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Showing posts from May, 2016



When the checkered flag cames down for the Indianapolis 500 this past Sunday, it not only launched America’s most famous car race—but a special campaign locally that is designed to save lives.

This is the 100th anniversary of the Indy 500, and Stefan Wilson will be drove the No. 25 Driven2SaveLives–KVRT Chevrolet. Stefan is partnering with Indiana Donor Network on Driven2SaveLives, a campaign to promote organ, tissue and eye donation and transplantation in honor of his late older brother, IndyCar driver Justin Wilson.

“Like so many other drivers, I grew up dreaming about the Indianapolis 500 and it’s all I’ve worked toward for the past few years. Justin raced in the 500 eight times and it was a dream to join him on the starting grid and race against him. I just never anticipated a situation where Justin wouldn’t be there with me,” said Stefan, a U.K. native who now calls Indianapolis home.

Justin died in August 2015 from injuries he sustained in a race crash at Pocono Race…

Gratitude heartfelt a year after transplant


Tammy Harper’s new heart works so well, it shakes her whole body a little bit when she sleeps.

The 52-year-old Palisade woman is just now figuring out what it feels like to feel good. She’s starting to realize that most people don’t go to bed tired and wake up feeling the same way, as was her routine for years.

In the past few years marked by severe health problems and a months-long stay in an Aurora hospital, Harper has reason to celebrate.

Last week Harper marked the one-year anniversary of her heart transplant surgery, a procedure that literally saved her life.

“I am living proof that organ donations work,” she said last week alongside her husband, Gary, looking over the grass fields from the backyard of their rural Palisade home. “I’m ready to live life on the good side.”

Besides feeling stronger, the one-year mark of having a new lease on life has another meaning for Harper. Continue reading ___________________________________________________…

Six Delco athletes to vie in transplant games

Never a day goes by that Howard Pritchard doesn’t think about his younger brother, Matt, and the hours they spent together, laughing and watching classic movies.

“He is in my thoughts each and every day,” said the 64-year-old Parkside resident.

John Matthew Pritchard, who was born more than six years after Howard, died at age 42 on July 1, 2001, 31 years after he was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes and 10 years after Howard donated one of his kidneys to him, enabling him to be free of dialysis.

“He didn’t want me to do it, but I did it anyway,” Howard Pritchard told the Daily Times in 2012. “It gave him an extra 10 years and he was a great person.”

Since his younger brother’s passing, Pritchard has participated in seven Donate Life Transplant Games of America competitions and is about to embark on his eighth. This year the games are being staged June 10 through 15 at the Cleveland Convention Center, Cleveland State University and Quail Hollow Country Club in Ohio. More than 9,000 organ …

Memorial Day is especially important.

Organ and Tissue Donation

Memorial Day is especially important as we are reminded of the great sacrifice that men and women of the armed forces make to defend our way of life.

You have the power to SAVE Lives
Please register as an organ, eye and tissue donor today.
In California:
Donate LIFE California | Done VIDA California
Organ Donor | Donate Life America ensure donation happens, please share your donation decision with your family. At stake is the legacy you plan to leave.

Turning Tragedy Into Hope The Story Behind The Casey Williams Foundation

WAND | Meredith Hackler

DECATUR – Every 10 seconds a person is added to the organ donation list.

Seven years ago Casey Williams died in a car accident on her way to work.

"She was a fun person she loved having all of her friends surround her… She was very involved in the community" Said Lindsay Miller, a friend of Casey’s.

Turning tragedy into hope. The Casey Williams Foundation was formed soon after her death.

Casey's sisters were determined her legacy and vibrant personality live on.

"We decided to donate her organs that day... and from then we just realized that that’s just something we wanted to hold on to. If we can make something positive out of that tragic event and organ donation is what we chose.... and then we started the foundation." Said Chelbi Williams Casey’s sister.

"I think everyone remembers how much fun she was…and how giving she was. She would do anything for anybody. She had a lot of best friends…. and so she was able to give everything she h…

Liver transplant recipient bonds with family of teen who was his donor

FAYOBSERVER | Myron B. Pitts

Before they met, the family of teenager Jonah King and the man whose life is sustained by King's donated liver knew about each other.

