feel a little ill, are put on this arbitrary list, and go about your daily life -- you must meet strict criteria to be listed. Plus, unless you are at the top of the list, your wait could be months or years

So I spent the first month of my wait for a suitable heart in the hospital, bound to a narrow bed by IVs and electrodes. With a resting heart rate of 140 and the inability to keep down food, waiting too much longer was simply not an option. Luckily, a donor was found for me within the following month. Considering myself "lucky" to have a transplant may seem odd, but it's not when you consider 22 Americans die each day waiting for a transplant. Even more shocking is that more than 120,000 Americans are waiting for a transplant. Continue reading

 

Donate Life Float: 2016 Floragraph Honoree - Tyler Joseph Monroe Andrews

Donate Life Float
Tyler Joseph Monroe Andrews loved being around his family and friends. He was constantly dependable, kind-hearted, truly compassionate and would drop all to help a friend in need. Tyler encouraged people to do their best in all things. He had a beautiful smile that he loved to share with people. He laughed. He loved. He enjoyed life. A few days after he had turned 18, he signed up to be an organ, eye and tissue donor. In March 2012, a month and 4 days before he turned 19, he lost his life in a vehicular accident. After his death, he became a bone, skin, vein and cornea donor and continues to enhance the lives of many.

Meet all of this year's Donate Life Rose Parade Float Floragraph honorees at http://bit.ly/2016Floragraphs.

Sponsored by OneLegacy.
_________________________________________________________
You have the power to SAVE Lives
We are asking you to register as an organ, eye and tissue donor today.
In California:
Donate LIFE California | Done VIDA California
Nationwide:
Organ Donor | Donate Life America
...and have a conversation with your family.

Donate Life Float: 2016 Float Walker-KathyHart

Donate Life Float
"I was inspired to donate a kidney while in yoga class where I learned about Jack, a seven-year-old boy who needed a kidney transplant. I didn’t know Jack, but I knew I would help a child in need. My blood type didn’t match Jack’s, but the seed of opportunity had been planted. I could help someone else. I already gave money to charity and volunteered my time. “Donating life” was the ultimate opportunity to share and give."

Kathy Hart, a living kidney donor, is walking with the 2016 Donate Life Rose Parade Float on New Year's Day. She is one of 34 people in California being honored on the float. 
Be sure to watch the Tournament of Roses - Rose Parade!
_________________________________________________________
You have the power to SAVE Lives
We are asking you to register as an organ, eye and tissue donor today.
In California:
Donate LIFE California | Done VIDA California
Nationwide:
Organ Donor | Donate Life America
...and have a conversation with your family.

Donate Life Float: 2016 Floragraph Honoree - Connor Reid Eckhardt

Donate Life Float

Connor Reid Eckhardt was a precious gift of joy and life. His charm, humor, charismatic personality, generosity and his love for God and his family left an undeniable imprint on every person he touched. Connor lived life all in with a heart wide open. During the final days of his life, Connor made the selfless decision to become an organ donor. His death was a heartbreaking tragedy for his family, that was only made better by the sight of the helicopters taking his organs to those who needed them. Connor lives on eternally in heaven with Christ, but he also lives on in the lives of four other people through his gift of life.

Connor is a floragraph honoree on the 2016 Donate Life Rose Parade Float. He is one of 34 Californians being honored on the float in the Tournament of Roses - Rose Parade
_________________________________________________________
You have the power to SAVE Lives
We are asking you to register as an organ, eye and tissue donor today.
In California:
Donate LIFE California | Done VIDA California
Nationwide:
Organ Donor | Donate Life America
...and have a conversation with your family.

Donate Life Float: 2016 Float Rider - Judith Jimenez

Donate Life Float

Judith is 47 years old and is currently waiting for her third kidney transplant. Throughout the past three years, Judith has been an ambassadress for OneLegacy where she educates the community about the importance of organ, eye and tissue donation and how to become a donor. Being an ambassadress for OneLegacy is important to Judith because of the success of her two previous transplants. Judith has had a second chance at life with the ability to see her son grow into a responsible adult. Of her time as an ambassadress for OneLegacy, Judith believes she has become a better person and better appreciates life.


Sponsored by OneLegacy.
_________________________________________________________
You have the power to SAVE Lives
We are asking you to register as an organ, eye and tissue donor today.
In California:
Donate LIFE California | Done VIDA California
Nationwide:
Organ Donor | Donate Life America
...and have a conversation with your family.

On this day of Ujima, let us be the light for others! Happy Kwanzaa.

