Creative “Everyone’s Hot for My Body” Campaign Encourages Donor Registration  |  July 21, 2014

The Midwest Transplant Network in Kansas City launched a new “Everyone’s Hot for My Body” campaign to encourage people of all ages to register as organ, eye and tissue donors. The eye-catching advertisements will be featured in driver’s license offices and promoted via social media.

Kansas and Missouri residents can register online by visiting http://www.yestheywantme.com/.

Watch the video to learn more about this campaign or read about it here.

AlloSource Sponsors Joey Gase in NASCAR Nationwide Race to Drive Awareness for Organ, Eye and Tissue Donation  |  July 18, 2014

IMG_9908AlloSource is sponsoring Joey Gase, a NASCAR Nationwide Series Driver and donor son, in the NASCAR Nationwide Series EnjoyIllinois.com 300 race at Chicagoland Speedway on July 19.

Gase combines his racing career with his passion for raising awareness about organ, eye and tissue donation by driving a unique racecar featuring photos of donors.

When his mother, Mary Jo Gase, passed away unexpectedly from a brain aneurysm, Gase, who was just 18 at the time, made the decision to donate her organs and tissue. The experience inspired him to use his racing career as a platform to promote organ, eye and tissue donation. AlloSource processed Mary Jo’s tissue for transplant and it enhanced the lives of 59 people throughout the country and in Korea.

Gase’s car will feature Dylan Richardson, a seven-year-old boy from Illinois who saved three lives through the donation of his heart, kidneys and liver. Gift of Hope, the Organ Procurement Organization serving Illinois and Southwest Indiana, coordinated the donation. The Richardson family often shares their story of how donation offered comfort during their time of unimaginable grief.

“Joey visited AlloSource earlier this year and we were so inspired by his dedication to organ and tissue donation that we wanted to sponsor him and help him promote donation awareness,” said Thomas Cycyota, President and CEO of AlloSource. “We are grateful for the opportunity to honor Dylan and his family, whose generous decision to donate provided hope in the midst of an indescribable tragedy.”

Gase currently sits at #20 in NASCAR Nationwide driver standings. The NASCAR Nationwide Series EnjoyIllinois.com 300 race at Chicagoland Speedway will be televised at 8:30 P.M. (Eastern Time) on ESPN2.

Nonprofit Founder Grateful for Tissue Transplant  |  July 10, 2014

Dennis HautAs the founder and CEO of Unity House of Davenport, a nonprofit organization providing housing and support for recovering addicts, Dennis manages seven recovery houses and an average of three new residents per week.

A voluntary deployment to Iraq in 2003 as a Department of Defense civilian inspired Dennis to open Unity House. Upon his return to the U.S., he began converting the house he was renovating into a place for recovering addicts as a way to give back to the community.

Running Unity House requires Dennis’ health and attention, both of which were hard to fully dedicate while Dennis endured the pain of a lifelong foot condition.

Dennis was 14 years old at the time of his first surgery to correct a bone in his foot that was out of place. Subsequent corrective surgeries over the years failed to heal the painful condition, and arthritis started to cause additional complications. His doctors tried cortisone injections, but the pain persisted.

His doctor recommended a surgical solution and Dennis underwent a procedure to prevent the arthritic bones from rubbing against each other. His doctor used cancellous chips, an allograft created from donated bone, during the surgery.

I feel happy about the tissue transplant as a bit of this person lives on in me as I go through the rest of my life endeavoring to do God’s will and help others,” said Dennis. “I believe this is the same spirit in which the donor gave to me.”

Dennis’ recovery was slow and steady. He could not put any weight on his foot for six weeks, and then transitioned to crutches and a cane for six months following the surgery.

I am able to walk today with no pain at all,” said Dennis. “I now use a stationary bicycle for exercise and I take our little dog for walks around the block. I honestly never dreamed I would be able to do this. I am so much happier today and I will be eternally grateful.”

Unity House has served over 2,000 residents since 2004, and the tissue donation offered by a generous donor will help Dennis continue to provide resources and support to those in need.

Donated Eye Tissue Advances University of Iowa Research  |  July 9, 2014

The University of Iowa and the Iowa Lions Eye Bank work together to ensure donated eye tissue, if not used for transplantation, provides invaluable insight for researchers looking into common and rare eye diseases.

Donated tissue is crucial to the work of the research team because the human eye is unique, and therefore not easily replicated in animal models. The researchers study donated eyes and eye tissue to better understand macular degeneration, stem cells and the impact of certain diseases on different areas of the eye. The work of the University of Iowa and the Iowa Lions Eye Bank highlights one of the many ways donated tissue plays a role in scientific advancements.

Read more about the University of Iowa’s work with donated tissue here.

Child’s Vacation Wish Granted Thanks to Spinal Elements and Make-A-Wish  |  July 2, 2014

Margaret “Meg” Routh always dreamed of seeing a black sand beach in Hawaii. Her dream came true thanks to Spinal Elements and Make-A-Wish, who sent Meg and her family on a trip to Hawaii last month.

Meg was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer, two years ago when she was just six years old. Meg and her family have endured difficult cancer treatments and wanted the opportunity to take a family vacation and just have fun.

Spinal Elements is donating the net proceeds from its Hero Allograft spinal implant, made by AlloSource, to the Make-A-Wish Foundation and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Read more about Meg’s story here.