Donate Life Ohio’s Do It Now! Campaign won the prestigious Best Advocacy Campaign in the National PR News Nonprofit Awards at the Press Club in Washington DC last week! The campaign is funded through Ohio’s Second Chance Trust Fund, in which Ohioans contribute dollar donations at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles when renewing their vehicle tags.
Over a two-year period, the team rolled out the “Do It Now!” Challenge, targeting students at 30 colleges and universities and more than 250 companies throughout Ohio.
Designed as a competition to bring together colleges strategically located throughout the state, the program pitted students against each other to see who would be the most successful in increasing the number of registered donors in their region. Executed over the course of two academic school years, each student team was treated as an “agency” hired by Donate Life Ohio to bring the campaign to life. As a result, each school was empowered to plan and execute their own activities, which included 5K runs, balloon launches, flash mobs and YouTube videos.
Thanks to the team’s strategy of creating pockets of advocates who could lead their own efforts, the campaign’s results were far-reaching. The goal of adding 480,000 new donors to the registry over the two-year period was surpassed, with a total of 500,182 new organ and tissue donor registrations.
This is the second consecutive year that this campaign has won a national award.
Editor’s note - perhaps we should try this in Texas. With UT and Texas A&M alone we could get some major rivalry going!
I am posting a message from Texas Transplant Society member Bryan Rollins, because he covers all thr bases concerning the Circle of Life ride. Please support this cause if you can. Go Bryan!!
This Friday (10/2), I will join the Lone Star Circle of Life Team for a ride across Texas, covering 650 miles and meeting hundreds of Texans. The ride starts from Houston Saturday morning, and ends in San Antonio on October 10th. I’m incredibly excited about seeing my teammates, and getting to spend some time on my bike, but mostly I’m excited to meet all the amazing people in each city. Last year, meeting organ donors, organ recipients, marrow donors, marrow recipients, organ donor families, and lifetime blood donors whose efforts are measured in tens of gallons, was awe inspiring. Every day reminded me of how lucky I am to be healthy, and of the amazing gift of life that I was given in 2004 by my cousin Diane.
If you’d like to attend, the local events are:
10/3. Houston, 8:30 AM
10/3, Bryan/College Station, 5 PM
10/4, Crockett, 5:30 PM
10/5, Tyler, 3 PM
10/6, Dallas, 3:30 PM
10/7, Waco, 3:30 PM
10/8, Salado, 3:30 PM
10/9, Austin, 3 PM
10/10, San Antonio, 2 PM
More details on each event, location, etc can be found at: http://www.sw.org/web/patientsAndVisitors/iwcontent/public/biketour/en_us/html/biketour_localevents.html
I’ll write every night of the ride, and take pictures, and will post it all on: http://bryanjrollins.livejournal.com
A couple of you asked for the URL to donate and join “Bryan’s team.” It’s http://www.tinyurl.com/lonestarbjr
And most importantly, please consider joining the registries for organ donation and marrow donation, and tell your friends and family about your decision. We’ve had a great year in Texas - with new legislation to help make organ donor registration easier, new medical discoveries, paired donation, chained donation, and many wonderful stories. But we’ve also lost people near and dear to us because of the lack of marrow donors and organ donors.
Patti Steele Special to the Reporter-News
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
A new state law making it easier to register online to become an organ or tissue donor should greatly increase the number of donors, a donor advocate said Tuesday.
The law, which went into effect Tuesday, allows people to enroll in the online donor registry giving only an electronic signature.
Previously, donors had to mail in their registration with two witness signatures to validate their decision.
The law also changes the question people will be asked when applying for driver’s licenses. Previously, prospective donors were asked: “In the event of your death would you like to make an anatomical gift.”
“Most people said ‘no,” said Pam Silvestri, director of communications for Southwest Transplant Alliance in Dallas, which coordinates transplants in the Abilene area. “First they bring up death and many people don’t know what an anatomical gift is. The question sounds like it was written by an attorney.”
Now people will be asked simply: “Would you like to register to be an organ donor,” Silvestri said. “We’re hoping most people say yes,” she said. “I think we’ll see a dramatic increase in the number of organ donors.”
Texas has a statewide donor registry program operated by the Texas Department of State Health Services. The Glenda Dawson Donate Life Texas registry is available at www.donatelifetexas.org. Southwest and other regional donor organizations use the registry to locate donors.
Both Abilene Regional Medical Center and Hendrick Medical Center work with Southwest Transplant Alliance to coordinate donors and recipients.
The Glenda Dawson registry is named in memory of State Rep. Glenda Dawson’s work in getting a donor, education, awareness and registry program in Texas, according to the donor Web site. The law creating the registry went into effect in September 2006 and was re-named for Dawson in 2007.
The registry is funded by a $1 contribution that Texans can make when applying for or renewing their driver’s license or identification card, or when registering their vehicle. Nationwide, there are about 102,670 people on waiting lists for organs. In Texas, they number 9,326, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services Web site.
The majority in Texas — 7,096 — are awaiting kidney transplants followed by 1,660 awaiting liver transplants. In 2007, nearly 500 people in Texas died waiting for organ transplants.
“Before the Texas registry there was no official, centralized list of people who wanted to give consent to being donors,” according to the Web site. “The Web-based registry helps streamline the donation process at a time when medical decisions and procedures must happen quickly.”
- Register to be an organ and tissue donor today.