Donate Life North Carolina

 

Surprise, surprise, Northumberland fundraising sisters meet One Direction

Northumberland Gazette | Paul Larkin

Kate and Rachel with their favourite band One Direction.

Cramlington sisters Kate and Rachel had the surprise of their lives when they got to meet their favourite band One Direction, thanks to a top ITV show

Rachel and Kate Hooley were given the chance to interview one of the biggest boy bands of all time after their mum Eve nominated them to the programme Surprise, Surprise for their braved and support.

Eleven-year-old Rachel underwent a life-saving heart transplant in 2012 after she became seriously ill with dilated cardiomyopathy. Her only chance of survival was the transplant and the girls have never forgotten the donor, their families’ loss and the importance of organ donation.

Rachel and Kate, 14, made it their mission to show the positive impact organ donation has on a whole family and raise money for the charity Children's Heart Unit Fund (Chuf) at the Freeman Hospital.

Kate and Rachel have spent the last three-and-a-half years attending events throughout the North East promoting organ donation and selling their handmade bracelet with all money they raise going to Chuf. They also have a Facebook page, Hearts That Matter UK, and Twitter account, @hearts_matteruk, where they can show their followers the reason why organ donation is so important. Continue reading

 

Company Claims To Have Developed 3D Printed Liver Tissue

Uber Gizmo | Tyler Lee

3D printing in the medical industry isn’t new. We’ve seen companies 3D print prosthetics and even bones, but now a company in India has claimed to have developed 3D printable liver tissue, which they are hoping that one day will be usable for full-fledged liver transplants, although we suppose there will be quite a bit of legal and regulatory hurdles to overcome.

According to Pandorum Technologies, the company behind the technology, they claim that these 3D printed liver tissues are made of human cells and will allow for inexpensive medical research. This also means that reachers will need to rely less on human and animal trials. The entire process could also save companies millions of dollars which is usually needed in research and development. Continue reading

 

Sunday, December 27, 2015

2 Killed When Plane Crashed Onto Them Memorialized

Sarasota Patch | Sherri London

Ommy and Oceana Irizarry will be remembered during the upcoming Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif.

VENICE, FL - A tragic plane crash that took the lives of a man and his young daughter as they were enjoying an afternoon on a Florida beach last year paved the way for many other lives to be saved.

Ommy Irizarry, 36, and his daughter Oceana, 9, left the “gifts of organ and tissue donation” behind, LifeLink of Florida noted in announcing the two would be honored in the 2016 Rose Parade. The Irizarrys and 58 other organ, tissue and eye donors from all across the country will be remembered and memorialized during the New Year’s Day celebration in Pasadena, Calif. Their “floragraphs” will appear on the Donate Life float, which is scheduled to make its 13th appearance in the annual Rose Parade.

 

GOOD NEIGHBORS WITH AARON OKUBO: RECYCLE YOURSELF

Hawaii Business | Jackie M Young

Aaron Okubo says organizations like Legacy of Life Hawaii saved his life.

“Indirectly, I feel I’ve benefited from their efforts to encourage others to donate their organs and tissues for transplant,” reflects the 61-year-old senior program development manager at MC&A Inc., a destination and event management company.

In 2006, Okubo had both liver and kidney transplants due to cirrhosis of the liver. He later heard of Legacy of Life and its mission to save and enhance lives through organ and tissue recovery. He was hooked. Continue reading

 

Christmas story: Physical therapy executive becomes a patient, suffers organ failure, receives greatest gift after countless prayers

Ledger-Examiner

Mike Haskey/mhaskey@ledger-enquirer.comPatrick and Susan Graham, and their daughters, Mary Frances, left, and Katie Claire, pose for a photograph in the family's Columbus home. Mike Haskey

He was too sick to decorate the tree. He was too sick to drive his family around town and enjoy the lights. He was too sick to videotape them opening presents.

Christmas 2014 was more about hoping Patrick Graham would see the new year than anything Santa would bring to their Columbus home.

So as Susan prayed for her husband, and as Mary Frances and Katie Claire prayed for their father, they added this strange yet loving request: They asked God for Patrick to be sick enough to qualify for a liver transplant.

Years of battling two diseases had put Patrick, now 50, in a wheelchair and withered his 6-foot-3 frame from 215 pounds to eventually 135. His health hung in the exasperating purgatory between too sick to survive without a new liver and not sick enough to receive one.

So after Patrick overcame overwhelming odds, after countless prayers from countless folks, after what some have called a miracle, his family jokes they might have prayed a bit too hard for Patrick to be sicker. Continue reading

Read more here: http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/news/local/article51558805.html#storylink=cpy