Dear Organ Donor Families:
In honor of National Donate Life Month, I would like to dedicate this blog post to you and your families.
On behalf of our family and other recipient families like ours, I wanted to just say thank you to you and your very special family. We know that having to make the decision to donate was not an easy one and we are deeply sorry for the loss of your loved one. We know that our words of gratitude will never be able to convey to you the impact your donation has made in our son’s life and other recipient families like ours. However, we still wanted to let you know how much of an impact your decision to donate has made upon our lives.
Patients waiting for a kidney transplant at the Mount Sinai Health System have a supportive new program to help them: the Kidney Coach program at the Recanati/Miller Transplantation Institute’s (RMTI) Zweig Family Center for Living Donation. The program recruits friends and family members to become coaches who spread the word about their loved one’s dire need for a living donor to improve the chances of finding one. Read more
When former New York Jets running back Dennis Bligen was diagnosed with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) in 2011, and told by doctors that he needed a new kidney, the news came as a shock.
For his long-time friend, Jill Christensen—who worked with him in the athletics department at St. John’s University in Queens, N.Y.—the news was a call to action. “I just knew I would get tested [to become a donor],” she says. But it turned out that Ms. Christensen’s kidneys were not an appropriate match.
Every 15 hours, someone in New York State dies waiting for an organ transplant. The shortage of available organs is so severe that in 2012, as many as 9,914 people were listed as waiting for transplants in New York State, for which there were only 358 deceased donors and 481 living donors, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. One donor can save up to eight lives.
The New York Organ Donor Network (NYODN), a federally designated organ procurement organization, and one of the nation’s largest, serves a diverse population of 13 million people in the New York metropolitan area. The organization facilitates donation with The Mount Sinai Medical Center’s Recanati/Miller Transplantation Institute, nine other transplant centers, and more than 90 hospitals in the region.