U.S. organ transplants reach 30K milestone, thanks to increased donations

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2016/01/13/us-organ-transplants-reach-30k-milestone-thanks-increased-donations/78695138/

Organ  transplants in the United States reached a milestone in 2015, exceeding 30,000 for the first time, a non-profit group reported Wednesday.

Those 30,973 transplants of kidneys, livers and other organs were nearly 5% more than performed in 2014 and came after years of fairly slow, steady increases, said officials with the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN). The network coordinates U.S. transplant activities.

“This landmark achievement is a testament to the generosity of the American public to help others through donation, and their trust in the transplant system to honor their life-saving gift,” the group’s president, Betsy Walsh, said in a statement.

Stepped-up organ donations, rather than any breakthroughs in transplant surgery, likely drove increases in recent years, said David Klassen, the network’s chief medical officer. Transplant centers also have worked to improve logistics, so that fewer donated organs are discarded, he said.

But, he said, the number of people waiting for organs – now 121,700 – “still dwarfs the numbers of donors each year.”

As of Tuesday, 78,122 of the people on the waiting list were considered “active,” meaning they are eligible for transplant right away. People may move on and off the active list as their health fluctuates, Klassen said. Most are waiting for kidneys, which can come from living or deceased donors.

Each day, about 22 people die while waiting for organs, the network says.

“It’s great news that the number of transplants continues to increase each year,” saidJennifer Martin, vice president for constituent services at the National Kidney Foundation, a non-profit advocacy group.  “But there’s still a lot of work to do to get organs for everyone who needs them.”

“We could save thousands of more lives each year if more Americans would just take a little time to register as donor, talk to their families about their wishes,” and encourage others to do the same, said David Fleming, CEO of Donate Life America, a non-profit group that runs a national registry at DonateLife.net. Registries also are maintained by every state and listed at organdonor.gov.

Details from the 2015 transplant data:
• 81% of transplanted organs came from deceased donors.
• The share of donors and recipients who were African American or Hispanic continued to increase –  important because they are over-represented on transplant waiting lists. Nearly 22% of recipients were African American and 15.5% were Hispanic.
• Kidneys accounted for nearly 58% of transplants, followed by livers (23%), hearts (9%) and lungs (7%).

Donate Life America Announces 2015 James S. Wolf, M.D., Courage Award Winner

 

RICHMOND, October 19, 2015 – Donate Life America (DLA), a national non-profit organization committed to increasing the number of donated organs, eyes and tissue available to save and heal lives, while continuing to develop a culture where donation is embraced as a fundamental human responsibility, will present David Fleming, Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine, with the James S. Wolf, M.D., Courage Award tomorrow at DLA’s annual meeting in New Orleans, LA.

The James S. Wolf, M.D., Courage Award is named in honor of the transplant surgeon pioneer who founded the Coalition on Donation (now Donate Life America). The award is presented annually to an individual outside the professional donation and transplantation community, who has played a significant national role in helping to educate the public about organ, eye and tissue donation and promoting donor registration.

ESPN The Magazine writer David Fleming’s interest in tissue donation was piqued with a single phrase: “cadaver tissue.” Dave wondered what it meant. After some initial research, he called AlloSource, a tissue bank in Centennial, Colorado, to see if he could learn more about tissue donation. He went above and beyond, asking questions and learning about a very complex process. His experience is detailed in his online and print piece, “Carson Palmer’s Lasting Connection,” featured in ESPN The Magazine, one of the most popular magazines in the U.S. – read by 15 million people per issue.

Dave also flew to Illinois to further his understanding of the organ and tissue procurement side of donation. He met with Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network, a donor family and a tissue recipient so he could see firsthand how donation affects people on both sides of this meaningful process. These meetings informed a new piece of the story, “Tissue Donation is the Ultimate Gift,” an article that ran online and was very positively received. Many people commented on both articles that they would like to see more pieces like these from ESPN and that the story was important and exceptionally well told.

The social media reach of Dave’s article, “Carson Palmer’s Lasting Connection,” included 24,000 shares and over 180 comments, for example:

“Thank you for running this story, I’m a kidney transplant recipient and without a transplant would probably not be here at all. The public needs to hear these stories so they will consider becoming a donor. It’s the greatest gift you can give or leave when you die. You have the power to save someone’s life.”

“Every sports fan, nope make that every human being, ought to make certain that box is checked on your driver’s license. It won’t cost you a thing, and as science progresses more and more people will benefit, from a single donor. I’ve also had multiple knee surgeries, and as a USC alum I’ve always been a fan of CP. Big thanks to Mrs. Hyde for her most gracious gift. I’d like to think a part Julie lives on, in Carson and those touched by your kindness.”

