/KODA Blog


Thousands of new additions to Donor Registry during Challenge; Students utilized a fun, throwback ‘90s “Bring Color into the World of Donation” theme Throughout the month of October, 31 chapters of the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), Future Farmers of America (FFA), Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA), and Key Club participated in the KODA 2018 High School Challenge to support its Donate Life Kentucky’s mission of increased organ donor recruitment. The results? An incredible 2,876 new names were added to the Kentucky Organ Donor Registry. The winning schools who reached a target level in a point system based on outreach activities, and also had the most new signups on RegisterMe.org, participated in activities including registry drives, making commercials, art projects, school-wide assemblies, and social media posts. Many of the school clubs worked with their local Circuit Court Clerk to help promote saving lives through organ donation. The participating clubs were also the first to use a new online educational toolkit and utilized the national award-winning Bridge2Life  app to learn about donation, register their peers and submit pictures of their events as well. “These students were given a very challenging goal, and they absolutely blew it out the water,” states Crysta McGee, Community Educator with KODA and Circuit Clerks’ Trust For Life. “We wanted them all to know that organ donation isn’t just a health issue, it’s a human issue. Every school that participated took this challenge to heart and following the theme, added a lot of wonderful color to the world of donation.” And importantly, there were no losers in this competition as every student group that participated has given hope to the 115,000 children and adults nationally waiting on a lifesaving organ transplant.  The 2018 Donate Life Challenge Winners are: $1,000 1st place winners: Marion County High School FBLA and Area Technology Center HOSA Advisors Chastity Gribbins and Tara Wade $500 2nd place winner: Larue County FFA Advisor Misty Bivens $250 3rd Place winner: Union County High School FBLA Advisor Nathan Tanner $150 4th Place winner: Boyle County High School HOSA Advisor Jennifer Carney Social Media Rock Star: Greenwood High School FBLA Advisor Natalie Dyer Innovation: Doss High School Advisor Sarah Pataluna Spirit Award: Haley Parker, Harrodsburg ATC HOSA For a full list of participating high schools or more information, please contact Crysta McGee at 502.415.0350. ###   About Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates (KODA) is dedicated to saving lives through organ and tissue donation and transplantation. KODA was formed in 1987, pulling together two hospital-based organ procurement groups to establish a statewide educational and procurement network. KODA is an independent, non-profit organ and tissue procurement agency and was recognized by Louisville Business Firstas Nonprofit of the Year in 2011. KODA currently serves 114 counties in Kentucky, 4 counties in southern Indiana and 2 counties in western West Virginia.  KODA partners with the Kentucky Circuit Court Clerks’ Trust For Life in all public education and philanthropy efforts.  For more information visit http://www.kyorgandonor.org.   About Kentucky [...]

By | 2018-11-19T15:06:00-05:00 November 19th, 2018|KODA Blog|0 Comments

Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates honored at 2018 Donate Life America Pinnacle Awards

Wins Youth Education and Innovation Creativity Category Award at Annual Convention in Portland, Oregon Kentucky’s Organ Donation Awareness Programs captured three national awards this year, the Youth Education and Innovation Creativity Awards from Donate Life America, as well as the Groundbreaker Award from the American Association for Tissue Banks. The awards are in recognition of the creation of an innovative mobile app for school challenges, Bridge2Life KY, which was developed by the community outreach team of the Kentucky Circuit Court Clerks’ Trust For Life and Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates.  Its focus is to engage and educate today’s youth utilizing something they all have in common, technology, particularly as it relates to social media, to support the effort to encourage more Kentuckians to join the Organ Donor Registry. The team implemented a simultaneous statewide high school partnership and challenge with KY HOSA (Health Occupation Students of America) and KY FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) clubs, and challenged each club to register at least five new people a day during the one-month period. High school students are young, creative and love social media, and with this in mind they were encouraged to perform certain activities and share on social platforms for which they received points. The school that had the most registries and points at the end of the month won the competition. This activity promoted a culture of donation and encouraged them to be involved, use the Bridge2Life app to obtain information and enable them to register to become a donor on the spot. The results: 1,092 new registries, a record number for a membership drive; 5,000 high school students educated about organ and tissue donation; and participation from 17 schools throughout the state. “The innovative efforts of the team to encourage and empower Kentuckians to register as organ and tissue donors will help save, and heal, lives throughout the Commonwealth.  And those efforts would not have been possible without our partners, all of who joined together to make a positive and profound impact on this mission,” states Crysta McGee, Community Educator. “From the Kentucky’s Circuit Court Clerks’ educational initiatives at driver’s license renewal locations statewide, to biotechnology company Bridge to Life’s sponsorship of the project, and our donor family and recipient volunteers who inspire us all, this is something we, and all Kentuckians, can truly be proud of.” ### Donate Life Americais a 501(c)3 nonprofit 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 for transplant to save and heal lives. Donate Life America manages and promotes the national brand for donation, Donate Life℠; develops and executes effective multi-media donor education programs; motivates the American public to register now as organ, eye and tissue donors; manages the National Donate Life Registry, RegisterMe.org; and assists Donate Life State Teams and national partners in facilitating high-performing donor registration programs. For more information, please visit DonateLife.net. Kentucky Circuit Court Clerks’ Trust For Life’s mission is to inform, [...]

