Cuatro’s busy, outdoor lifestyle came to an abrupt halt after an unfortunate skiing accident. While enjoying a ski day in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, he broke his leg on the second run of the day. Doctors placed a rod in his leg to help correct his broken tibia, but it was only the beginning of his health challenges.
“This break of my tibia resulted in a non-union, which basically meant it refused to heal on its own. When your mobility is limited, it changes your life dramatically,” said Cuatro.
Six months after his initial surgery, Cuatro endured another procedure to replace the rod in his leg. This surgery also required a bone graft from Cuatro’s hip, which he described as a very painful procedure. When that did not solve the problem, he became desperate.
Cuatro found Dr. Ross Wilkins, who was confident he could help. Instead of a larger operation, Dr. Wilkins used an AlloSource bone graft provided by a deceased donor and Cuatro’s own stem cells. Following this procedure, Cuatro healed quickly.
When asked about receiving donated human tissue, Cuatro’s appreciation is clear.
“I feel blessed and have a huge appreciation for those who recognize how great the gift of tissue donation is for others who need it. I am a registered donor and hope that it may improve the lives of others who, like in my case, desperately need it.”
After his recovery process, Cuatro was excited to “have both feet on the ground for the first time in over a year – a blessing for sure!”
Cuatro has resumed his active lifestyle, returning to skiing and rock climbing. He owns a mobile bicycle repair shop, now helping others take advantage of the Colorado outdoors he too is able to enjoy.
His experience provided not only gratitude for his mobility and the donor who helped him heal, but also a new outlook on life.
During the grand opening of AlloSource’s expanded campus in 2013, Governor John Hickenlooper designated September 21 as a day to commemorate tissue donors and recipients.
Though we honor donors every day by maximizing their gift of donation, we are grateful for the opportunity for people in Colorado and throughout the country to pause for a moment and celebrate tissue donors and recipients.
You can visit Donate Life Colorado for more information and to sign up as an organ, eye and tissue donor.
AlloSource collaborated with NASA and JPL scientists on a study to characterize the effects of zero gravity on antibiotic resistant genes in microorganisms taken from the International Space Station (ISS). In this role, AlloSource assisted in describing antimicrobial capabilities of microbes isolated from the ISS.
The study, titled Targeted Amplification of Antibiotic Resistant Genes Associated with the International Space Station Environment, investigates the impact of zero gravity on microbes by looking at the change in resistance over time compared to similar strains on earth. The ongoing project will help NASA and JPL scientists and medical staff to more efficiently prescribe antibiotics on the ISS.
In addition to participating in the study, AlloSource continues to leverage technologies developed by NASA and JPL for assembly and launch operations of various Mars missions – specifically, rapid molecular microbial burden measurement and genetic inventory cataloging – to advance microbial research in tissue processing.
“This work with NASA and JPL on microbial research efforts aligns with our commitment to improve processes at AlloSource in order to fully maximize the gift of tissue donation,” said Dr. Peter Stevens, PhD, AlloSource Vice President of Development and Growth.
AlloSource will use the research on microbiological testing methods to look for new ways to rapidly detect the presence of microorganisms to benefit allograft availability for patients.
Denver Broncos running backs coach Eric Studesville recently shared his personal connection to donation and how it has impacted his life. While enduring a devastating personal loss, Studesville has found hope and solace in working with Donor Alliance to promote organ, eye and tissue donation.
Read more about this story here.
On any given day, Meg would be out the door before the sun rose, ready to coach for USA Cycling or teach a yoga class. As an endurance athlete and mother to a busy toddler, her health is crucial to her lifestyle.
Though she endured knee pain for several years, a fall off of her mountain bike was the catalyst to a visit with an orthopedic surgeon.
“After my knee scope, it was clear there was a bigger issue,” Meg said. “I basically had no cartilage left on my knee.”
AlloSource’s ProChondrix is a cellular 3D fresh cartilage matrix that helps deliver the necessary components for cartilage restoration. This next generation of cartilage therapy provides live cells and other biological components, which are necessary for repair and regeneration of damaged cartilage tissues.
Dr. Mehta felt ProChondrix would help give Meg back her quality of life. Before embarking down a surgical path, Meg and Dr. Mehta had several in-depth conversations about the procedure and ProChondrix.
“Dr. Mehta asked me, ‘where do you want to be in a year? Do you want to still be in pain when you go out for a run or a ride? Or do you want to feel pain-free and feel like you have control of your knee?’” she explained.
Meg felt confident in ProChondrix and Dr. Mehta and underwent surgery in the summer of 2015. After the procedure, Meg began an aggressive physical therapy regimen and is now back on her bike both coaching and riding for fun.
She recently visited AlloSource and got to see firsthand how allografts are processed. She also reflected on what it means to receive donated human tissue.
When she talks about her experience, Meg’s feelings of gratitude and excitement are tangible.
“Hands down, this was the best decision for me,” she said. “My deep knee pain is gone, I’m functional and I can keep up with my son again. It’s a world of difference.”