Dave has now encouraged those inside and outside the sports industry to stop using outdated terminology and to use “donor tissue” instead – language that honors and respects the gift given by the donor and donor family.

Dave educated a new audience about donation, worked tirelessly to ensure this story would reach as many people as possible. For his outreach and commitment to educate the public about organ, eye and tissue donation, DLA is honored to present David Fleming with this year’s James S. Wolf, M.D., Courage Award.

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About Donate Life America

Donate Life America is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit alliance of national organizations and Donate Life State Teams across the United States committed to increasing the number of donated organs, eyes and tissue available to save and heal lives. Donate Life America manages and promotes the national brand for donation, Donate LifeSM; develops and executes effective multi-media donor education programs; motivates the American public to register now as organ, eye and tissue donors; and assists Donate Life State Teams and national partners in facilitating high-performing donor registries.

Contact:

Hilary Czarda

hczarda [at] donatelife [dot] net

 

2015 Annual Update Released

 

Donate Life America is pleased to release our 2015 Annual Update, entitled What can WE make possible?  The report celebrates our shared accomplishments and challenges us to do even more.  Some highlights from the past year include:

  • Over 50 percent (124,602,453) of U.S. adults are registered donors, demonstrating that the majority of Americans accept donation as a fundamental human responsibility.
  • 46 percent of recovered organ donors, 50 percent of recovered tissue donors and 53 percent of recovered eye donors were authorized through state donor registries, emphasizing the importance of our ongoing work to register donors.
  • Fall 2015 launch of the new Donate Life Registry to enable easy response to national campaigns and partnerships on mobile devices and through online transactions.
  • Successful collaborations ranging from ALEX AND ANI® to Sigma Pi and continued support from corporate partners including AATB, Genentech and Novartis.
  • 172,000 Donate Life America Facebook fans and an average reach of 220,000 impressions per week with a lifesaving message about donation.
  • Launch of Donate Life ECHO / Done Vida ECO (Every Community Has Opportunity), a national observance developed in association with AMAT to reach and empower multicultural communities to share the powerful message of donation.
  • Premier of The Wish – A Story of Hope, Faith and Generosity, a faith-based film intended for use in schools and houses of worship and perfect for the upcoming National Donor Sabbath.
  • Funding support from 250 transplant centers, labs, OPOs and eye banks, as well as thousands of gifts made in memory or honor of those touched by donation and transplantation.

Moving forward, we are eager to launch new campaigns, promote living donation through education and connection, and activate donation supporters to reach out to those around them. Together, we can increase the number of donated organs, eyes and tissue available to save and heal lives, while continuing to develop a culture where donation is embraced as a fundamental human responsibility.

We appreciate your support and look forward to seeing what We can make possible in the coming year.

G. David Fleming

President and CEO

The Association for Multicultural Affairs in Transplantation (AMAT) Teams Up with Donate Life America (DLA) to Launch New National Observance: Donate Life ECHO

(Richmond, VA—July 6, 2015)—The Association for Multicultural Affairs in Transplantation (AMAT) and Donate Life America (DLA) are joining forces to launch “Donate Life ECHO,” a new national observance designed to reach multicultural communities. ECHO, which stands for: Every Community Has Opportunity, is being launched to bolster engagement with African American, Asian/Pacific Islander, Latino, and other multicultural communities.

The new observance, ECHO, has two objectives: one is to focus on the power of sharing one’s personal decision to register as an organ, eye and tissue donor with members of one’s community; the second is to encourage registered donors to ask members of their personal networks and extended communities to register as donors. Through the ECHO concept of reiteration and repetition—with people sharing the life-affirming message of donation within their community—more lives will be saved and healed.

“This strategic initiative is about empowering individuals to echo the message of donation throughout their respective communities, while building momentum together,” said Remonia Chapman, president of AMAT. “We are delighted to collaborate with DLA for this groundbreaking effort to equip people from all backgrounds with a host of culturally relevant tools and resources that have been designed to foster meaningful conversations and personal testimonies about the vitally important health topic of organ, eye and tissue donation and transplantation.”

The two-week observance will be held during the second and third full weeks in July. This year’s inaugural observance will be held July 12 – July 25. ECHO is not intended to replace current programs and commemorations; rather, it offers a new mid-year opportunity with tremendous social media and community potential. As nearly 60 percent of the current U.S. transplant waiting list is comprised of ethnically diverse patients, the need for increased education efforts and new strategic approaches is a critical step toward increasing the number of registered donors in multicultural communities.