By | 2018-11-17T16:43:36-05:00 November 17th, 2018|KODA Blog|0 Comments

Letter to the Editor: Monica Brown

November is a month of giving THANKS!  It is a time that many take the time to enjoy family and friends and to remember all the “Good Things” in their life!  Every November begins a new season of “giving,” and it is also a time that many around the world recognize as the “Donor Sabbath” month. During the National Donor Sabbath, faith leaders, donor families, transplant recipients, and donation and transplantation professionals participate in services and programs to increase awareness. This month we remember the need for the lifesaving, enhanced gifts passed to others through transplantation. It is time we continue to encourage people to say “yes” to the organ donation registry.  Those who donate organs, tissues, and blood stem cells restore hope and share gifts beyond measure.  The recipients are full of Thanks! Why is this important to me?  On February 3, 2016, I had a heart attack while driving home from the gym.  I thought I was having muscle spasms; I pulled over on the side of the road hoping that the pain would pass.  It did not pass, in fact, EMS had to pick me up in the parking lot of a corner store. Two days later I was in the hospital waiting for my discharge paperwork when I had my second heart attack. I died with this one! In the words of my youngest son, “the doctors had to put the jumper cables on me.” This was an attempt at his humor as he struggled with what his mom was enduring.  That episode caused me to go into heart failure. Fast forward five months and I find myself in Lexington, KY at the UK Healthcare Heart Transplant Center awaiting a lifesaving heart.  I remember asking myself “how did I get here; how did this happen to me?”  am I needing a new heart, and if I don’t get one, am I going to die sooner rather than later?  It was during this time I remembered that I was registered as an organ donor!  It was at that moment that I truly understood the importance of that question asked by the staff of the Kentucky Circuit Clerks’ offices around the state, “Would you like to register as an organ donor?”  “Would you like to donate to the organ donor awareness program?”  I thought I would be the one giving not the one in need.  On July 27, 2016, I received a new heart!  They told me it was a perfect match! I invite you to join me in honoring those who, at the end of their life, gave life! You too can save lives by registering as an organ donor at RegisterMe.org.  You never know you or someone you love might need a “perfect match!” Forever Thankful, Monica Brown

By | 2018-11-12T14:30:59-05:00 November 12th, 2018|Jefferson, KODA Blog|0 Comments