Donor rules do not allow organ recipients to meet the family of donors unless both sides agree and work through certain protocols.

But liver transplant recipient Ray Brooks, a volunteer firefighter in Pitt County, says he and his wife, Janet, used news accounts, coupled with what little the medical team told him about his young donor, to figure out it was likely Jonah. The 16-year-old who split time between Cumberland and Rowan counties died after a skateboard accident.

When Ken King, Jonah's dad, called Brooks on the phone in the spring of 2013, "They had found out about me," says Brooks. "We both knew about each other early, but we didn't violate protocol."

These days, Jonah's people and Brooks and his wife and two children are close.

"It's amazing," says Tina Todd, who is Ken…

How a donated organ has transformed a little girl who has battled with a disease so rare only 13 humans have it

HERALD SUN | Brigid O'Connell

THERE are only 13 people in the world like Montana McNamara — and that meant she almost didn’t make it far ­beyond her second birthday.

The Whittlesea tot’s liver was a green, poisonous brick, and she had a higher cholesterol level than a middle-aged man who smokes too much and exercises too little.

For mum Monique Bibby, each milestone for her daughter — first teeth, first steps, first babbled words — meant the sick feeling in her own stomach intensified.

She knew if her yellowed baby didn’t get a liver transplant by the age of two, she could lose her to a heart attack before she started kinder. Continue reading_______________________________________________________________________You have the power to SAVE LivesPlease register as an organ, eye and tissue donor today.In California:Donate LIFE California | Done VIDA CaliforniaNationwide:Organ Donor | Donate Life America ensure donation happens, please share your donation decision with your family. At…

Goshen teen lives on through organ donations to several strangers

TIMES HERALD-RECORD | Gittel Evangelist

GOSHEN – It was a devastating accident last July that took him away, but it was his unselfish gift to others after his death that keeps Luke O’Connor’s spirit alive today.

Nearly 1,000 people came out in the blistering heat Sunday morning to celebrate the life of the 16-year-old Goshen High School student – and the lives of those he saved by donating his organs – at the Luke Lives On 5K race in the Village of Goshen.

The event raised well over $20,000. The money will go partly to a scholarship fund set up by Luke’s parents, Charlotte and Randy O’Connor, and to Donate Life, an organization dedicated to advancing the cause of organ donation.

Luke died July 14 in a car crash in the Town of Warwick, along with classmates Paul VanDoran and Antonio Baglivo.

The three boys and another classmate, Claudia Krebs, were out for a driver’s education lesson with an instructor when their car was struck by a truck at the intersection of County Routes 1A and 41. Kreb…

Abby's Angels Foundation and Abby's Closets


Heartache has the power to do two things. It can destroy us or help us become stronger people. Natalie Bacho and her family have endured heartache in one of the most difficult ways, and they became stronger people after the loss of their beloved child, Abigail Gracen Bacho, on Christmas Day in 2012.

Mrs. Bacho, her husband, and immediate family created the Abby's Angels Foundation in August of 2013, eight months after their daughter's death.

Abby's Angels Foundation has established Abby's Closets, which provides school supplies and a place of inspiration and acceptance for students across twenty-five schools.

Beyond just the supplies and the support, an important part of the Abby's Angels Foundation is being able to speak at school assemblies and bring awareness to teenage drivers about the dangers behind the wheel.

'We will keep working on having an assembly at the high schools each year,' Mrs. Bacho said. 'Young driv…

Indy 500, Longmont’s Justin Wilson’s family make plea for organ donors


LONGMONT, Colo. — Today’s Indy 500 marked a special day for a local widow and the family of one of the sport’s former stars. Justin Wilson was killed by flying debris in a race last year.

His nickname was the gentle giant, a man known for always helping others. In his death, he’s still doing just that with the help of his wife and brother.

Filling every corner in the basement of the Wilson family’s Longmont home, mementos from late race car driver, Justin Wilson’s long career.

