Chopped Liver - A Community for Live Organ Donors and Recipients

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Joe skinny

Many of you have asked for an update on Joe: Next week the docs will decide whether to remove the drainage tube that's propping open his biliary duct, and we hope very much that they'll do so. Once they do, if the stars align, the duct will stay open and Joe's current upswing will continue. Then he might be able to return to work in a few weeks, at last, eight months after the transplant surgery.

High expectations run in my family, so we'll be disappointed with anything less than an excellent outcome. Plus Joe is dying to get back to work, despite being comfy in his cozy new digs in Wrigleyville.

Speaking of high expectations, Joe reports that Homer's
The Iliad didn't meet his. He's going to give The Odyssey a try nonetheless...

Friday, August 25, 2006

Did you know?

There are organizations all over the U.S. and world that offer financial assistance to people who are awaiting organ transplants, have already received them, are trying to become live donors, or have already donated. Some are niche-focused, helping only transplant recipients in a certain state, for example. Others are much more broad, providing financial assistance for health and living expenses to donors and/or recipients before, during, and after surgery. Recipients and donors can even qualify for special academic scholarships, like this one.

Oh, I wish we'd known this sooner! We're looking into fundraising now to help Joe pay his medical expenses and recover from the last six months of downtown Chicago living with no income whatsoever. The deeper we dig, the more we realize we lost out by not taking advantage of these opportunities sooner.

I've added several links to organizations that offer financial assistance, in the right-side navigation bar under "Resources for donors & recipients." To find others, try Googling "transplant assistance" or "organ transplant foundation" etc. Add your state or city name to the search to narrow the results -- you may find a small local fund that could help.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

(No longer) Jaundice Jill

With a note from Chicago's Jaundice Jill, the Chopped Liver community has grown by one more member. Jill, who's my age, wrote to say she recently became a live donor liver recipient. Like Joe, she had primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) but with a nasty dose of bile duct cancer to boot. Her boyfriend was her donor (now THAT's a relationship!) and, happily, both are well and she's already back to work. Stop by her blog if you're interested in the perspective from her side of the PSC/liver donation fence.

Monday, August 21, 2006

O, that great maroon snail

I went trolling for a fun liver-related quote to post tonight, and found this little gem by Richard Selzer:

"The liver, that great maroon snail: No wave of emotion sweeps it.
Neither music nor mathematics gives it pause in its appointed tasks."

For those of you who are either surgical or fashion enthusiasts and are wondering, that's Dr. Richard Selzer, of Yale Medical School, not Richard Selzer a.k.a. Mr. Blackwell, fashion critic who's famous for his annual worst and best dressed lists. Or... maybe they're one and the same?!?! (You heard it hear first!)

Friday, August 18, 2006

Little livers and big, big hearts

As if the idea of life-or-death transplant needs weren't sad enough, it's downright heart-wrenching when you hear about liver disease in little kids. That's been on my mind a lot lately, but thankfully the news I have been hearing is more positive than negative.

First, I heard from a bold young man who wrote from Canada to tell me he's getting tested to donate for a 10-month-old infant he read about in the newspaper. I am motivated and inspired when I hear of and from people who are generous enough to even look into donating for a stranger. Thanks for writing.

Then, hope came in the form of a phone call to my co-workers' family, whose two adorables, Kyle and Sami, are afflicted by Alpha 1 Antitrypsin Deficiency. Kyle had already had his transplant, but Sami was awaiting hers. And then late on Wednesday, the night before Kyle was scheduled for a follow-up surgery, a liver became available for Sami. Both kids had surgeries early that morning, and both are doing well! Shannon and family, you're all in my thoughts and prayers!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Ta Ta Parties, Soldier Postcards and Other Great Gifts

Hm, I've been outdone in generosity this week by a couple of friends. First, Krista emerged with her "Soiree to Save the Ta Tas," a cocktail party to raise money for her participation in the Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk. (Because her cause is noble, I'm willing to overlook that she has shamelessly and ruthlessly plagiarized the Jingle Jangle concept.)

Then Major Jack put out an all-call about Lets Say Thanks, a Xerox-sponsored program to collect postcards to be sent to U.S. soldiers stationed overseas. It takes two seconds -- just choose a cute design from the menu (all drawn by kids from across the U.S.), choose an existing message or write one of your own, and hit "submit." Xerox prints them and includes them randomly in packages sent to the soldiers. It's nice of Xerox and appropriate regardless of your political views or opinions of the war.

And I'd be remiss if I didn't point out that my new pal Jason has agreed to donate his organs, as those of you who read comments have already learned. Way to step up, J.

I have cool friends. Happy weekend, everyone!

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