Changing Lives Through Organ Donation
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News & Views

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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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.

»» READ THE FULL STORY


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.

FLDRN’s Donor Registration Drive During National Minority Donor Awareness Week

July 23rd, 2014 by Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network

 

Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network (FLDRN) is urging people of color to organize organ donor registry drives during National Minority Donor Awareness Week, an annual program from August 1 through 7.

National Minority Donor Awareness Week was created to increase awareness of the need for more organ, eye, and tissue donors, especially among minorities. Now in its 18th year, this special observance honors minorities who have been donors, and encourages others to register as donors and take better care of their health in order to reduce the number needing a transplant.

Rob Kochik, FLDRN Executive Director, said, “Of those listed on the national waiting list for organ transplants, 57 percent are minorities. Nearly 123,000 patients are on the waiting list, so that gives you some idea of the crisis facing each and every one of them.”

Mr. Kochik added: “I hope that National Minority Donor Awareness Week is the incentive for individuals, community groups and houses of worship to encourage minorities to enroll on the New York State Donate Life Registry. They can do so in various ways, including online and by visiting a DMV office.”

Minorities: The Need for Organ Donors

Chart transplant waiting list

Transplant Waiting List by Race and Ethnicity

As of July 18, 2014, of the 10,510 people waiting for organ transplants in New York State:

  • 3,644 are black
  • 2,035 are Hispanic
  • 950 are Asian

Advantages of Minority Donors

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, although organs are not matched according to race or ethnicity, and people of different races frequently match one another, all individuals waiting for an organ transplant will have a better chance of receiving one if there are large numbers of donors from their racial or ethnic background.

This is because compatible blood types and tissue markers—critical qualities for donor/recipient matching—are more likely to be found among members of the same ethnicity. 

In 2013

  • 40% of all those receiving transplants were minorities
  • 70% of minority transplant recipients received kidneys
  • 33% of all deceased donors were minorities

NY-Waitlist-by-Ethnicity

Data on this page: Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) June 13, 2014 (Waiting List Chart) and July 18, 2014. New Yorkers Awaiting Organ Transplants Aug. 1 -7 2014, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, HRSA, OPTN via New York Alliance for Donation, Inc.

SLIDESHOW: 2014 Transplant Games

July 18th, 2014 by Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network

Finger Lakes Donor Network congratulates Team Finger Lakes for their team spirit, dedication and athletic accomplishments. And we were honored to have donor family members join us together with a living donor. More post-Games updates to follow….In the meantime, enjoy the slideshow! (Hit the pause button to take a longer look at each slide.)

Team Finger Lakes, relatives and friends,
Members of Team Finger Lakes
Recipients honor organ donors
Team Finger Lakes enters arena
Team Finger Lakes enters the arena during the opening ceremonies
Eric Wright, tennis
Tribute to organ donors
Karen Kline, mother of organ donor Kelly Kline, with kidney transplant recipient Bonnie Haefner.
Aisha O'Mally heart recipient
2014 Transplant Games of America 070WEB
Mike Swete and Ron Passmore
Competitive cycling
Medal WinnersWEB

A team united...Team Finger Lakes with family and friends.

Members of Team Finger Lakes.

Transplant participants honor those who made their second chance at life possible, the organ donors.

Team Finger Lakes enter the Transplant Games arena in Houston.

Team Finger Lakes enters the arena during the opening ceremonies at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, Texas.

Eric Wright, double lung recipient, on the tennis court.

The reason for the recipients' opportunity to live life anew...a tribute to organ donors.

Karen Kline (left), mother of organ donor Kelly Kline, with kidney transplant recipient Bonnie Haefner.

Heart recipient Aisha O'Mally points to the date of her transplant.

On the extreme right: Team Finger Lakes table tennis bronze winner, Phonesada Hoffmann, who has received multiple kidney transplants.

From left, liver recipient Mike Swete and heart recipient Ron Passmore.

Competitive cycling at the Games.

Some of the Team Finger Lakes medal winners show the meaning of team spirit.

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Team Finger Lakes enter the stadium WEB thumbnail
2014 Transplant Games of America 115WEB thumbnail
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2014 Transplant Games of America 064WEB thumbnail
Medal WinnersWEB thumbnail

2014 Transplant Games Opens in Houston

July 13th, 2014 by Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network

The 2014 Donate Life Transplant Games of America officially began last night with the opening ceremonies at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, Texas. The Team Finger Lakes contingent was among the teams from across the nation that participated by marching into the stadium.

Team Finger Lakes, from the region served by Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network, consists of 17 team members - 13 recipient athletes, a living donor athlete and three donor families – plus three donation professionals.

According to KTRK-TV Houston, the ABC affiliate, “(thousands of ) athletes marched in with props, T-shirts and signs honoring living donors, organ and tissue recipients and the families of those who left a gift of life behind. Teams are representing every state in our country as well as some international athletes who made the trip. It’s the 22nd year for the games which rotates host cities.” 

TEAM FINGER LAKES ENTERS THE STADIUM

Team Finger Lakes

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  • 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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