“This is Justin’s life and this is not even half of it… This is his pride and joy,” Julia Wilson, Justin’s wife, said as she showed off the room full of trophies, helmets, and pictures.

For Julia, It isn’t Justin’s trophies and his many wins she’s most proud of. “He’s amazing. Just an amazing guy,” she said.

Last August during a race at Pocono, Justin was struck in the head by flying debris. He died a day later. Continue reading_______________________________________________________________…

Cystic fibrosis walk in Richmond Hill brings out tears, hope

YORK REGION | Simone Joseph, Richmond Hill Liberal

The Great Strides Walk for Cystic Fibrosis was clearly an emotional event for Natalie Doyle.

Hugs, questions about the event and encouraging words from friends, acquaintances and family brought smiles but also tears for this Richmond Hill mother.

So what made her so emotional?

“The hope that we can find a cure in my lifetime,” Doyle said. “I’m overwhelmed with the support, to be honest.”

Doyle was upset last year to learn that Cystic Fibrosis Canada did not have the means to secure the event in York Region for 2015.

So, she began personally organizing the walk by securing a location and sponsors.

Today was the third annual event - called Carstar’s Great Strides Walk for Cystic Fibrosis. Continue reading_______________________________________________________________________You have the power to SAVE LivesPlease register as an organ, eye and tissue donor today.In California:Donate LIFE California | Done VIDA CaliforniaNationwide:Organ Donor | …

Over 10,000 Participants Expected For NJ Sharing Network's 5K Celebration of Life


NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – Elizabeth Stamler’s life has been affected by organ and tissue donation – in more ways than one. Both her father and brother received a life-saving heart transplant and her other brother later passed away and became a tissue donor, helping over 30 people. Elizabeth, resident of Scotch Plains, is a dedicated volunteer of NJ Sharing Network and captain of Donation Nation, one of the teams participating in this year’s 5K Celebration of Life in New Providence.

NJ Sharing Network’s Annual 5K Celebration of Life Walk/Run will be take place Sunday, June 5, at NJ Sharing Network headquarters, 691 Central Avenue in New Providence, NJ and is a USATF Certified Race. Every year, the event brings together thousands of walkers, runners and volunteers to honor those who gave the gift of organ or tissue, pay tribute to those who have a received a transplant, offer hope to those waiting for a transplant and remember those who passed away while waiting for t…

Community Celebrates Life-Saving Organ Donations


AXTELL, Neb. It's been 10 years since the Nelson family, from Axtell, lost its 21-year-old daughter, Sara. And June will mark 10 years since several Central Nebraskans received life saving organs, thanks to Sara's donations.

Her precious gifts were celebrated Sunday at an annual community walk.

"All of her main organs were donated," Steve Nelson, Sara's father, said. "We've become the closest with the gal that received her lungs. It was a young mother of twins who had Cystic Fibrosis and she has told us she wouldn't have lived much longer without receiving Sara's lungs."

Locals continue to celebrate Sara's contribution in hopes more lives can be saved.

"Sara was a cheerleader when she was at Axtell and she loved the community," added Tricia Danburg, a co-sponsor of the Axtell Community Schools cheer team. "This is just one way the cheerleaders and the community can come together to help raise awareness for Donate…

NC man’s life-long struggle with Cystic Fibrosis highlights need for awareness

WNCN | Lauren Haviland

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Governor Pat McCrory has named May “Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month” in North Carolina.

Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic disease affecting nearly 70,000 children and adults worldwide, more than 800, including Colin Wilson, living in North Carolina.

On Sunday, Wilson described how he was feeling.

“I am feeling fine, a little out of breath,” said the 23-year-old, who has suffered from Cystic Fibrosis since birth.

It’s nothing out of the ordinary for Wilson.

His mother, Elizabeth Register, described her son as, “very inspiring to me and his family.”

