Changing Lives Through Organ Donation
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WETM 18/ A Drive to Donate — NASCAR’s Joey Gase Honors Donor Family

August 9th, 2014 by Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network

NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Joey Gase honored the Campbell family today as his special guests at Watkins Glen International, Nexstar Broadcasting’s WETM 18 reports. The story appears on the website.

The website states: “Gase has an unlikely link to the Campbell family who live in Horseheads. They are connected by organ donation.

“The Campbells lost their two month old son, Jake in 2007 when he stopped breathing. They made the decision to donate his organs and help other families avoid the pain they were experiencing. This choice led to sight restoration for two, and saving the life of one baby boy with a heart transplant.

“Gase lost his mother, Mary Jo unexpectedly when he was just 18 years old, and he and his family made the decision to donate her organs to those in need.”


NASCAR driver Joey Gase supports organ donation

To follow Joey Gase’s journey to spread organ donor awareness, click here.

PEOPLE Magazine: Martha Stewart’s Sister Laura Plimpton Dies, Donates Organs

August 6th, 2014 by Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network



Martha Stewart (left) and Laura Plimpton STEPHEN CHERNIN/GETTY


Martha Stewart’s younger sister, Laura Plimpton, died Tuesday [yesterday] from a brain aneurysm at her home in the Weston area of Connecticut, PEOPLE has confirmed. She was 59. Ms. Plimpton had left written instructions stating she wished to be an organ donor upon her death.

“My youngest sister, and the youngest of the six Kostyra siblings, Laura Kostyra Plimpton, passed away today in Norwalk Hospital,” Stewart, 73, announced in a tribute posted to her website.

“We are so sad, but also happy that Laura had the foresight to donate so many healthy organs to needy people,” Stewart writes.


2015 Donate Life Rose Parade Float Design Is Unveiled

August 5th, 2014 by Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network

More than 70 organizations supporting Donate Life America’s life-saving mission, including Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network (FLDRN) and University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC), have unveiled their 12th Donate Life Rose Parade float, “The Never-Ending Story,” featuring butterflies emerging from storybooks to symbolize the enduring power of organ, eye and tissue donation.

The Donate Life float and its honored participants are the centerpiece of a national campaign that leads up to the 2015 Rose Parade, themed “Inspiring Stories.” The Rose Parade takes place January 1, 2015.

As official sponsors, FLDRN and  URMC will invite organ donor family and transplant representatives from the Finger Lakes region to participate in the parade. An announcement in this regard will follow.

Donate Life float rendering for Rose Parade on January 1, 2015.

A rendering of the 2015 Donate Life Rose Parade float. Its theme is ‘The Never-Ending Story.’ As Bryan Stewart, chairman of the Donate Life Rose Parade Float Committee, says: “Through its endless power to save, heal and transform lives, organ, eye and tissue donation is truly The Never-Ending Story.” Among the float’s official sponsors are Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network and the University of Rochester Medical Center.

“Every donation of organs, eyes and tissue begins an inspiring story that lives on forever,” declared Bryan Stewart, chairman of the Donate Life Rose Parade Float Committee. “In their passing, deceased donors open up a world of health, sight and mobility to people in need. The gifts from living donors release family members, friends and even strangers to live more fully. Grateful transplant recipients are freed to contribute to their families, communities and future generations. Through its endless power to save, heal and transform lives, organ, eye and tissue donation is truly The Never-Ending Story.”

The butterflies ascend above 72 volumes adorned with floragraph portraits of deceased donors whose legacies are nurtured by their loved ones.

The 2015 Donate Life Rose Parade Float, coordinated by OneLegacy, the nonprofit organ recovery agency that serves the Los Angeles metropolitan area, features 60 beautiful butterflies emerging from an open book, representing the number of lives transformed by a single deceased donor. The butterflies ascend above 72 volumes adorned with floragraph portraits of deceased donors whose legacies are nurtured by their loved ones.

Walking alongside the float will be 12 living organ donors whose stories have become intertwined with those of their recipients. Seated among thousands of dedicated roses are 30 riders representing transplant recipients who celebrate the new chapters of their lives made possible only by the generosity of donors.

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Rochester Motivational Speaker Ginger Zimmerman Needs a Second Heart Transplant

July 31st, 2014 by Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network

GingerZimmerman-225x300According to the American Heart Association (AHA), Ginger Zimmerman, a longtime AHA volunteer who successfully underwent a heart transplant 16 years ago, is suffering from complications and needs a second heart transplant.

For more than three months, she’s been at a hospital in New York, first undergoing testing to qualify for a transplant and now waiting as her health steadily declines.

Even though the motivational speaker from Rochester, New York, has a better idea of what to expect this time, it’s still a rollercoaster, both physically and emotionally.

Ginger, 49, is one of nearly 4,000 people waiting for a heart transplant in the United States.

“I don’t let myself dwell on it so much, but I know what I’m facing very clearly and it’s going to be very complicated,” Ginger said.


REPORT: New York State Lags Nation in Organ Donor Registrations

July 29th, 2014 by Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network

New York state adults register themselves as organ and tissue donors at less than half the rate of adults nationwide, but the need for lifesaving organs in New York state is among the highest in the country, according to a report issued today by Excellus BlueCross BlueShield.

While less than half of American adults (48 percent) are registered organ and tissue donors, only 22 percent of New York state adults are on the registry. Upstate New York’s percentage of registered donors (31 percent) is higher than the state number.

“When I first saw the analysis, I thought this can’t be right,” said Martin Lustick, MD, senior vice president and corporate medical director, Excellus BCBS. “Then I realized that the numbers are less about New Yorkers being less inclined to donate organs, and more about the barriers that exist to becoming an organ donor in our state.”

“Individuals on the organ transplant waiting list are our family members, friends and neighbors, and it takes just a few minutes to sign up to give the Gift of Life,” said Rob Kochik, executive director, Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network.

He encourages everyone to have a conversation with family members and enroll in the New York State Donate Life Registry.


DOWNLOAD: The complete Excellus BlueCross BlueShield analysis (online) or The Facts About Organ Donor Registration in Upstate New York (PDF)

HOW LONG IS THE WAIT? People waiting on the organ transplant list in New York State.

HOW LONG IS THE WAIT? People waiting on the organ transplant list in New York State.

  • Register as a Donor Today!

    You have the power to give life. Sign up with the New York Donate Life Registry now.

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  • Facts About Organ Donation

    • If you are sick or injured and admitted to a hospital, the FIRST PRIORITY for emergency physicians and nurses is to SAVE YOUR LIFE, regardless of whether or not you have registered to be an organ donor.
    • Everyone waiting for a transplant is treated fairly and with respect. Objective medical criteria determine how donated organs are allocated to patients on the transplant waiting list.
    • All major religions approve of organ donation.
    • Check out "10 Facts About Organ Donation"
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