David Fleming, DLA President and CEO, added: “DLA is excited to be working with AMAT on this new observance, which has the potential to reach specific communities in an innovative way. It is no coincidence that the words ‘community’ and ‘opportunity’ both include the word ‘unity,’ as together, we can create lifesaving change. This transformative observance highlights that great good that can come from sharing the importance of registering as a donor with our family, friends and communities.”

The new observance will be translated into multiple languages, including Spanish. Done Vida ECO, which stands for Esperanza, Comunidad y Oportunidad, translates to “hope,” “community,” and “opportunity.” Together, AMAT and DLA will offer a Donate Life ECHO digital toolkit that will include: social media banners, graphics, talking points, and an array of resources that can be customized for specific audiences. To learn more, visit: www.amat1.org/programs/echo and www.DonateLife.net/echo.

 

About the Association of Multicultural Affairs in Transplantation (AMAT)
AMAT was established in 1992 to address the increasing need for organ and tissue donors in the multicultural communities while simultaneously offering support, shared expertise and professional development opportunities for its members as they save and heal lives. AMAT is a self-sustaining, self-governed organization operating solely on voluntary contributions from individuals, corporations, and other affiliated organizations. For more information, visit: www.AMAT1.org.

About Donate Life America (DLA)
Donate Life America is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit alliance of national organizations and Donate Life State Teams across the United States committed to saving and healing lives through increased organ, eye and tissue donation. Donate Life America, with the help of its corporate partners, is dedicated to spreading the word about the importance of being a registered donor so that others may live. For more information, visit: www.DonateLife.net.

 

Media Contacts:

AMAT
Ayanna Anderson, Public Relations Chair
aanderson [at] dnwest [dot] org, Ph: (510) 251.7003
Donate Life America
Aaron Kelchner
akelchner [at] donatelife [dot] net, Ph: (804) 377.3584

Erik Compton and Genentech Showcase the Importance of Donation for National Donate Life Month

 

In conjunction with National Donate Life Month, Donate Life America and Genentech have partnered to develop a PSA featuring PGA TOUR golfer and two-time heart transplant recipient Erik Compton. The PSA also includes Los Angeles news anchor and kidney donor Phillip Palmer, along with additional transplant athletes who have received organ transplants and are leading active, healthy lives today. The key objective of the PSA is to raise awareness about the importance of organ donation. For more information, please visit DonateLife.net.

Kenton Koch Partners with Donate Life America

Inspired by His Mother’s Heart Transplant, Kenton Koch of JDC Motorsports partners with Donate Life America to Increase the Number of Registered Organ, Eye and Tissue Donors

Kenton Koch & Donate Life CarRICHMOND, VA – MARCH 18, 2015 – Donate Life America (DLA) and Kenton Koch of JDC Motorsports are proud to announce that the two will work together to spread the inspiring message of organ, eye and tissue donation and increase the number of registered donors who save and heal lives. Koch, a twenty-year-old native of Glendora, CA kicks off the 2015 Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda series this week at the Sebring National Raceway in Sebring, Florida.

Koch knows firsthand about the lifesaving power of donation and transplantation. This past January, Koch’s mother received a heart transplant after spending six months on the national transplant waiting list. “It’s amazing to think that someone else’s heart is beating within her,” said Koch. “Thanks to them and their decision to be a donor, I still have my mom here today.”

Now in his second season as a Mazda Motorsports Development driver, Koch is excited to be adding the Donate Life logo to the other sponsor names on his car in order to honor those who have given the gift of life, like his mother’s heart donor. “The generosity of those who have registered are second to none,” said Koch. “I hope that by sharing my mother’s story on and off the track, we can inspire even more people to register and help put a big dent in the national transplant waiting list.”

Nearly 124,000 people in the U.S. are currently waiting for an organ transplant. Those who are waiting are sisters, brothers, sons, fathers, daughters, grandparents, grandchildren, and mothers. “Knowing what it is like to have your mother on the waiting list and dealing with the uncertainty that comes with it, I don’t want others to go through that. Not everyone is as lucky as my mom,” said Koch. Sadly, on average, 21 people die each day because the organs they need are not donated in time.

“With more registered donors comes more hope for those waiting,” said David Fleming, President and CEO of Donate Life America. “The organ shortage is a public health crisis that we know how to fix – all it requires is more signatures.” To learn more about organ, eye and tissue donation and to register your decision to be a donor, go to www.donatelife.net.

