Thursday, February 25, 2010
At Vancouver General Hospital, the liver transplant recipient turned Olympic snowboard medalist talked about the importance of organ donation and the role it has played in his life. That, along with boarding, has become his passion. Klug, 37, has become a tireless transplant advocate, authoring a book, setting up a foundation and making full use of the platform his sport affords him.
Saturday, he'll compete in his third Olympics — and second since his transplant in 2000— in the men's parallel giant slalom. "It certainly highlights the heroes organ donors are," he says.
Klug became the first transplant recipient to step onto an Olympic podium in Salt Lake City eight years ago, taking bronze in the PGS event. He was only 19 months removed from the operation that implanted his new liver, necessary after the Aspen, Colo., boarder was diagnosed with the same rare degenerative bile duct condition that claimed the life of football great Walter Payton.
Klug, who takes anti-rejection drugs twice daily, is ranked 40th in the current overall World Cup standings, though that's up from 73rd and 85th the previous two years. "I'm healthier and stronger," he says, "than I ever was before."
This article is from the USA Today.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Every once in a while, we like to post a few frequently asked questions about NFT. To find the answers to more FAQ, visit the NFT Web site.
Who is eligible for NFT's services?
NFT provides services to transplant candidates awaiting organ and/or tissue transplants, as well as patients who have already received their transplants. NFT patients must be U.S. citizens or legally documented residents. We assist patients who need help with out-of-pocket transplant expenses and whose transplants take place in the U.S.
What expenses will NFT cover?
NFT can help with transplant costs; hospital bills and deposits; co-pays; doctors' appointments; medications; caregiver expenses; insurance premiums, temporary mortgage assistance following the transplant; travel, food and lodging expenses; and more.
I already had my transplant. Can NFT help me?
Absolutely! While the best time to fundraise is before transplant, NFT can help patients at any stage. It's easier to communicate the need, gather momentum and maintain enthusiasm among volunteers and donors if fundraising activities begin prior to the transplant. However, many campaigns continue to fundraise post-transplant, and others don't begin fundraising until after transplant.
Monday, February 22, 2010
"I need a kidney,” he wrote on Twitter. Later, he posted more detailed information on Facebook. Nineteen followers and friends quickly responded saying they would be tested as potential donors. Before long, Chris received a message from an acquaintance saying he was a match.
Scott Pakudaitis was one of those 19 people who was willing to be tested for Chris. The two men had met many years before as their paths crossed on the Twin Cities music scene when Scott was managing a band and Chris was the Director of Artists and Products for Twin/Tone Records.
December 1, after six months of dialysis treatments, Chris received a second chance at life, thanks to Scott’s selfless gift--the kidney Chris affectionately calls "William the Conqueror." How can you thank someone who give you a new lease on life? For Chris, he simply promises to live up to the potential Scott gave him.
Friday, February 19, 2010
The HeartMate II is the second in a series of pumps designed to sustain heart-failure patients until a donor heart becomes available.
A souped-up successor to the HeartMate I, which offered patients only a short-lived reprieve, the HeartMate II has revived a dream that a mechanical device may serve effectively as a "destination" therapy for patients who can't find a donor heart or may not survive a transplant.
At NFT, we can assist patients with their LVAD expenses, as well as many other transplant-related expenses.
Click here to read more about the HeartMate II in USA Today.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
After the sudden death of her older brother in 1982, Patricia underwent tests to see if she suffered from the same heart condition that killed him. Soon after, Patricia was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy. In 2008, Patricia's heart began to beat abnormally, which can be fatal. At this time, doctors told her a heart transplant was essential to her survival.
After waiting for more than a year, she received her lifesaving transplant on New Year's Day 2010 and is recovering well. Patricia takes 18 different medications daily to take care of her new heart. These medications are very expensive and are as critical to her survival as the transplant itself..
A heart transplant costs approximately $775,000. And that's only the beginning. Even with health insurance, Patricia faces significant medical expenses. For the rest of her life, she will need follow-up care and daily anti-rejection medications.