KODA has added Four New Members to the Board of Directors

Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates (KODA) welcomes four new members to its Board of Directors. KODA is one of the 58 organ procurement organizations in the U.S. working to save lives through organ donation and enhance lives through tissue donation.  The Board of Directors is KODA’s governing body and meets periodically to discuss and vote on KODA affairs. Julie Bergin, BSN, MHA, KODA’s president and CEO, said three of the new Board members -- Denisha Henry, Eduardo Pino, M.D., Mike Lutz – have already started their 3-year terms, while Robert “Bo” Cofield Jr. will join in September. The current board chair is Hoyt Burdick, M.D., FACHE, who serves as Chief Medical Officer at Cabell Huntington Hospital in Huntington, W.Va. Bergin said the Board of Directors is essential to KODA’s continued success with its mission. “We truly appreciate the input of our Board members and value the wisdom they can contribute from their various perspectives in business and in the community. We are very fortunate that these leaders have committed to assisting KODA in honoring the gift of donation throughout our service area.” Originally from Louisville, Denisha Henry works as a Clinical Research Coordinator with Associates in Neurology PSC in Lexington, Ky.   She is also a donor mom.  She first became associated with KODA after her daughter T'Neil Martin died in 2010 and was able to save lives as an organ donor.  She has been an active volunteer, served on KODA's Donor Fam Henry ily Council and will become a member of the Board’s Quality Committee. "I am excited to serve on KODA's Board and make a difference in a new way," Henry said. "I am honored to do this in memory of my daughter T'Neil and to make my service on the Board a part of her legacy." Pino Dr. Pino has served many roles at Cabell Huntington Hospital, including being the long-time chair of the Donation Committee.  He currently serves as Medical Director of Hoops Family Children's Hospital.  Also, the Team for West Virginia Children recently honored him with its Service to Children Award.  He will serve on the Board’s Quality Committee, lending insight into the care of pediatric organ and tissue donors and their families. “I am honored to be asked to serve with an organization that has such a noble purpose,” said Dr. Pino. “I hope that I can work to fulfill its mission and thereby help so many others.” Lutz Mike Lutz is the Human Resources General Manager at Toyota Motor Manufacturing in Lexington.   Lutz, who will serve on the Strategic Planning Committee, is a transplant recipient and is grateful for his own second chance. “I am very humbled by the opportunity to support and serve on KODA’s Board,” he said. “I want to help others learn more about the life-saving experience I have been through. I can help others to understand the gifts that occur because of generous donors and their families.” Cofield Robert “Bo” Cofield is the Vice [...]

By | 2018-08-08T12:43:20-04:00 August 8th, 2018|KODA Blog|0 Comments

Save the Date for the Legacy of Life 5k

Kentucky Circuit Court Clerks’ Trust For Life &  Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates (KODA) Legacy of  Life 5K Run/Walk in Partnership with University  of Louisville Hospital Registration is Now Open for the 9thAnnual Event on Saturday, September 15   WHAT:        The Kentucky Circuit Court Clerks’ Trust for Life and Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates (KODA), in partnership with University of Louisville Hospital, will host its 9th Annual Legacy of Life Run/Walk in Iroquois Park this September. All proceeds from the event will go to the Circuit Clerk’s Trust For Life/KODA’s patient assistance fund, as well as U of L Hospital’s Donor Family support program. Participants may register now to attend the race or register to be a virtual participate at http://bit.ly/tflkoda5K18register. WHEN:        Saturday, September 15, 2018, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon WHERE:       Iroquois Park, 2120 Rundill Road, Louisville, KY 40214  MORE:          Participantscan run (the 5K will be timed) or walk, there’ll be prizes for Largest Team, Best Team Uniform, and Best Outfit, along with music and lots of fun-filled, pre-race activities. And in addition to the big event in Louisville, Trust for Life and KODA are working together with volunteers, clerks, hospitals and passionate individuals across the entire state throughout the summer to bring its Legacy of Life 5k to every single county in the Commonwealth. ### The mission of the Kentucky Circuit Court Clerks’ Trust For Lifeis to inform, educate, and encourage Kentuckians to register as organ and tissue donors to save lives. For more information visit trustforlife.org.KODA’s mission is to provide organ and tissues to those in need and to maintain a profound respect for those who gave. For more information visit kyorgandonor.org. Media contact: Erin Jones, erin@inmodemarketing.com, 502.774.0767

By | 2018-07-30T17:25:56-04:00 July 30th, 2018|KODA Blog, KODA Events, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Donate Life ECHO!