Click here for Kenton Koch’s official website. Koch’s 2015 schedule is as follows:

Date                                                  Venue                        

March 18-20                                    Sebring International Raceway

April 10-12                                       NOLA Motorsports Park

June 25-27                                      Watkins Glen International

July 9-12                                          Canadian Tire Motorsport Park

August 7-9                                       Road America

August 28-29                                  Virginia International Raceway

Sept 30 – Oct 2                               Road Atlanta

 

About Donate Life America
Donate Life America is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit alliance of national organizations and Donate Life State Teams across the United States committed to saving and healing lives through increased organ, eye and tissue donation. Donate Life America, with the help of its corporate partners, is dedicated to spreading the word about the importance of being a registered donor so that others may live. Our vision is a nation that embraces organ, eye and tissue donation as a fundamental human responsibility. Donate Life America manages and promotes the national brand for donation, Donate Life℠; develops and executes effective multimedia donor education programs; motivates the American public to register as organ, eye and tissue donors; and assists Donate Life State Teams and national partners in facilitating high-performing donor registries;

About Kenton Koch Racing
20-year old Kenton Koch has been racing for over a decade, starting out in karts at age eight.  The Glendora, CA native balanced his schoolwork with racing as he moved up to racing with the Skip Barber Racing School where he won 35 races over three years. Kenton went on to win the SCCA Pro Racing Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich with 6 wins of 12 races earning him a $200,000 scholarship provided by Mazda Motorsports. He also is representing the U.S. in the FiA Young Driver Excellence Academy in 2015. When not at the racetrack, Kenton is a full-time student at Cal State Fullerton where he is majoring in Business.

About JDC MotorSports
Involved in formula car racing since its inception in 1994, JDC MotorSports has established itself as one of the leading junior open-wheel teams in North America. Initially making its mark in the F2000 class of club racing competition, JDC MotorSports expanded into the Pro Mazda in 2005. Over the years, the Minnesota based team has remained focused on helping develop young drivers while winning numerous races and championships. In 2014, JDC MotorSports entered under JDC Miller MotorSports, a program in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Prototype Challenge class. For 2015, JDC MotorSports will again operate multicar entries in the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda series as well as the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Championship Powered by Mazda series. In addition the team will run again under the entry of JDC Miller MotorSports.

Ma’ake Kemoeatu Receives Donate Life Champion Award

Contact: Aaron Kelchner, Marketing Communications and Data Coordinator
Email: 
akelchner [at] donatelife [dot] net
Phone: 804.887.9434

BALTIMORE, MD – October 30, 2014

In recognition of Ma’ake Kemoeatu’s outstanding support of organ, eye and tissue donation, Donate Life America and Donate Life Maryland presented the former Baltimore Ravens defensive lineman with a Donate Life Champion award.  This award is being given to select members of the athletic community from across the country who have inspired others to give the gifts of life, sight and mobility.  Other national Donate Life Champions include Michael Jordan, Boomer Esiason, Robin Roberts, Erik Compton, Ikey Woods and Ravens President Dick Cass.

Ma’ake was nominated by Donate Life Maryland and unanimously selected by the National Committee after learning of his living kidney donation to his brother, Chris, formerly with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Since his living kidney donation, Ma’ake and Chris, have appeared on various television programs promoting the importance of organ, eye and tissue donation and sharing their living donation story.

With gratitude for this prestigious award, Ma’ake invites fans, community members and friends to register as a donor in his name at www.DonateLife.net and share their support using #FanForLife in their social media efforts.

“With the growing need for lifesaving transplants exceeding the number of organs available, we truly honor and support deceased and living donors -like Ma’ake – who have made this remarkable decision to help save lives,” said Libby Wolfe, Executive Director for Donate Life Maryland.

Currently, more than 120 million  people have already been inspired to register as organ, eye and tissue donors.  Each fan who joins the their state registry as an organ, eye and tissue donor in Ma’ake’s honor is known as a “FanForLife.”

“This weekend, the Ravens play the Steelers and we encourage football fans to show their support for our lifesaving cause by tagging their social media with #FanForLifeRavens or #FanForLifeSteelers,” added Libby Wolfe, “No matter who you are cheering for in this weekend’s game, let’s show that football fans are “FansForLife!”

