Donor Alliance Wins National Award for “My Hero Said Yes!” Commercial  |  June 29, 2015

Donor Alliance, the organ procurement organization serving Colorado and most of Wyoming, announced today that it was named a Bronze winner in the 35th Annual Telly Awards for their “My Hero Said Yes!” television commercial. With nearly 12,000 entries from all 50 states and numerous countries, this award recognizes the best in video production nationally.

You can read more about this award here.

Double Arm Transplant Recipient Shares Story of Gratitude, Perseverance  |  June 18, 2015

After an aggressive infection, Will Lautzenheiser lost all four limbs. Though he was devastated by the loss, he was determined to accept his new reality and move on with his life. His motto became “figure it out.”

When a doctor approached Lautzenheiser about the possibility of a double arm transplant, he weighed the pros and cons of the extensive procedure. In October of 2014, he endured a nine hour surgery and became one of the few double arm transplant recipients in the country.

He recently shared an update on his progress and how grateful he is to the donor and donor family who made it all possible.

“This is an individual who has a family who is grieving and all I can hope for is that they will consider this a way for their loved one to make a huge difference for me.”

Woman Gives Birth After Ovarian Tissue Transplant  |  June 10, 2015

A Congolese-Belgian woman made history by becoming the first woman to deliver a baby following a transplant of her own ovarian tissue.

When the woman was 11, she was diagnosed with sickle-cell anemia, which required chemotherapy. In an effort to give her a chance to eventually have a family, doctors removed the woman’s right ovary when she was 13 and froze fragments of the tissue.

Years later, doctors transplanted the thawed tissue and the woman became pregnant. In November 2014, she delivered a healthy baby boy.

Continue reading this incredible story here.

Amniotic Tissue Donation from One Mother Helps Another Mother Heal  |  June 4, 2015

Ashleigh DealFifteen years of dancing left Ashleigh with a painful bone spur and degenerative arthritis in her first metatarsophalangeal joint, which made it difficult to keep up with her young son, Beckett.

As a dancer, you’re really hard on your feet,” said Ashleigh. “Sometimes you power through an injury when you should be taking care of it, so I’m sure at some point I injured my foot and then it just got progressively worse.”

As her foot condition made it more and more difficult to stay active and chase Beckett around, she knew she needed to see a doctor, who then suggested surgery to help correct the problem.

During the procedure, her surgeon removed the bone spur and then used AlloWrap® DS to cover the cartilage degradation on her joint. AlloWrap® DS is derived from human amniotic membrane from a donated placenta directly following an elective C-section.

Amniotic membrane is rich in growth factors and can be used as a protective barrier following surgical intervention.

One of her most memorable moments throughout this process came when Ashleigh received her Pathways Card, which is a way for tissue recipients to send letters of thanks to their donor family. Since Ashleigh received tissue from a living donor, she can send a letter of gratitude to the woman who donated the tissue.

Ashleigh is still in the process of recovering from her surgery, but she is back on her feet and keeping up with Beckett.

Though she won’t return to dancing, Ashleigh’s surgery helped alleviate her pain so she can be more active. She looks forward to running, biking and enjoying time outside with her family.

“It was inspiring to know that someone made a decision to help me without knowing me, which speaks to the selflessness and generosity of all donors.”

Face Transplant Recipient Meets Donor’s Family  |  June 1, 2015

Two families forever changed by horrible accidents recently met to see firsthand the incredible possibilities of donation.

After a shotgun accident disfigured Richard Norris’ face, he became depressed and reclusive. He endured surgery after surgery, each an attempt to give him a chance at a normal life. Finally, one surgery offered him some hope, and it happened because of the generosity of strangers.

Joshua Aversano’s family was devastated when the 21-year-old died after a traffic accident, but they made the brave choice to donate Joshua’s face. During a 36-hour-long surgery at the University of Maryland Medical Center, 150 doctors and nurses honored Joshua’s gift and helped give Richard new hope.

Joshua’s sister, Rebekah, recently had the opportunity to meet Richard and see for herself how her brother lives on through donation.