My name is Breia Maddox, I am 21 years old, and I am a proud volunteer for Donate Life Kentucky and the Community Outreach Intern for Trust for Life! I’m also a University of Louisville student, member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and have a loved one on the waiting list for a kidney. Through my involvement, I have worked as an advocate for organ donation in the Louisville community.  Currently, there are 115,000 men, women and children waiting for life-saving organ transplants. Almost 60% of that 115,000 are of the multicultural community. However, minorities seem to be the lowest group of registered organ donors. This discrepancy isn’t due to the fact that information about organ donation isn’t warranted to minorities, however, through various research I have found there are many myths, associated with the multicultural community and organ donation. For example, at the age of 17, I received my official driver's license. I was the youngest of all of my friends, but the first to receive this piece of identification, so I was super excited! Accompanying me on this trip was my grandmother, who had been to this driver’s license office several times in her life, so she was prepared! After taking my picture, I walked up to the clerk’s window while she asked me a few questions. First, she asked if I would like to donate a dollar, after asking my grandmother if it was okay, I said “yes.” After I gave the clerk the dollar, she asked if I would like to register to be an organ donor. Again, I looked at my grandmother for reassurance, but this time her response was different. I was advised that registering to be an organ donor would not be a good idea so I said “no.” After leaving the driver’s license office I was curious as to why my grandmother would let me donate a dollar, but not sign up to be a registered organ donor. I found that my grandmother was completely against the idea of organ donation, not because of things she had learned, but of what she had heard from others. One of her reasons included, “the doctor won’t save me and they’ll take my organs.” Although, my grandmother’s words were a bit “far-fetched”, it sounded possible. Yet, I did not let my grandmother’s words prohibit me from doing my own research. Using the various resources made available by the Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates, I learned all the information my grandmother shared with me had been false. More than anything, what concerned me was that many in the multicultural community believed this false information, and did little to no research to gauge whether it was true. In addition to the many myths associated with minorities and organ donation, I also found that many neglected the want/need to become educated on such topic until they were directly affected, my family being one of them.  A little after I received my driver's license, my dad, a hardworking, God-fearing [...]

By | 2018-07-09T14:31:08-04:00 July 9th, 2018|KODA Blog|0 Comments

KODA and Trust for Life to host Twitter Chat Monday July 9th

WHAT:        Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates (KODA) will host a Twitter chat in honor of Every Community Has Opportunity (ECHO), a national observance that encourages social media and community storytelling centered around organ donation education in multicultural communities throughout the United States. Donate Life America (DLA) and the Association for Multicultural Affairs in Transplantation (AMAT) created the annual July, two-week Donate Life ECHO observance to focus on the importance of donation and transplantation in multicultural communities. Two separate Twitter chats are being held next Monday to educate the public about organ donation and help debunk various myths surrounding donation in multicultural communities nationwide. WHEN:        Monday, July 9, 2018; two Twitter sessions at 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. WHERE:       https://twitter.com/KY_OrganDonor  MORE:          Topics covered will address the many misconceptions in multicultural communities regarding minorities on the waiting list and include, but are not limited to: “My family will have to pay for my organ donation”; “I won’t be able to have an open casket funeral”; “As a member of the LGBTQ community I cannot register as a donor”; “There are people out there who sell organs for money”; “My religion will not support organ donation”; “As a registered donor, a doctor won’t try to save me so those on a waiting list can be saved”; “I don't need to tell my family that I’m a registered donor because I already added it to my will.” ### KODA’s mission is to provide organ and tissues to those in need and to maintain a profound respect for those who gave. For more information visit kyorgandonor.org. The mission of the Kentucky Circuit Court Clerks’ Trust For Lifeis to inform, educate, and encourage Kentuckians to register as organ and tissue donors to save lives. For more information visit trustforlife.org.

By | 2018-07-03T21:36:28-04:00 July 2nd, 2018|KODA Blog|0 Comments

Donate Life 2018 ECHO Observance Highlights the Importance of Organ & Transplantation in Multicultural Communities

