/KODA Blog

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

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 | 2018-07-03T21:35:49-04:00 April 20th, 2018|Introduction, KODA Blog|0 Comments

Dear Valentine in Heaven

It's been awhile since we've posted, but this letter from one of our wonderful Donate Life Ambassadors celebrating their donor is too good not to share on this holiday celebrating love. Dear Valentine in Heaven, I look at this picture and see silly handshakes, goofy dance moves, a shared love of Rocky and cheese curls, and inside jokes that I will never understand. But, I also see a side to each of them that wouldn't exist without the other. I see love, a father daughter bond, and complete adoration. Mostly, though, I see a special relationship that wouldn't exist without you, our angel in heaven. There are so many questions, so many things I want to know about you. Every day I hope and I pray that you are watching the memories being made in our family, and the life that you've given so that my husband and father of our two children can not only be here with us, but that he's been freed of a life dominated by kidney disease and diabetes. I also want to know, who have you left behind? A wife? A little girl? A young boy? Because the truth is, at one time, I thought I was going to be left behind. You saved my husband from a life of kidney disease and diabetes... one that eventually would have ended his life prematurely. But, you have also saved me from being left behind. Admitting that makes me feel incredibly selfish, because surely you have left loved ones behind, and that just isn't fair. Why does my family get to move forward in joy, and yours is left to grieve an irreplaceable loss? These opposing emotions have left my heart conflicted ever since October 11, 2014, the day you passed and my family started to live again. If God ever gives me the opportunity, I want to hug those that you have left behind. I want to tell them how grateful I am for the role they played in your decision to be an organ donor. I want them to know that you have a legacy, and it lives on in my family. It inspires and motivates us to never stop sharing our story so that others can know the significance of organ donation. Valentine in heaven, are you in this picture? Did you dance with my daughter and my husband on their date night? Do you laugh at their silly inside jokes? Do you ride along for Sunday slushies? Do you pass lacrosse with my husband and our son? Do you sit with us and cheer him on at lacrosse games? Do you go on family walks with us? Did you sit with me in the waiting room during the 6 hour surgery? Or were you with our son as he tested for his black belt while his father was receiving your precious organs? Were you there when he woke up? Because he swears he could see someone at the foot of his hospital [...]

By | 2018-02-14T15:48:57-05:00 February 14th, 2018|KODA Blog|0 Comments

116 days until Christmas!

Sorry for the reminder, but it's almost holiday season in my world. I can’t even fathom how that’s happened so quickly! 61 days until Halloween (if you needed another reminder of how quick the year is going ) We had a wonderful picnic in Lexington at Jacobson Park last week where Ambassadors experienced a whole lot of love and friendship. Here’s a Facebook post from a recipient family on how special it was. Tonight we attended a picnic surrounded by fellow organ recipients and their loved ones. I cannot begin to describe how... Posted by A Match For Ryan on Thursday, August 24, 2017 Our Hospital Development department hosts Champion Trainings around the state to train nurses on the process and other things surrounding donation. They let me speak, I probably went over time, BUT I enjoyed it AND I registered 5 nurses in the room. One of the ladies in this picture is a recipient wife and appreciated the insight the training had to offer! On August 12th, Monica (heart recipient) along with Karen (bone marrow donor) sweated in parts they never even knew they had at an event called Unity Jam. Monica's so cool and smart that she took a Donate Life scarf and made it a great head piece. Together they signed up 30 people in total for both registries! The event as a whole gave out over 1,000 free backpacks to JCPS students! 5 of those were from me, thanks to KODA's Social Responsibility Committee, generous coworkers, sorority sisters and friends! I also want to give a huge shout out to everyone that participated in the Kentucky State Fair! These volunteers (ambassadors, circuit court clerks, families, etc.) were out there for 11 (ELEVEN!) days spreading the word about the mission. We also had a group in Hopkinsville aka Eclipseville raising money for the 2018 Transplant Games. Their goal is to send Team Kentucky to Utah at no cost to the recipient or donor families that participate. The rain drenched them during set up. Dedication isn’t even a good word to describe all of these wonderful advocates! Here’s a few other things heading our way (much quicker than I anticipated!) If you want to learn more about the mission or just want to spend some time with the cool kids (Community Outreach) come out to Regional Trainings. We're in 4 locations across the state starting in October!Lastly, Happy Labor Day! Don’t eat too much barbecue and enjoy your loved ones’ company! Also stay cool and be a registered donor     

By | 2017-08-31T09:48:40-04:00 August 31st, 2017|KODA Blog, KODA Events|0 Comments