February is American Heart Month and I want to share a special firsthand account as a parent of a very young donor recipient. My little girl’s whose life was forever changed thanks to a heartfelt donation. “I am writing to share the story of my daughter Eleanor, who is alive today because of an organ donor.She was born with multiple congenital heart defects. A team of doctors determined that her only option was a heart transplant. At 10 days old, Eleanor’s name was added to the national waiting list. After a 2-month wait, when she was 10 weeks old, she received her life saving heart transplant, and we are immensely grateful for every day since. Eleanor is fortunate to have encountered minimal complications post-transplant, and now at 8 years old is a thriving, happy ray of light to everyone. Healthy, active and full of energy, a constant reminder of how far she’s come. Looking at her it’s almost hard to believe the tough times she’s been through. We are so proud of Eleanor’s courage and resilience. We love her enthusiasm, her creativity, her imagination, she has the best laugh, she gives the best hugs, she just makes everyone smile. Her favorite phrase is "BEST DAY EVER!"Last fall we celebrated her first day of 2nd grade, another milestone made possible by her donor. She is an incredible success story, living life in honor of her donor. The donor family selflessly said yes to organ donation. Their yes kept our family whole and allowed Eleanor to receive the ultimate gift: a perfectly matched heart and a second chance at a full life. When she was born we didn’t know how much time we would have with her. Because our donor family made the decision to donate life, we got to keep her. Every day is bonus time. Her survival was dependent upon the kindness of strangers. Organ donation is the ultimate act of kindness. There are currently over 114,000 men, women and children nationwide waiting for lifesaving transplants.I hope and pray my message inspires others to pay it forward in the biggest way possible, because tomorrow is never promised. Regardless of age or medical background, you have the power to save lives. Please register to become and organ/tissue donor and make your wishes known to your loved ones at RegisterMe.org or at your local Circuit Court Clerk’s office.” Lindsey Westenhofer Eleanor’s Mother Louisville, KY (Jefferson)
KENTUCKY ORGAN DONOR AFFILIATES & KENTUCKY CIRCUIT COURT CLERKS’ TRUST FOR LIFE KENTUCKY SENATE BILL 77 PASSED UNANIMOUSLY
Bill to expand the Commonwealth’s Organ Donor Registration sponsored by Kentucky State Senator Julie Raque Adams (Louisville, KY- February 6, 2019) – Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates (KODA) and Kentucky Circuit Court Clerks’ Trust For Life are thrilled to announce Kentucky Senate Bill 77 passed unanimously out of the Senate Health and Welfare Committeethis morning. This groundbreaking bill will amend KRS 311.1947 to expand organ donor registration to the Commonwealth's single sign-on system and will become effective January 1, 2020. KODA and Trust For Life have worked extensively with Senator Julie Raque Adams on this bill to grow the Donor Registry. The new 8-year Kentucky driver’s license impact on the Registry had put the number of registrations at serious risk. Currently Circuit Clerks see about 1 million people per year and with the longer renewal cycle, that number could have dropped in half. “We are absolutely elated by the senate’s vote this morning, which firmly cement’s Kentucky’s status as a leader on behalf of organ and tissue donation,” states Shelley Snyder, Executive Director, Kentucky Circuit Court Clerks’ Trust For Life. “The passage of this bill is the first in the U.S to create a portal to a registry in this manner. And we’re especially grateful to Senator Adams for her sponsorship of SB77, along with her dedication and drive surrounding the importance of an issue which affects so many men, women and children in need.” ### Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates 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 theKentucky Circuit Court Clerks’ Trust For Life is to inform, educate, and encourage Kentuckians to register as organ and tissue donors to save lives. For more information visit trustforlife.org. These two nonprofits partner closely to educate and improve the lives of Kentuckians through organ donation and transplantation.
February 14th is National Donor Day, which aims to serve as a reminder of the importance of discussing the lifesaving possibilities of organ and tissue donation. Thanks to the Circuit Court Clerks of Kentucky, showing the heart on your driver’s license is the perfect way to start a conversation about love and legacy. Melissa Cardwell, Butler Co. Circuit Court Clerk said, “We encourage everyone to use National Donor Day to discuss organ donation with those closest to you. Joining the Organ Donor Registry means you have made the decision to save and heal lives at the time of your death, if you are eligible. It won’t happen for many years, but at that time, what an amazing gift to give someone a second chance at life. A last act of love and kindness to another soul.” Currently more than 1,000 people are awaiting a lifesaving transplant in Kentucky with more than 114,000 waiting nationwide. Every day 22 people die waiting. Everyone is eligible to register as a donor when you renew your driver’s license or online www.registerme.org. There are no health or age limits. “When we think of lifesavers, we often think of our military, first responders, and hospital workers. But each of us can be a hero. Thinking about what happens after we are gone from this earth may not be easy, but talking about the heroic, generous legacy we hope to leave behind is inspiring,” explains Shelley Snyder, Executive Director of the Kentucky Circuit Court Clerks’ Trust For Life Organ Donation Awareness Program. “You can share the love this National Donor Day by starting the conversation with those closest to you. Proudly show your generous heart on your license. Every heart gives hope to those suffering and waiting.” Michelle Branham from Magoffin County, Ky., knows firsthand the miracle of receiving a kidney transplant after she suffered for years from kidney disease. “On Sept. 9, 2017, I received the call that my family and I had long been waiting for. They had a match! I would be getting a new kidney!” she said. “I will never forget that phone call; I was actually at the Dialysis Center when I was contacted. The excitement I felt was indescribable! My family and I hurriedly gathered our things and made the trip to meet my transplant team. All because someone made the choice to give life through organ donation!” Michelle has worked to honor her donor since her transplant. “I’m so lucky to be able to spend time with my daughter and loved ones. I’m so grateful for my donor, because thanks to them I’m able to see my beautiful daughter play, celebrate special times with loved ones and simply go to the store without struggling and needing assistance with daily things.” The dollar donations at Circuit Court Clerks’ Driver’s License counters and other philanthropic partners, including KODA and Kosair Charities, fund the statewide community outreach and public relations efforts to grow the Registry. Kentucky was recently recognized by Donate Life America [...]
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 [...]
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, email@example.com, 502.774.0767