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Ordinary People donate organs

Tribune

National Organ and Tissue Awareness Week, which took place April 21 through April 27, was sponsored at the South Shore by Ordinary People with Extraordinary Needs. Volunteers donated 30 hours to register donors throughout the week at several locations in the area and more than 300 people registered to be organ and tissue donors.

More than 80,000 men, women and children are on the national waiting list. Unfortunately, 16 people will die today because no organ was available for them and the list keeps growing with a new name added every 13 minutes. The solution is to register as an organ and tissue donor. One person donating his or her organs can save the lives of up to seven people and donating tissue can help the lives of another 30. For more information call The Living Bank at 1-800-528-2971.

Ordinary People with Extraordinary Needs originated through a community effort to raise money for a liver transplant for South Shore resident Terri Martin. Since that successful surgery in 1991, a dozen other people needing transplants have been assisted by the Ordinary People Fund. Martin was a guest speaker during the week to share her personal miracle and testify to the OPEN credo: “Ordinary people working together can and do make a difference in the lives of those who have no resources to care for their extraordinary medical needs.”

OPEN’s week was successful because of the contributions of many people: Vicki Owens at Golden State Donor Services, Sacramento, who provided speakers; Gene Downs, 10-year heart recipient and Fred Fredette whose wife died waiting for a liver transplant; Mayor Brooke Laine who presented a City Council Proclamation to OPEN to raise community awareness of the need to increase organ and tissue donor registration; Pat Amundson for welcoming the combined efforts of blood donations with registrations for tissue and organ donations; and Anne Luerken for encouraging the Lake Tahoe Community College student body to set up tables to facilitate awareness and registration.

Among the people who contributed to encouraging Latino awareness are Ella Gibbons, Lenette Mapes, Gabriella Inigo of Health Promotions; Delicia Spees of Family Resources; and the South Lake Tahoe Women’s Center.

The South Lake Tahoe Senior Center provided the conference room, where Terri Martin and Rachel Frederick’s stepmother, Debbie Frederick, spoke of their personal experiences with organ transplants.


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