As Wilson gets older, his condition gets worse, and everyday life becomes more difficult. Continue reading_______________________________________________________________________You have the power to SAVE LivesPlease register as an organ, eye and tissue donor today.In California:Donate LIFE California | Done VIDA CaliforniaNationwide:Organ Donor | Donate Life America ensure donation happens, please share…

Have a great Indy 500 Stefan Wilson! #Driven2SaveLives

Indiana Donor NetworkIn and off the track, IndyCar driver Justin Wilson (No. 25) was a hero. He was a hero to his loyal fans, his fellow drivers, his dear friends and family, and eventually, a hero to five individuals who received his gift of life. Justin died in August 2015 from injuries he sustained in a crash at Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania. Justin had previously registered his decision to become an organ donor and had discussed this with his wife. On the worst day of his family’s life, Justin gave them a beacon of hope through his final lifesaving act of donation.

Stefan Wilson
Growing up, Stefan had always dreamed of driving in the Indianapolis 500 alongside his brother and idol, Justin Wilson. But now, not quite a year out from Justin’s death, Stefan’s dream to race in the Indy 500 has come true. Watch now to see how Stefan is paying tribute to his brother and his important lifesaving gift while driving the No. 25 Driven2SaveLives KVRT Chevrolet.

Continue reading

Old school friend offers a kidney to save the life of Johannesburg mother

TIMES LIVE | Nivashni Nair

Continents apart‚ a South African expat living in Canada and the former classmate she hasn’t seen in decades were speechless when they discovered that they are a match for a kidney transplant.

Jill Hamilton has offered her kidney to save the life of Di Wilkinson‚ who was in her class at Queen Elizabeth High School in Harare.

The women‚ both in their fifties‚ reconnected when Hamilton discovered via a post on their old high school's Facebook page that Wilkinson‚ an end stage renal patient living in Johannesburg‚ needed a kidney transplant.

Wilkinson's daughter‚ Legh‚ said the family was "overwhelmed‚ emotional and grateful".

"Jill and my mom match on paper‚ we need to confirm this by mixing their bloods and confirming no reactions. This requires delivering a vial of blood from Vancouver to South Africa‚ which is the next step. My mom has had blood transfusions since the last time she gave blood for matching. This could potentially complicate…

Baby with rare liver ailment desperately needs lifesaving transplant

HERALD SUN | Jane Hansen

YOU hold the life of baby Mia in your hands. She is going to die in the next few weeks without your help.

Unless she gets a liver transplant, the five-month-old baby will not make it to six months.

Mia Evans was born with biliary atresia, a rare disease of the liver that destroys the bile ducts. The disease means that the bile is unable to drain and as a result it builds up in the liver and causes significant damage, leading to death.

The Perth baby was flown to the Children’s Hospital at Westmead and listed for an urgent transplant three weeks ago.

As each day passes, the more urgent her need for the lifesaving operation ­becomes. She is at the top of the list but the waiting game is torture for Mia’s parents Barry and Renee Evans, who have moved over from Perth with their two-year-old son to care for Mia. Continue reading
_______________________________________________________________________You have the power to SAVE LivesPlease register as an organ, eye and tis…

Middletown Woman Gets Cornea Transplant from Organ Donor


At the age of 24, doctors told Christine Scarano she may eventually go blind due to an incurable eye disease.

Middletown, NJ - For as long as she can remember, Christine Scarano struggled to see.

When she was in third-grade, teachers thought she was cheating because she kept asking other students what it said on the chalkboard. At her first eye exam, she remembers she couldn't even make out the big "E" — it was just blurry lines.

She wore thick glasses all her life and, at 24, was diagnosed with keratoconus.

It's a degenerative, progressive eye disease in which the cornea is irregularly shaped, changing the way light is seen. There is no cure, and it gets worse over time, meaning Christine's vision would steadily deteriorate as the years passed, eventually leading to near blindness.

For this North Middletown resident, 43, there was only one treatment: A cornea transplant. But who would give up their corneas? Christine's new eyes had…

Teacher and 8-Year-Old Get a Chance to See Each Other After the Transplant

CBS 58 | Christie Green

The teacher who donated her kidney to an 8-year-old was able to see her on Friday at Children's Hospital.

