Let’s hear it for my hometown! Two great items to share with our living donor community and its extended members of transplant recipients, families and friends, and health care professionals. Both nuggest come from my original stomping grounds here on the planet: Des Moines, Iowa.
First, today in the Des Moines Register there’s a terrific article by columnist Marc Hansen about Team Iowa at the U.S. 2008 Transplant Games, focusing particularly on Jim Steinberg, who received a kidney in 2004 from his former college roommate. It reports on some of the touching moments JIm witnessed at the games, including seeing the parents of a lovely deceased donor teenager meet with the recipient of their child’s heart, and ask to hear the heart beating in the recipient’s chest.
I was so proud of Team Iowa at the games. Their group was huge. They wore smart green track suits and they graced the games with that signature Iowa openness and kindness I love so much. They wore extremely goofy tall corn hats. I almost wanted to suit up in green and join them, a proud homecoming of sorts. But I stayed true to my Team Northwest colors in honor of Joe, who lives in Portland now.
Second, I have been watching eagerly (and with a small competitive fire under my tush) the activities of the My Angel Foundation, a relatively new nonprofit (like mine) sparked by a transplant between two family members (like Joe and me) from Iowa (like Joe and me, woo hoo!) that has made some amazing strides in getting established and actively making a difference. (Okay, comparison ends there — we’re still getting things ramped up at Greatest Gift.) If you enjoy inspiration, and you care about transplantation issues, you should most definitely check out what they’re up to, which is predominately focused on spreading the word on organ and tissue donation.
Especially note the fondation’s blog called Revive Hope, written by founder Ted Cochran and two of his knowledgeable friends. How can you not love this mission statement:
Revive Hope’s focus is to revive hope by creating inspiration. This blog will have postings of inspiring stories about individuals directly affected by organ and tissue donation, provide information about organ and tissue donation, and inspire those who view the site to give hope through compassion!