Why seeing a therapist almost kept me from donating my kidney?

Mayra AlmendarezTransplant News

Written by Martha Gershun, Guest Blogger When I reached out to the Mayo Clinic in 2017 to see if I could be a living donor for a kidney patient I had read about in the newspaper, I had no idea if I would qualify.  First, of course, I didn’t know if I would be a blood and HLA tissue type match.  I also wondered if I was too old (I had just turned 60) or …

What if one of my children needs a kidney?

Mayra AlmendarezTransplant News

Written by Martha Gershun, Guest Blogger When I told people I was planning to donate a kidney to a woman I read about in the newspaper many asked “But what if one of your children (or your husband) needs a kidney someday?  You won’t be able to save their life.” The answer for me was easy.  I was already 61.  The odds that one of my two adult children or my husband, none of whom …

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning: How Can it Help Improve Transplant Care?

Mayra AlmendarezTransplant News

Are you interested in learning about Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning: How Can it Help Improve Transplant Care? Click the link below. At the conclusion of this session, participants should be able to: • Identify how to apply artificial intelligence and machine learning to develop risk indices to predict transplant success. • Distinguish characteristics of kidney patients more likely to drop out of transplant evaluation. • List 3 structural and community-level factors that are associated …

Living Donor Protection Act graphic with image of capitol building

A good first step…let’s do more!

Karen HandelmanTransplant News

Written by Martha Gershun, Guest Blogger A bipartisan Congressional leadership team from both houses introduced new federal legislation on April 27 designed to protect living organ donors and promote organ donation. The Living Donor Protection Act (H.R. 2923) was introduced by Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Congressman Troy Balderson (R-OH), Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE), Congressman Jim Costa (D-CA), Congressman John Curtis (R-UT), Congresswoman Diana DeGette (D-CO), Congresswoman Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA), Congressman Gregory F. Murphy, M.D. (R-NC), …

Living Donation Storytelling Project home page showing video and 4 buttons

Celebrating partnership and Donate Life month

Karen HandelmanTransplant News

As Donate Life Month continues, we celebrate the partnership that the Patient Engagement Research Lab and Sanofi have with the Living Donation Storytelling Project. Our very own Dr. Amy Waterman was interviewed for a story on the Sanofi website. “I hope people will see themselves in the living donors and patients who are featured on the website because those touched by kidney disease are truly diverse. I hope that the shared peer-to-peer stories will impart …

Living Donor Protection Act

Attending the National Kidney Patient Consumer Roundtable

Mayra AlmendarezTransplant News

A living donor’s perspective Written by Martha Gershun, Guest Blogger In early March I joined the virtual National Kidney Patient Consumer Roundtable, organized by the American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP), the oldest and largest independent kidney patient organization in the country, to present information to its members on “Timely Issues Impacting Kidney Transplant Patients, Drug Innovation, and Living Organ Donors.” As a living kidney donor and advocate, I was primarily interested in the last …

Leander family after transplant, circa 2000

27 years later: Sheila’s living donation story

Karen HandelmanDonation Stories, Transplant News

It’s a golden anniversary for me! On December 27th, it will be 27 years since I donated a kidney to my husband. Yes, a living kidney donor for 27 years. in photo: (l to r) Sheila Adams-Leander (donor), Eric Leander (son), and Brian Leander (recipient). Eric was 11 years old at the time of our donation/transplant. When we came home from a June family vacation, my husband felt like he had a cold. When he …

Frank Dewhurst, an 84 year old living donor with Paulette, the recipient

How old is too old: an interview with Frank Dewhurst, an 84 year old living donor

Karen HandelmanDonation Stories, Transplant News

Written by Martha Gershun, Guest Blogger How old is too old to donate a kidney? Well, Frank Dewhurst of Austin, TX was 84 years old when he successfully donated a kidney in 2019 at Houston Methodist Hospital, making him the oldest person in the United States to become a living kidney donor. Frank graciously consented to a virtual interview with me, a living donor myself, to share more about his journey to becoming a living …

Does age matter?

Former StaffTransplant News

Written by Martha Gershun, Guest Blogger   “I’m probably too old to be a kidney donor,” is a very common concern for those considering living donation.  I know age was very much on my mind when, at age 60, I volunteered to donate to a 56-year-old woman I read about in our local newspaper.  I had recently received a letter from Be The Match®, the national bone marrow donor registry informing me that I would “age …

Let’s give living donors a checklist

Former StaffTransplant News

Written by Martha Gershun, Guest Blogger    When I first called the transplant center to offer to donate one of my kidneys to a woman I read about in the newspaper, I didn’t know anything about the process.  There were a few paragraphs on the center’s website on a page labeled “Living-donor transplantation.” That was it.  When I called the phone number in the newspaper, I assumed I would learn more. But the person who answered …

Martha Gershun with her book cover Kidney to Share

Kidney to share

Karen HandelmanDonation Stories, New Publications, Transplant News

Introducing Martha Gershun, New Living Donation Guest Blogger In 2018 I donated a kidney at the Mayo Clinic to a woman I read about in the newspaper (1). Deb Porter Gil was in her mid-50s; the mother of two young adult daughters; a retired attorney, raised in Kansas City, where I lived; who had recently moved to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Decades before, while still in law school in Kansas City, Deb had been diagnosed with …

2020 year in review: championing patient-centered work

Former StaffStaff Updates, Transplant News

By Brian Ha, Intern With 2020 winding down, let’s take a moment to reflect on all that we have accomplished this year for the transplant and living donation community. Together with our partners, we launched the COVID-19 Kidney / Transplant Listening and Resource Center, designed new education for living donors and transplant recipients in partnership with the community, presented our work on digital storytelling and innovative education tools at talks and conferences hosted by the …

Listening to the transformational experience of kidney patients and living donors

Former StaffDonation Stories, Staff Updates

By Ally Zweigle, Intern Throughout my time at TREC, I progressed from knowing very little about what kidney disease is like for those who have it, let alone its astounding effects on both the diagnosed individual as well as those around them, to being convinced that I should someday donate my own kidney to someone in need. Perhaps this was a consequence of one of my internship assignments, which was to code video submissions for …

The power of digital storytelling featuring recipients and donors from the Living Donation Storytelling Project

Former StaffDonation Stories

By Jessica Nunez, Intern On November 20, 2020, Dr. Waterman gave a talk titled “The Power of Digital Storytelling to Educate, Empower, and Engage Patients and Prospective Donors” as part of a virtual series hosted by the Terasaki Institute for Biomedical Innovation. You can view the full talk here. The talk highlighted the Transplant Research and Education Center (TREC)’s Living Donation Storytelling Project, which aims to share the real-life testimonies of living kidney donors and …

The pivotal role of health communications in organ transplant and living donation with Dr. LaShara Davis

Former StaffStaff Updates

By: Alice Yang, Intern & Grace Kim, Research Associate The field of health communication is one that is often overlooked by other researchers but not by Dr. LaShara Davis. Her introduction to the health communication field happened serendipitously after a couple of changes in career paths and prospects. She began her journey as a psychology major, hoping to go into some sort of therapy in the future. However, when she stumbled across the field of …