Donate Life’s Every Community Has Opportunity (ECHO) is a national observance that encourages social media and community storytelling centered around donation education in multicultural communities throughout the U.S. Donate Life America (DLA) and the Association for Multicultural Affairs in Transplantation (AMAT) created Donate Life ECHO to focus on the importance of donation and transplantation in multicultural communities. Multicultural communities nationwide are disproportionately in need of lifesaving organ transplants, especially kidneys. Currently 58% of the U.S. transplant waiting list is comprised of multicultural patients. ECHO highlights the importance of registering to be an organ/eye/tissue donor; honor donors and donor families; and celebrate what transplantation has made possible in multicultural communities. This year’s two-week observance is Sunday, July 8 through Saturday, July 21. Increasing educational efforts, outreach and registration opportunities are vital steps towards expanding the number of registered donors and lives saved in multicultural communities. This year, Donate Life ECHO storytelling and outreach will include: Boomerang #DonateLifeECHOChallenge -  DLA and AMAT are inviting the public to share a Boomerang video on Instagram about why donation is important to them and/or their community. Donate Life ECHO Challenge participants will tag @donatelifeamerica, use the hashtag #DonateLifeECHOChallenge and encourage everyone to register their decision to be a donor at RegisterMe.org. Walgreens Consumer Awareness Campaign- Throughout July, information about Donate Life ECHO will be featured on Walgreens health resource panels included with prescriptions filled at its retail and local specialty pharmacies nationwide. Donate Life Caregiving - This year, the Donate Life ECHO observance will center on the theme of Donate Life Caregiving. DLA and AMAT are paying homage to the caregivers within, and for, our communities. Caregivers are vital to the health and well being of patients, families and our societal fabric. “We created Donate Life ECHO to give a national voice to the experience of multicultural communities with donation and transplantation. The voices and experiences from these communities need to be heard,” says Maria Veve, President of the Association for Multicultural Affairs in Transplantation (AMAT). “This year join us to include Donate Life Caregiving in the Donate Life ECHO message. Caregivers lift us up, walk with us and catch us when we fall. We are grateful for the opportunity to recognize all they do to make LIFE possible in this year’s observance. ” Donate Life ECHO resources are available in English, Spanish and additional languages. Resources and more information about how to be a part of Donate Life ECHO are available at: DonateLife.net/ECHOand amat1.org/programs/ECHO. You can register your decision to be an organ, eye and tissue donor in the National Donate Life Registry at RegisterMe.orgor the Medical ID Tab of your iPhone Health App or in Spanish at DoneVida.org. NOTE: Data from Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) as of April 20, 2018.  ### About Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates: KODA’s mission is to provide organ and tissues to those in need and to maintain a profound respect for those who gave. For more information visit kyorgandonor.org. The mission of the Kentucky Circuit Court Clerks’ Trust For Lifeis to inform, educate, and encourage Kentuckians to register as organ and tissue donors to save [...]

By | 2018-07-03T12:03:48-04:00 June 25th, 2018|Introduction, KODA Blog, Uncategorized|0 Comments

My Sister Alyssa

Last month, one of our beloved Ambassadors, Alyssa LaRosa, passed away. She was stylish, thoughtful and had a social media presence that was unparalleled. Every chance she could, she was promoting the mission of organ donation and encouraging/educating others to become registered donors. She was a registered donor, then became a tissue and cornea donor at her passing. She thought of it as a way to pay it forward. Alyssa's brother, Tré, wanted to share his thoughts on his sister and organ donation for Donate Life Month. April is National Organ Donation Month, a trend started by Donate Life America and its partners in 2003. The goal of the month is to encourage Americans to become organ donors and to spread awareness about organ donation and, in their own words, “celebrate those that have saved lives through the gift of donation.” I’ve become passionate about organ donation because of my sister’s story. My sister Alyssa was an ambassador for Donate Life and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and helped to raise thousands of dollars through fundraising and online advocacy. My sister Alyssa and I both have cystic fibrosis. If you’re unfamiliar, cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease that causes excessively thick mucus that affects many organs, but most significantly, destroys the lungs through severe infection and inflammation. Due to this damage, progressive lung disease means that a lot of people with CF may eventually need double lung transplants. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that due to the thick mucus, inflammation, and immense amounts of antibiotics and other drugs throughout our lifetimes, many CF patients can also need pancreatic, liver, kidney, and even heart transplants. Life with CF means we’re at risk of most of our major organs failing us. In 2013, my sister’s lungs were failing: severe infection was ravaging her lungs, scar tissue and inflammation hampering her ability to breathe and metabolize oxygen. In May of 2013, she was listed for a double lung transplant. She received the call just five days later and received her first set of lungs on May 21, 2013. My sister’s story is an unfortunate one, but not actually that unusual. Her first set of lungs went into chronic rejection just short of 3 years later, leading her to need another transplant by June of 2016. The heartbreaking reality is that Alyssa’s second set of lungs went into chronic rejection just over a year later, in July 2016. She recently passed on March 12, 2018 not even a full five years after her first transplant. And while this may not seem like the uplifting testament for organ donation at the superficial perspective, I’m here to say it in fact is. I was 18 when Alyssa’s lungs were failing in 2013. I was a college freshman, naïve to the complexities of life, even after dealing with a chronic disease for 18 years. I was close with my sister, but she was still just my “big sister,” hardly somebody I realized was a role model, [...]

By | 2018-04-26T17:15:31-04:00 April 26th, 2018|KODA Blog|0 Comments