February 13, 2008
After you breathe your last breath, you may help another person live - if you have signed an organ and tissue donor card. Remember that tomorrow, which in addition to being Valentine's Day is National Donor Day. What a way to show your love? Anyone can become a potential donor, regardless of age, race or medical history. In Pennsylvania and New Jersey, you can sign up where you get your driver's license or nondriver ID. Online, go to www.organdonor.gov There are 98,000 people in the United States awaiting a donation.
August 4, 2006 |
Pennsylvanians with a valid driver's license or photo identification card can now register online to become an organ donor on the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation's Driver and Vehicle Services Web site. Previously, Pennsylvanians could become registered organ donors when obtaining or renewing a driver's license or photo identification card - a process that, for most people, occurs every four years. Currently, 43 percent of licensed drivers and photo identification holders in Pennsylvania are registered organ donors, according to state officials.
March 15, 2006 |
Claude Lewis is a longtime Philadelphia journalist On any given day in America, at least 94,000 anxious and often demoralized citizens live with diminishing hope. They are literally running out of time as the search for life-saving organs goes forward without immediate success. These citizens face a desperate battle to obtain a healthy heart, kidney, lung, liver or other life-sustaining tissue. Modern technology has made it possible through transplantation to save lives that would otherwise be lost.
January 19, 2006 |
Walking through the "Body Worlds" exhibition at the Franklin Institute, taking in the diaphragms and slices of human cadavers and fully erect circulatory systems on display, one wonders: Who were these people who donated their bodies to Gunther von Hagens, the German P.T. Barnum of anatomy who authored the traveling show? Shawn Petri can answer that one: Him. Well, not him yet. Maybe not him soon. But Petri, a 31-year-old chief financial officer for a Blue Bell pharmaceutical consulting firm, has signed the paperwork that will turn over his body to von Hagens after death, allowing him to do with it what he will.
October 4, 2005 |
Despite endless appeals by organ procurement organizations to increase the supply of transplantable organs, low donation rates persist. The latest plea in Pennsylvania is an advertising campaign - "Ordinary People . . . Extraordinary Power" - to increase the number of donors among licensed drivers. If history is a guide, this public-awareness crusade will have frustratingly little effect. For decades, well-meaning groups have argued for more donor organs, and yet still more than 50 percent of patients who need transplants die before receiving one. A likely explanation is that most people are already well-aware of the nation's dire need for organs and yet choose, for whatever reasons, not to donate.
September 22, 2005 |
I've always been leery of loud voices bantering around the word hero. It has been my experience that true heroes are quiet. They remain in the shadows, often thinking they only did what anyone else would do in similar circumstances. But in reality, they are not the ones who say, "How can I do that?" Instead, they're the ones who say, "How can I not do that?" I recently met a brave young woman from Deptford who calls her two heroes her angels. One angel gave her life back to her, and the other brought her a new life.
August 22, 2005 |
Walter Ross' arms are scarred, the ragged lines that run from his wrists to his shoulders the proof of all he has endured. Four years ago, sudden kidney failure put him on dialysis, requiring him to undergo the blood-cleaning procedure three times a week. His body has already rejected one transplant. Now he's hoping for a new organ to spare him the fate of his mother and sister, who both died of renal failure. The 51-year-old father of two isn't waiting quietly. Last week, he joined about 40 African American volunteers, mostly relatives of organ recipients and donors, who traversed the state on a Philadelphia-to-Pittsburgh Barnstorming Bus Tour to raise awareness about organ donation.
July 17, 2005 |
If Jason Shepard seems all shook up, here's why: He was sitting, he said, at his computer with his 2-year-old daughter, Morgan, on his lap. She clicked the mouse on his touch pad - once, he insists - and suddenly the word Congratulations! flashed on the screen. He had just purchased a silver 1969 Mercedes-Benz 600 limo once owned by Elvis Presley. The buy-it-now price on eBay: $245,000. Shepard, 40, a sales representative from Ballston Lake, N.Y., said he was flabbergasted, especially because he said he did not have that kind of money and was not interested in buying that car. Now, nearly a year and a half later, he wishes he could simply write "return to sender" on the federal lawsuit filed against him by the seller, Gene Epstein, a retired auto dealer from Newtown, Bucks County.
February 14, 2005 |
It's Valentine's Day, a perfect time to think about love and hearts. Not to mention kidneys, lungs, corneas and all the other precious organs you could possibly donate after death. Polls show 83 percent of Americans are in favor of organ donation and transplantation, yet most do not sign organ donor cards. That's true even in Pennsylvania, where passage of a law a decade ago promoting donation has made it a national model. Pennsylvanians can become designated organ donors through a simple checkoff on their driver's licenses or state identification cards, yet only 42 percent, or about 3.8 million, have done so. In Philadelphia, 29 percent are designated donors, the lowest county rate in the state.
October 7, 2004 |
Msgr. Charles B. Mynaugh, 88, of Darby, former communications director for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, died of Parkinson's disease Sept. 30 at Villa St. Joseph in Darby. In early October 1979, when Pope John Paul II became the first active pontiff to visit Philadelphia, Msgr. Mynaugh's job was to be at the right hand of Cardinal John Krol. Msgr. Mynaugh helped organize logistics, greeted visiting bishops from around the world, and handled press credentials for more than 1,500 journalists who came to the city to the cover the event.