To learn more about Patricia or to make a donation to NFT in her honor, visit her Web bio on the NFT Web site.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
In 2008, Ricky underwent surgery to have a Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) implanted, which will act as a mechanical heart until he receives his lifesaving transplant. Despite these challenges, Ricky remains positive and is thankful for the steadfast support of his family. He dreams of being able to pick up his 2-year-old son, Aries, and play with him the way he used to. He looks forward to the transplant that will allow him to once again travel with Jennie and Aries, work on cars, drive, go swimming and simply live life to the fullest.
A heart transplant costs approximately $775,000. And that's only the beginning. Even with health coverage, Ricky will face significant medical expenses. For the rest of his life, he will need follow-up care and daily anti-rejection medications. The cost of post-transplant medications can range from $2,000 to $5,000 per month--and they are as critical to his survival as the transplant itself.
To make a donation to NFT in honor of Ricky, click here. To read an article about Ricky and his family, visit The Day, his local newspaper’s Web site.
Friday, February 5, 2010
As you may know, transplant patients face a lifetime of follow-up care and medications to keep their new organs healthy. NFT will continue helping these patients raise funds so they can focus on their new lives without worrying about the expenses!
- Kelly Bradley (liver) at Vanderbilt University Medical Center
- Paige Brown (liver) at Vanderbilt University Medical Center
- Nancy Burnett (liver) at Piedmont Hospital
- Patricia Hugghis (heart) at Baptist Memorial Hospital--Memphis
- Kevin Randall (bone marrow) at Duke University Medical Center
- Roy Talley (liver) at Methodist University Transplant Institute
- Loretta Washington (lung) at Cleveland Clinic
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Holly is strong and remains optimistic about her future, but she is facing significant expenses related to the transplant. She has been told a double-lung transplant, follow-up care and medications will cost her approximately $100,000 in out-of-pocket expenses. A group of volunteers and supporters are working with the National Foundation for Transplants to raise funds in Holly’s honor to help with her medical expenses.
Recently, a group of musicians in the San Antonio area have been playing music under the name #TwitterJamBand. As the gigs and jam sessions progressed, a member of the group suggested they hold a fundraiser to help Holly with her transplant-related expenses.
Sunday, February 7, during the Super Bowl halftime show, the #TwitterJamBand will stream a live concert on UStream 5 minutes after The Who performs at the game. They are using Twitter, Facebook and blogs to encourage people to tune in to watch the concert and make a donation to the National Foundation for Transplants in honor of Holly. Their goal is to raise $80,000 during this exciting social experiment, and the group hopes it could lead the way for others to hold fundraisers using the same format.
Visit TheOtherHalftimeShow.org to learn more about the fundraiser. To read more about Holly, visit her Web bio on the NFT Web site.
Learn more about Holly by finding Hugs4Holly on Facebook, Twitter and the Hugs4Holly Web site.
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
NFT patient Wilena Thompson (kidney recipient), Connie Gonitzke, NFT vice president, and Tinita Thompson, who was the volunteer chairman for Wilena's fundraising campaign.
NFT patient, Rachel Moore (heart recipient), and her mother, DeLoris.
To see all the pictures from NFT's visit to Atlanta, visit NFT on Facebook!
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
In September, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) presented awards to 428 of the nation’s hospitals for their success in increasing the number of organs available for transplantation.
Hospital executives, together with their partners in all 58 federally designated organ procurement organizations (OPOs), received the Department’s Medal of Honor for Organ Donation for achieving and sustaining national goals for donation, including a donation rate of 75 percent or more of eligible donors at their facilities.
“These hospitals have made incredible progress in increasing the number of organs available for transplantation,” said Mary K. Wakefield, Ph.D., R.N., administrator of HHS’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), which leads federal efforts to increase organ and tissue donation. “Their efforts reflect the heights Americans can reach when they work together toward a common goal.”
Congratulations to all the hospitals for their outstanding efforts to increase organ donation. The following Memphis-area hospitals received this honor:
- Regional Medical Center at Memphis (Silver 1 Medal)
- St. Francis Hospital (Silver 1 Medal)
- Baptist Memorial Hospital (Bronze Medal)
To see the full list of award recipients or to read the full press release, click here.