While gathering with friends and family this holiday season, consider taking the time to discuss the ultimate gift: organ and tissue donation.
In addition to registering with your state, it is important to talk with your family about organ and tissue donation. Having the donation conversation with your family is an opportunity for you to share how you want your legacy to live on. Preparing your family for exactly what you want will ease the burden of that decision during a time of grief and stress.
The family donation conversation is also an opportunity to spread the word for more than 120,000 people who are on the waiting list for transplants in the United States. One person’s decision to donate can save and/or enhance over 50 different people’s lives. A bone allograft helped a father coach his son’s baseball team and keep up with his new baby. A cartilage recipient completed the Hawaii Ironman 70.3 Triathlon following her surgery. A combat medic injured in battle was so inspired by the bone and skin transplants he received, he went on to work for a tissue bank following his honorable discharge from the army. These stories are just a small fraction of what is made possible by organ and tissue donation.
All of these stories would have ended differently if not for the generosity of donors and donor families. While celebrating the holidays and the coming of a new year, take a moment to talk with your family about how your legacy should be celebrated.
For more facts about organ and tissue donation, click here.
Erica was 14 years old when she began experiencing knee pain, which the family believed to be a result of a recurring sports-related injury. After three weeks of pain with no improvement, Erica’s mother, Angie, decided to have her visit the Rocky Mountain Youth Sports Medicine Institute for an exam. Angie was convinced that Erica had hyperextended her knee and would probably require a couple weeks of physical therapy.
“As she sat on the exam table, she asked me the innocent question, ‘What if they say I need to have surgery’ and we both laughed because it couldn’t possibly be that bad,” said Angie.
After a thorough examination including x-rays, the doctor diagnosed Erica with Osteochondritis Dessicans Lesion of the knee, or OCD, which is a softening of the bone due to a blunt force injury or repetitive motion. Pain from OCD typically presents itself significantly after the original injury occurs. Erica’s doctor explained that she had likely been living with the condition for years and that the bone had progressively softened until it caused pain to catch her attention.
For Erica’s full story, read: Erica – Bone and Cartilage Recipient.
AlloSource Granted Sixth Patent for AlloTrue, a Proprietary Tissue Cleaning and Disinfecting Process | December 6, 2013
There is no question safety and quality are of the utmost importance in tissue transplantation. That is why companies like AlloSource, one of the nation’s largest and most respected tissue banks, are always progressing technology in these two areas. The company was recently awarded an additional patent for AlloTrue, its innovative tissue cleaning and disinfecting system, which is a testament to AlloSource’s continued commitment to the safety and quality of their allografts. This is the sixth patent in a family of patents protecting AlloSource’s AlloTrue technology.
Please click here to read more about this unique process.
There are many creative ways in which organizations are spreading the word about organ, eye and tissue donation, but none more than the Donate Life Float, which will appear in the Rose Parade® on Janaury 1, 2014. This year, memorial “floragraph” portraits, made completely of flowers, will honor the living legacies of 81 organ, eye and tissue donors from 34 states, Korea and Taiwan. The floragraphs will grace the lanterns of light that illuminate the 30 float riders – all transplant recipients – and the 12 living donors who will accompany them on foot along the five-mile route seen by more than 40 million viewers nationwide.
The idea for the float began with one man’s gratitude for the live-saving transplant he received. After Gary Foxen received a lung transplant in 1999, he searched for a suitable way to show his appreciation. He contacted OneLegacy in 2001 and suggested the idea of a float in the Rose Parade. Despite initial challenges, the 2004 debut A Symphony of Life float was a success. What started as one man’s idea is now one of the most visible ways that Donate Life America inspires people to save and heal lives through organ, eye and tissue donation.
The 2014 Donate Life Float, Light up the World, is built by Phoenix Decorating Company from a design by Dave Pittman and is coordinated by Los Angeles-based OneLegacy, the world’s largest organ, eye and tissue recovery organization.
Please click here to learn more about the about the float participants and floragraph honorees, find out how you can dedicate a rose, register to be a donor and get more information about the float.
COLORADO DONOR AND RECIPIENT FAMILIES TO ACCOMPANY “GIFT OF LIFE” BALLOON IN 9NEWS PARADE OF LIGHTS | November 27, 2013
For the second year in a row, the annual 9News Parade of Lights will include a Donate Life Colorado balloon escorted by families of organ, eye and tissue donors and recipients.
This year’s “Gift of Life” float, shaped like a present, represents the ultimate gift made possible by organ and tissue donation, and is one of the new, creative ways Donor Alliance is getting the message to the community. Our friends at Donor Alliance, the organ procurement organization for Colorado and Wyoming, manage Donate Life Colorado, the donor registry for the state.
Donor families, recipients, and Donor Alliance staff and volunteers will come together at the 9News Parade of Lights in Denver on Friday, December 6 and Saturday, December 7 to participate in the parade and celebrate the impact organ, eye and tissue donation has on the community.
Please click here to read about some of the donor and recipient participants and to learn more about the event.