DLA to Sponsor John and Diane Brockington for the Donate Life Float in 2015 Rose Parade

Contact: Aaron Kelchner, Marketing Communications and Data Coordinator
Email: akelchner [at] donatelife [dot] net
Phone: 804.887.9434

RICHMOND, VA – October 20, 2014 – Donate Life America is proud to announce it will host John and Diane Brockington on the upcoming Donate Life Rose Parade Float. Diane Brockington, a living kidney donor to her now-husband John Brockington, will walk alongside the Donate Life Float among the twelve generous yet otherwise ordinary people who donated a kidney so that others could live. These living donors will walk the five-mile parade route to underscore what can be achievable after donating a lifesaving organ and demonstrate the vitality of people who have done so. John Brockington will ride aboard the float with thirty fortunate recipients of organ and tissue transplants. Together, the Brockingtons will share their amazing “Never-Ending Story” on New Year’s Day through their participation in this year’s float.

An All-American running back at Ohio State, Brockington was a part of the Super Sophomores who won the National Championship in the 1969 Rose Bowl, returning again in 1971. He wasted little time proving himself worthy of the Green Bay Packers’ first pick in the 1971 NFL draft. After posting an NFL rookie rushing record 1,105 yards in 1971–while at the same time nabbing All-Pro and NFC Rookie of the Year honors–Brockington went on to become the first running back in NFL history to surpass 1,000 yards in each of his first three seasons. In just his second year, Brockington helped carry the Packers to the NFC Central Division championship, something they wouldn’t do again until 1995. A three-time Pro Bowler, Brockington was inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame in 1984.

After moving to San Diego, Brockington became friends with long time Packer fan, Diane Scott. When John suffered kidney failure in 2000, Diane and her daughter Jessica offered to become his donor. In an amazing example of matching that defied ethnicity and size, the 5’2” donor was able to offer her smaller kidney to her 6’1” friend the week after Thanksgiving in 2001. Thirteen years later, the kidney is still performing like a champ, proving that the two are a perfect match.

After returning to health, John asked Diane to marry him, and now as husband and wife they direct the John Brockington Foundation to increase organ, eye and tissue donation and raise funds for people on dialysis awaiting a transplant.

“I think the label ‘hero’ is inappropriate,” said Diane Brockington, referring to herself as a living kidney donor. “If the Rose Parade does nothing else, it should illustrate that ordinary friends and strangers can do extraordinary good through the achievable act of living donation.”

Although a kidney recipient, John Brockington has also witnessed the impact tissue donation can have on the lives of athletes. “Tissue donation returns thousands of athletes to the field at all levels of the game,” said Brockington. “Not only that, but it has allowed millions more to live normal, everyday lives and pursue activities that many of us take for granted.”

The 12th Annual Donate Life Rose Parade float, called The Never-Ending Story, will feature butterflies emerging from storybooks to symbolize the enduring power of organ, eye and tissue donation and transplantation. 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.”

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2014 Annual Update Released

Donate Life America is pleased to release our 2014 Annual Update, Registrations, Recognitions, Relationships. Thanks to generous support from the Donate Life Community, our shared achievements over the past year include.

  • 48 percent (117,108,378) of the U.S. population age 18 and over registered as donors; as well as 43 percent of recovered organ donors, 49 percent of recovered tissue donors and 52 percent of recovered eye donors authorized through state donor registries.
  • Successful collaborations ranging from the Transplant Games of America, Walgreens and Alex and Ani’s Charity by Design to corporate partnerships with Genentech and AATB.
  • 145,000 Donate Life America Facebook fans and an average reach of 160,000 impressions per week with a lifesaving message about donation.
  • Launch of a 10-part Donate Life America Community webinar series covering topics from inspiring multicultural communities to capitalizing on effective social media strategies.
  • Funding support from more than 250 transplant centers, labs, OPOs and eye banks, as well as thousands of gifts made in memory or honor of those touched by donation and transplantation.
  • Pinnacle Awards presented to Donate Life State Teams and individual organizations in recognition of best practices that increase donor designation or advance a culture of trusted donation expectation.

Efforts to register new donors and recognize them for their lifesaving and healing decision will continue as we seek to develop relationships with these potential new donation advocates to help build a culture of trusted donation expectation. Now, together with the Donation and Transplantation Community of Practice, we take on the challenge of increasing the number of lives saved and healed through transplantation.

From new national campaigns to involvement in living donation education and advocacy to a new centralized registry, there is much to look forward to in the coming year. Please take a few moments to celebrate our joint success and consider the possibilities and power of our partnership going forward. We thank you for your support and look forward to furthering this lifesaving work together.

G. David Fleming

President and CEO

Click here to access the 2014 Annual Update.