Kevin Currie via Crowdrise
October 03, 2012
BENEFITING: Donate Life Connecticut
EVENT DATE: Oct 15, 2012
I am running the 2012 Hartford half-marathon in October to support Donate Life Connecticut. Donate Life CT is committed to raising awareness about organ and tissue donation, and increase the number of registered donors.
113,000 people are on the waiting list for a transplant. 18 of them die every day. YOU HAVE THE ABILITY TO SAVE SOMEONE'S LIFE...
I am asking you to please join with me and support this cause with a donation. Financial donations are greatly appreciated, and can be made on this page. Financial donations support Donate Life CT and are tax deductible. Times are hard though, and a financial donation may not be possible, but you can make a different donation - REGISTER TO BECOME AN ORGAN DONOR, AND TELL YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS ABOUT YOUR DECISION. You can do this here via the Donate Life website; it only takes a few seconds but that few seconds can save someone’s life, in fact several lives.
There are many myths about organ donation, most of which are old and flat-out wrong. You can learn the facts here. Please don't let misinformation keep you from registering. Imagine if you, or your wife, child, or brother was dying waiting for a transplant - would you want more people to be registered to give them that chance? Yes, me too.
I want to tell you why this cause is so personally important to me. It's because of two friends, Jeff and Joe. Many of you know them well.
Joe was suffering from liver failure that resulted from hepatitis C infection. HCV can lay dormant for years, but once it progresses liver destruction follows, and in fact hepatitis C is responsible for about half the liver cancer cases annually. After months in and out of hospital for various treatments, Joe's condition was worsening to the point where a transplant was his only option. A cadaver donor was sought, but none was found, and time was running out - literally. Joe has a wife and a 14-year old daughter, and time was running out for all of them.
Finally, Joe's wife Ida publicized his condition on Facebook, issuing a last resort call for a live donor. The liver is unique in that a healthy person can donate one lobe of their liver, which will grow to full size in the recipient, as will the remaining lobe in the donor. But with major surgery, a lengthy recovery, and not insignificant risk - who would do such a thing? Enter Jeff, who was a friend of Joe's, and their daughters are best friends. Of the people who volunteered to be tested, Jeff had the right blood type. More detailed tests confirmed the tissue match, and various scans showed that Jeff's liver was the right size and anatomy. Jeff's family was right behind him, despite the risk, and surgery was scheduled. Then, another scan showed some spots on Jeff's lung which turned out to be latent TB. Several months of antibiotics were needed to eradicate this before surgery could proceed. Jeff persevered with the pills, while Joe's worsening condition had him confined to hospital. Then, on July 24 this year, both men went into surgery at Yale-New Haven hospital. Jeff was in for 7 hours, Joe for 12, while a group of family and friends waited every minute in the waiting room, getting regular updates from the OR. By midnight, Jeff and Joe were in the ICU and the transplant was complete.
Today, two months later, Jeff has a nice battlescar and is back at work. Joe is recovering well. His body ahs not rejected the liver and the functions are improving all the time. He is getting stronger and although it’s a long road ahead, the outlook is good. Thanks to Jeff, Joe has his life back, and a family has their husband and father back.
I am running this race in tribute to Jeff’s selflessness and generosity, and to give thanks for Joe’s recovery and new life. They are inspirational people.
WE ALL HAVE THE ABILITY TO GIVE THE GIFT OF LIFE, WITHOUT EVER NEEDING TO GO THROUGH WHAT JEFF DID. BY REGISTERING TO BE AN ORGAN DONOR, YOU CAN GIVE SOMEONE THAT NEW CHANCE AT LIFE …..PLEASE DO IT!