Changing Lives Through Organ Donation
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Hispanic Heritage Month: Importance of Enrolling in New York Organ Donor Registry

September 10th, 2014 by Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network

Hispanic Heritage Month logoHispanic Heritage Month is celebrated annually in the United States from September 15 through October 15.

As the nation celebrates Hispanic heritage, culture and accomplishments, Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network (FLDRN) urges Hispanics to celebrate life by promoting organ donation during this special time of the year.

FLDRN’s executive director, Rob Kochik, says: “Hispanics’ high standards when it comes to family and faith, and their focus on the vibrancy of life, can be made even more meaningful during Hispanic Heritage Month if members of this community set out to promote the life-saving nature of organ and tissue donation.”

Of the more than 10,500 people waiting for organ transplants in New York State, over 2,000 or roughly 20 percent are Hispanic:

  • More than 1,600 Hispanics need kidneys in New York State.
  • Over 300 Hispanics need livers.
  • Hispanics are also waiting in New York State for hearts, lungs and pancreas. Some of them need a double transplant: a kidney and pancreas.

New Yorkers can enroll in the Donate Life Registry in various ways, including online and at the New York DMV.



For more information about how you can participate in Hispanic Heritage Month: Contact Amy James. Email Amy or call her on 585-272-4930.




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.


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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.


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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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