Karen Abercrombie recently shared insight into her experience with donation after her sister, Julie, passed away. Julie’s gift of life helped nearly 80 people, including NFL quarterback Carson Palmer.
Karen wrote about her journey and the importance of organ, eye and tissue donation. She also highlights the important and difficult role of the Family Care Specialist who talk to a potential donor family at an unimaginable time.
Click here to read her heartfelt piece.
Two years after his cartilage transplant, Phil honored his tissue donor by competing in his first CrossFit competition, taking third place in his division. Six months ago, he joined Full Dimension CrossFit, a local CrossFit gym, to challenge himself. He not only found a new passion, but also an incredible community of support in his fellow athletes and coaches.
Phil also received the “Spirit of CrossFit Wars 2016” award for his strength, courage, inspiration and showing up daily without complaint. “I did this for my donor,” said Phil. “I wish the donor family knew how much I cherish this gift that I was so fortunate to receive.”
Phil feels fortunate to train with the amazing athletes and coaches who inspire him daily. Working hard every day is how Phil maximizes the gift he was given, honoring his donor by pushing himself and getting stronger.
Congratulations to Phil on this exciting milestone!
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.