Jodi Schmidt donated one of her kidneys to save the life of 8-year-old Tasha Fuller.

Children's Hospital released video of the encounter and this statement:

"The staff at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin is overjoyed for Natasha Fuller, Jodi Schmidt and their families. Today, the two had the chance to see each other for the first time since surgery on Tuesday. We are happy to report that both are doing well and that Jodi went home Friday afternoon. Thank you to Jodi for her incredibly brave decision, and thank you to all our doctors, nurses, and staff who helped make the transplant a success. We are so pleased that both Natasha and Jodi are doing so well, and we feel privileged we were part of this amazing journey. We encourage everyone to consider being an organ donor." - Children’s Hosp…

Transplant survivor returns to his pasion: the outdoors

STAR TRIBUNE | Tori McCormick

Liver procedure is ticket to embrace outdoors again.

Last autumn, on Minnesota’s warm and windy pheasant opener, a rooster flushed from a grassy hillside near a picked bean field. In that split-second, and acting on instinct honed over many years of upland hunting, Chris Buckingham swung on the bird, slapped the trigger and watched the rooster tumble to the ground.

Seconds later, his young springer spaniel retrieved the bird to hand.

“I sat on the hillside and savored the moment a little bit,” said Buckingham, 54, of Glenwood in west-central Minnesota. “I had to get out there to prove to myself I could do it again. My doctors advised me to take it easy, but I’m a little bullheaded. I thought it was time. I felt good enough to go.”

But this was no ordinary pheasant opener. Buckingham was hunting for the first time with a new organ. A year ago this month, and with his life in danger, Buckingham had a liver transplant, courtesy of his “living donor” and wife, Di…

Milestone kidney transplant with memorial significance

WTNH | By Jocelyn Maminta

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – A life saving organ transplant surgery two and a half weeks ago marks a significant milestone for Yale-New Haven Hospital.

“Here we go, the 1000th kidney transplant,” says Surgeon Dr. Sanjay Kulkarni.

It’s the 1000th live kidney donor transplant for the transplantation team. Dr. Kulkarni is orchestrating the moves in the donor’s operating room.

He explains, “It’s a big team effort whenever this occurs, everything has to be coordinated so there is a good result.”

Less than a half an hour later, Dr. David Mulligan is in another room, successfully reconnecting the kidney with it’s recipient.

“The kidney is in, ” says Dr. Mulligan, “and looking beautiful.” Continue reading
_______________________________________________________________________You have the power to SAVE LivesPlease register as an organ, eye and tissue donor today.In California:Donate LIFE California | Done VIDA CaliforniaNationwide:Organ Donor | Donate Life America ens…

Give and take: Matched organ donation helps 2 families

ST. CLOUD TIMES | Stephanie Dickrell

SAUK RAPIDS — Check that box on your driver's license. Become a donor.

That's the advice of a Sauk Rapids family with intimate knowledge of the subject. Almost four years ago, Kristin Gjerset and her husband Corey Hurlbut were part of a paired organ exchange.

An anonymous man donated his kidney to Corey, who developed kidney disease as a result of diabetes. Gjerset donated her kidney to a man from Wisconsin. They had surgery on the same day.

Both are still amazed by the generosity people have.

While Gjerset was prompted to donate because he husband needed a kidney and they couldn't find a healthy, compatible match, her husband's donor participated just to donate.

Gjerset said a lot of people don't think about organ donation because they don't have to. Continue reading_______________________________________________________________________You have the power to SAVE LivesPlease register as an organ, eye and tissue donor today.In Cali…

Local Man Enjoying Life After Long-Awaited Heart Transplant

CBS PITTSBURGH | Brenda Waters

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It’s the end of a long journey of emotional ups and downs, and often doubt, for Moses Hart.

KDKA has followed his story for three years as he waited for a heart transplant, never venturing too far from Allegheny General Hospital.

The call finally came a few months ago. Earlier this week, KDKA’s Brenda Waters sat down with Moses and his wife to revisit the journey.

“I just feel like a new life starting, like I have been born again, and I guess, Feb. 2is my new birthday,” said Moses.

