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+00:00June 25th, 2018|Introduction, KODA Blog, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Letter to the Editor by Courtney Thompson

Currently, there are 116,000+ men, women and children waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant in the U.S.  Every day 22 people die waiting with someone new added to the organ donor list every 10 minutes. One of those is Courtney, and this is her story. My name is Courtney Thompson, I'm 23 years old and on the waiting list for a double lung transplant. I have Cystic Fibrosis, a progressive genetic lung disease, and to beat it I'll need a double lung transplant. I live in Murray, Kentucky, and recently graduated from Murray State University. Every day I strive to be an advocate for organ donation and Cystic Fibrosis awareness. I was listed on December 29, 2016. My lungs are currently functioning at 27%, and I'm on three liters of oxygen. Life hasn't been easy, but I have a wonderful family and friends who love me and are always supportive. If it weren't for them, Cystic Fibrosis would have already defeated me, but I won't back down. A transplant can come at any time. On September 4, 2017, at 8:30 p.m. I received a call about a set of lungs that could be a match. Soon afterward my doctor told me I wouldn't receive them because the only surgeon on staff had transplanted three others within 48 hours. But even though it didn't work out, I'm still thankful and hopeful because I know there will be another call.   Please become a registered organ donor by going to Registerme.org or saying "yes" at your Circuit Court Clerk's office when asked if you want to register. There's no testing or blood work, just the word "yes". Because when you register people like me and so many others, will have another chance at life. A life we've never had because of a chronic illness holding us back. Courtney Thompson  

By |2018-07-03T21:35:49+00:00April 20th, 2018|Introduction, KODA Blog|0 Comments

A Gifted Life

I’m going to die… One day, hopefully not anytime soon. When I do, I hope I have the opportunity to be an organ, eye and tissue donor. This is exactly what I’ve been telling people when they ask me about my job. Now that I’ve gotten you to read this far, let me introduce myself. My name is Crysta and I work for Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates (KODA) as a Community Educator. The past 6 months have been nothing short of amazing. Every single day is absolutely eye opening. I knew what I was getting into, but it’s actually so much more than I could have ever imagined. I shed happy tears just about every day at work, and I've completely accepted the fact that I'm now a crier (and my mother made over). My third day on the job, a coworker took me to lunch. There we met a double lung recipient and her husband. They paid for our lunch without asking or hesitating. They both thanked my coworker for all she has done for the mission and myself for what I will do. Her transplant allowed her to see her daughter turn into a mother; she now has 5 grandchildren. It was that moment that I knew I would be forever changed by this selfless mission. My life isn’t the only one that has changed, either! My family and friends have latched onto the mission as well, but it definitely didn’t happen overnight. My mom is considering being a living donor to a complete stranger and my best friend has basically become a poster child for the mission; before I started, neither were registered donors. Beyond that, I’ve attended so many great events and am looking forward to many more such as Regional Trainings, Clerks Colleges, Gift of Life 5K, Sista Strut and the list goes on. I encourage everyone to see what all these events are about and consider joining us! I'm so thankful for the people surrounding me, especially those that gave the Gift of Life as well as their families. The title of this blog is in honor of them. Donor families and recipients remind all of us at KODA and TFL that we live a gifted life. This website was a HUGE undertaking and I want to thank everyone who helped get it off the ground. Special shout out to Jennifer Griffin at Go Fetch Marketing for putting up with me for almost 6 months :) Stay tuned to this blog for updates, more stories, videos and whatever else we can think of adding!  

By |2017-08-14T23:40:24+00:00August 14th, 2017|Introduction, KODA Blog, KODA Events|0 Comments