April 18, 1999
Many newly bereaved families face the issue of organ donation full of questions and doubts - but with little time to resolve them. As the need increases for hearts, lungs, livers and kidneys, the challenge is how to boost participation in organ donation and get people talking about the choice before a tragedy occurs. Nationwide, only about 14,000 people who die each year are suitable candidates for donation. Last year, only 5,700 out of those 14,000 were donors. In Pennsylvania last year, only 394 donors provided lungs, kidneys, hearts - while 800 people on the 4,500-person waiting list died awaiting transplants.
April 16, 1999 |
Panelists and members of Congress, lamenting the nationwide shortage of transplant organs, discussed at a hearing yesterday using financial incentives - a concept many agreed was once unthinkable - with education and medical technology to solve the problem. U.S. Rep. James C. Greenwood (R., Pa.) urged doctors and transplant advocates testifying before the Subcommittee on Health and Environment to consider financial-incentive plans such as the one developed by retired Bucks County businessman Gene Epstein.
April 14, 1999 |
Pennsylvania is poised to become the first state in the country to offer financial rewards - in the form of $300 contributions toward funeral expenses - to the families of organ donors. "This is quite controversial," said Kevin Sparkman of the Delaware Valley Transplant Program, the organ procurement organization that oversees donations in Southeastern Pennsylvania, South Jersey and Delaware. "Until now, we have always depended strictly on altruism to drive organ donation. " The three-year pilot program, scheduled to begin as early as September, will be run by the state Department of Health and funded with donations from Pennsylvanians renewing their driver's licenses, Sparkman said.
April 5, 1999 |
"Experiencing What Reading Can Do For You" is the theme of a new program at Showalter Middle School, part of the Chester Upland School District. Created by teacher Tracy Peterson, the program brings fifth through eighth graders in touch with professionals, who are invited to the school on Fridays to read a favorite book. The adults tell students how strong reading skills helped them succeed in life. GETTING READY FOR COLLEGE Haverford High School's junior class counselor George Keller is scheduled to present "So You're the Guy Who's Going to Write My College Recommendation and Other Scary Thoughts About Getting Ready for College," at 7:30 p.m., April 24 and 10:30 a.m., May 15, at the school, 200 Mill Rd., Havertown.
February 15, 1999 |
Even now, as she marks the fifth anniversary of her son's death, Connie Renegar gets cards and flowers in his memory. They are kind gestures, and she is grateful. But the most enduring remembrance is when people sign organ-donor cards, or carry driver's licenses imprinted with the words organ donor, she said. Eric Renegar, 17, was a junior at Upper Darby High School when he died Feb. 12, 1994, at Hahnemann University Hospital while waiting for a donor heart. Just three months earlier, he had been a healthy teenager who loved baseball.
November 16, 1998 |
Tom Speck has never met the family members who donated the heart that saved his little girl's life. But he can't get them out of his mind. "I just want to reach out and say thank you to everyone for having - in your worst hour - the strength and gracious heart to want to reach out and help someone else," said Speck, whose 8-year-old Melissa was on the verge of death when she underwent a heart transplant last year. Grieving audience members quietly wept as Speck choked back tears during a ceremony yesterday honoring the families of organ donors.
July 26, 1998 |
They never dreamed they would compete in sports - much less participate in a national athletic contest. But after years of pain and worry over whether they would even survive, more than 160 organ transplant recipients from eastern Pennsylvania, South Jersey and Delaware were preparing yesterday for the fifth annual U.S. Transplant Games. The athletes of "Team Philadelphia '98" held their final practice at St. Joseph's University before leaving for the games in Columbus, Ohio, that begin in 10 days.
July 16, 1998 |
It took less than 100 days. Ten percent of Philadelphia's population died in the yellow fever epidemic that devastated this city in 1793. Memories of that disaster spurred Congress to create the Public Health Service 200 years ago: July 16, 1798. The small corps of physicians - the first group of federal employees who had to meet testing requirements to be hired - was charged with caring for merchant marines. We've relegated yellow fever to the history books, but the Public Health Service continues to be a not-so-silent partner in our challenge to the hazards that put our lives at risk every day. Across the street from Independence Hall, not far from the final resting place of many victims of that long-ago epidemic, the PHS wages its battle from the regional office of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
September 12, 1997
Making the pledge to be an organ donor is simple. Consider doing the following: Talk to your family and friends about your wishes. Make sure they understand your decision to be a donor. Also, make sure you understand the wishes of your loved ones. Sign and carry a donor card. Have your next of kin or family members witness the card. If necessary, photocopy the card and provide copies to your next of kin. Inform others about your decision. In Pennsylvania, say yes to organ donation in order to be included in the donor registry when obtaining your driver's license; in New Jersey, you may indicate your wishes for organ donation on the back of the drivers license.
August 31, 1997 |
Seemingly ordinary doors can lead to extraordinary places. Just ask Howard M. Nathan. Answering a classified ad 20 years ago - "quite by accident," Nathan recalled - he discovered his mission. The ad was for a coordinator for the Delaware Valley Transplant Program. Since its founding in 1974, the program has coordinated more than 10,000 organ and tissue transplants, including kidneys, hearts, livers, lungs, bone, ligaments and corneas, and become one of the largest organ-donor programs in the United States.