That was the day Moses Hart received his new heart.

Since then, he hasn’t let any grass grow under his feet. A month after his surgery, he spoke at the flag raising ceremony at Allegheny General Hospital, honoring those who have given the gift of life. Continue reading
_______________________________________________________________________You have the power to SAVE LivesPlease register as an organ, eye and tissue donor today.In California:Donate LIFE Californi…

South Korean victim who died in Ride the Ducks crash saves a man waiting for liver transplant

Q13 FOX | Hana Kim

SEATTLE - The letter begins, “Dear Haram’s Parents.”

It’s addressed to a couple in Korea whom Brian Weiss has never met.

“I am the 49 year-old male who received the precious gift from your daughter Haram,” Weiss wrote.

The day 20 year-old Haram Kim lost her life, Weiss was fighting for his.

“It’s amazing how my and her life crossed,” Weiss said.

Haram is one of five people who died in September when a Ride the Ducks boat slammed into a charter bus carrying dozens of North Seattle college students on the Aurora Bridge. At that same moment, Weiss, who is from Montana, was in a Seattle hospital and he needed a new liver to survive.

“I got this bacterial infection and it sent my liver out of control,” Weiss said.

Right now about 120,000 people are waiting for an organ donation across the country, and doctors say liver transplants are more time sensitive than many others. Continue reading_______________________________________________________________________You have the power t…

Waiting for breath


BRISTOL - She would begin her day without having to use a nebulizer just to be able to move about the house. She would play with her 5-year-old granddaughter outside, the way she was never able to do when her two sons were young, or take a walk with her husband without stopping. She would wash dishes without sitting down to rest every few minutes. Laughter would not leave her winded.

All of that will have to wait until after surgery.

Shackett, a Bristol resident, needs a double lung transplant as her 35-year struggle with emphysema, asthma and bronchiectasis takes its toll. She has never smoked, she says.

“There’s no air coming in, there’s no air going out,” Shackett said. “It just feels like I’m smothering and suffocating. It’s a scary feeling.”

Shackett stays within a four-hour driving radius of Boston, and within cellphone reception, as much as possible. She keeps her bags packed and at least half a tank of gas in the car, never knowing what day sh…

Son, Dead 17 Years, Is Link That Led To Lifesaving Kidney Donation


NEW HAVEN — A mom given a reprieve from death by a live-donor kidney transplant credits her late son, dead 17 years, for the life-saving gift.

Domenica "Mimi" Leto of New Milford received a kidney May 10 from Jason Gaddy, a childhood friend of Joey Leto, who died in 1999 from heatstroke during a U.S. Marine training exercise at Camp LeJeune, N.C.

"If it wasn't for my son, I never would have known Jason," Leto, 63, said Friday during a celebration of the successful transplant at Yale New Haven Hospital. The hospital had a second reason to celebrate: It was the 1,000th transplant from a living donor in a procedure at Yale New Haven.

A formal portrait of Leto's son, Giuseppe "Joey" Leto, in his dress blue uniform when he graduated from Marine basic training in 1998, was on the table where speakers sat at the event at Yale New Haven Transplant Center. Continue reading_____________________________________________________…

First-of-Its-Kind Procedure Combines Scalp, Skull, Kidney and Pancreas Transplant


Simultaneous transplantation of a "composite" skull and scalp flap plus a kidney and pancreas—all from the same donor—provided excellent outcomes for a patient with a non-healing scalp defect and declining organ kidney and pancreas function, according to a report in the June issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery®, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

The experience may open the way to further procedures combining "vascularized composite allotransplantation" (VCA) with organ transplants, in patients who have already accepted the need for lifelong immunosuppressive therapy. "Hopefully, this case and others like it will help to widen the narrow indications for this fascinating new field of reconstructive surgery," write Dr. Jesse Creed Selber of The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and colleagues.

Combined Transplants Are New Option for Organ Recipients Who Already Need Immunosuppr…

Local transplant recipient gives hope to families of organ donors


CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) -  It's been 25 years since Steven Johnson received an organ transplant.