· It is impossible for someone under the age of 18 to be a living kidney donor, which means the fundamental premise of the book and film is flawed. A minor would never be in a position to be told by her parents to donate a kidney.
· When telling her parents that she does not want to be a donor, Anna uses the argument that she wants to live a “normal” life, play sports and not have to “be careful” all the time. In reality, living donors go on to lead very normal and healthy lives. While transplant recipients may be encouraged not to engage in contact sports, this is not usually a requirement for the living donor.
· Anna has many concerns about being a living donor. In reality living donors feel very positive about their gift. Kathleen Hostert, who donated a kidney to her husband, shares the common sentiment among living kidney donors: “The opportunity to literally save someone’s life through kidney donation is a true blessing and nothing short of a miracle. The gift I was able to give to my husband 11 years ago has truly been a blessing as a wife and a mother. To see him healthy again and able enjoy our children gives me an overwhelming sense of love and feelings I cannot explain. I have been truly honored to have been able to do this for him and our family. There was never any doubt or hesitation to give to this gift to him. I wouldn’t change a thing.”
Analysis: My Sister’s Keeper is a heart wrenching tale about a family facing the death of a loved one. While the film does not perpetuate any of the harmful myths and misconceptions that keep people from registering as an organ donor, it also does not leave audiences with a feeling that “organ donation is a good thing.
Campaign Director, Donate Life Hollywood
It is now being reported on cnn.com that Jobs did, indeed, receive his liver transplant in Tennessee - at Methodist Hospital in Memphis, to be specific. Tennessee has one of the shortest wait times in the country, so it is logical that an individual with resources to travel would go where there is a short wait time, good outcomes, etc. Similarly, in Texas, there are parts of our state where waiting time is shorter than other locations. This means that someone willing and able to travel can get listed (multiply listed, if desired) where the wait may be shorter. It’s too complicated to go into the history of how our state is divided up here, but the fact is, geographic disparities do still exist. And probably always will. The message for potential recipients, I think, is - do your homework. If you have the resources to travel, you can figure out where the waiting times are shorter. And the take home message for everyone else - if we had more organs donated, patients wouldn’t have to be worried about trying to find the center with the shortest waiting times. Please encourage everyone you know to sign up to be a donor at www.donatelifetexas.net. (If you’re not in Texas, go to www.shareyourlife.org to find your state’s registry.) (These opinions are those of Laurie Reece, not necessarily the opinion of either the Texas Transplantation Society nor the Alliance for Paired Donation.)
The Fort Myers News-press.com reported this bit of good news on June 11, 2009: TALLAHASSEE - Hundreds of Floridians will be able to get kidney transplants without losing all their assets after Gov. Charlie Crist Wednesday signed into a law extending insurance eligibility to patients. The law extends coverage to patients with End-Stage Renal Disease and also to the disabled. Beginning in October, they can get Medigap coverage, insurance that supplements Medicare protection for those 65 and older. Without the new law, those under 65 would have to expend all their assets to become eligible for government help. It’s estimated 2,000 Floridians who do not have the gap insurance will now be eligible. Read the full story here: http://news-press.com/article/20090611/NEWS01/906110324
The transplant/organ donation community had a very successful Texas legislative session, and we want to sincerely thank everyone who helped. As the session ended Monday, June 1, the following bills had passed: HB2027 (Zerwas), the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act (UAGA) passed both the House and the Senate and was signed into law by the Governor. This bill conforms Texas law with Federal regulations and policies regarding organ donation. SB1803 (Zaffirini), relating to the Glenda Dawson Donate Life Texas Registry, has passed both the House and the Senate. It is expected to be signed by the Governor. This bill does three key things. It eliminates the laborious validation step when Texans register online at www.donatelifetexas.org, it directs DPS offices to simplify the registration process by asking each and every drivers license customer (in office, online and via mail) simply “Would you like to register as an organ donor?” and it directs TXDOT to link to the donor registry for those renewing auto registration online as well as providing registry information in offices and via mail. Gentle reminders to the Governor that this bill is an important one to sign would be very much appreciated, and any thank yous to your legislators for passing the bill are also appreciated. HB2055 (Guillen) This bill extends the term and duties of the Chronic Kidney Disease Task Force for another two years. The committee is now charged with developing a cost-effective plan for prevention, early screening, diagnosis, and management of CKD. HB2330 (Guillen) The bill relates to laboratory tests for serum creatinine; requires physicians who request a serum creatinine to provide to the lab all information about the person necessary to calculate the estimated glomerular filtration rate. Certain exceptions apply, and we will research the provisions of this bill and detail them in the next newsletter. Bills that didn’t make it through the process: SB284 (Nelson) called for the Anatomical Board to develop an educational brochure (available on the Web) for willed body donations, and also strengthened the laws surrounding chain of custody for transporting anatomical specimens. Would have required tissue banks to be AATB certified. This bill made it as far as the House General State Calendar, but because the House lost five working days due to the “chubbing” by House Democrats, SB284 was one of the casualties that didn’t get taken up again. SB312 (Wentworth) - related to medical examiners, giving the office of ME additional powers. This bill came out of the House committee, was referred to Calendars, but never made it out alive. SB775 (Lucio) - this was a bill to regulate laboratories, and it was, frankly, overkill. The bill was left pending in the Senate Health committee, where it exsanguinated. We have been advised that the Senator would like to work with us on this issue in the Interim.