Back in January, Johnson held a transplant anniversary celebration. The goal was to raise money for care packages to give to organ donor families who have lost a loved one.

Johnson was at Mayo Clinic Health System Thursday, delivering those care packages.

Johnson hopes the gifts, which are filled with things like blankets and coloring books, will give comfort to those families. VIDEO Continue reading_______________________________________________________________________You have the power to SAVE LivesPlease register as an organ, eye and tissue donor today.In California:Donate LIFE California | Done VIDA CaliforniaNationwide:Organ Donor | Donate Life America ensure donation happens, please share your donation decision with your family. At stake is the legacy you plan to leave.

Packers' Cobb makes a play for organ donation

WTMJ RADIO 620 | Doug Russell

We’re used to Randall Cobb making big plays on the field, but for several years, the Packers sixth-year receiver is making a play for a passion project of his off the field, organ donation.

“I’ve been working with the organ donors here at Froedtert for a while now,” Cobb said during a recent visit to the hospital where he met with several organ donors. “(I just want) to be of influence and be able to help out where I can. I think it’s very important for everybody to understand how important organ donation is.”

And it doesn’t take much; just a signature on the back of your driver’s license, and a conversation with your family that if anything tragic happens, as many as eight other people could receive the gift of life from you. Continue reading_______________________________________________________________________You have the power to SAVE LivesPlease register as an organ, eye and tissue donor today.In California:Donate LIFE California | Done VIDA CaliforniaN…

Senate Bill 1408 will allow HIV-infected organ donations in California

PULSE HEADLINES | Marioxy Betancourt

California legislators have approved Senate Bill 1408, in which HIV-positive donors could now transfer organs to an HIV-positive patient. The law change was made due to the critical condition of a patient in San Francisco Medical Center.

Current state law forbids the transfer of any issues among HIV-positive patients. Before carrying out any transplants, donors are tested, and they must be and found nonreactive for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) to be candidates for tissue organs.

On Friday, however, the emendation above exposed has been removed by Senate Bill 1408. The bill was written by California’s Senator, Ben Allen, and subsequently sent to Governor Jerry Brown for a signature. Thus, HIV-organs transplants are no longer illegal as part of an urgent legislation that included a surgery of an HIV-patient in bad shape.

Gov. Brown has promptly signed the bill, and it has taken effect immediately. HIV-infected patients could not transfer or recei…

Kidney transplant recipient to play at Rock 101 Friday


According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 20 million American adults have Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). Area musician James Michael McLester was part of that statistic until his kidney transplant in December.

McLester was not always sick. He was an athlete, had good grades and never acted up; it was a normal childhood, that is, up until he was 11 years old and developed dental cavities “because of too much Kool-Aid.”

Dental amalgam fillings, also known as silver fillings, were placed in McLester’s teeth and everything seemed fine. Not long after, his hands and body crippled and his knees filled with fluid. McLester said doctors had no idea what was wrong with him, and he was heartbroken because he could no longer play sports. Continue reading_______________________________________________________________________You have the power to SAVE LivesPlease register as an organ, eye and tissue donor today.In California:Donate LIFE Cal…

Sweet Briar grad’s viral photo continues to inspire


SWEET BRIAR (WSLS 10) – Sweet Briar College graduate Meredith Haga wrote the words “I am here because of an organ donor” on her graduation cap. For her, nothing else could demonstrate the feelings of the day.

The Bristol, Va., native had no idea her cap would be featured in a photo album on the college’s Facebook page. She certainly could not have imagined how many people would see the picture.

As of Thursday morning, it had reached more than 1.32 million people, tallying more than 3,600 likes and 9,000 shares.

The attention is mind-blowing to Haga. She was 17 when she was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that attacked her kidneys. In October 2011, her kidneys failed and she spent nearly a year on dialysis.

“I sat in a dialysis chair and watched my life move on without me,” she recalled. “I knew that someone had to die so that I could live.” Continue reading
_______________________________________________________________________You have the power to SAVE LivesPlease register as an…