Community Tissue Services Celebrates 25 Years

Community Tissue Services, the organization that powers the FiftyLives initiative, is celebrating 25 years of providing lifesaving and life-enhancing tissue grafts for transplantation. The folks at Community Tissue Services want to thank the community for their support, which has allowed us to be a global provider of tissue grafts.

In December, we commemorated our 25th anniversary with the staff. According to David Smith, M.D. and CEO of Community Tissue Services, “as the year ends, we reflect and are grateful to be where we are today, and look forward to being on the forefront of product and biotechnology development, and setting the industry standard for excellence in tissue banking technology.” Smith added, “together, with the extraordinary gift from its tissue donors, Community Tissue Services will continue to save and enhance lives for many years to come.

Founded in 1986

Community Tissue Services was founded in Dayton, Ohio in 1986 to fulfill the needs of the local community for tissue allografts. Today, CTS has grown into a national network with locations throughout the United States. Community Tissue Services distributes over 200,000 allografts annually making it one of the largest tissue banks in the country and the largest nonprofit provider of skin grafts to surgeons for severe burn patients.

More than one million tissue transplants are performed each year. Surgeons routinely use donated tissue to replace bone, tendons and ligaments. Heart valves and saphenous veins are used for cardiovascular surgeries such as heart bypass and valve replacement. Skin grafts also save lives of burn patients by helping to prevent infection, control fluid loss and decrease pain.

You can read the full Press Release here.

New on the Wall of Life: Kyle’s Story

Kyle’s mom shares with us the story of her son’s life. Her touching words help us to know the caring and giving young man who was a part of her life for 23 years. One cannot read this story, so obviously written with love, and not feel Kyle’s parents heartache at the loss of their treasured son.

In their “Wall of Life” post about Kyle, his parents write:

How do you write a story about your child? What do you say? What can you say that will express the depth of love we had and still have for him? Would tearstains on this paper let readers know of the enormous loss my husband and I are working through?

Read the entire story on the Wall of Life page.

We Have a Winner (Share Your Gratitude Contest)

FiftyLives asked you to share stories of one person and one incident, gesture, or gift that you’re truly grateful for. For our Share Your Gratitude Contest, we received many touching entries telling us about devoted spouses, attentive friends, special neighbors, and generous family members who made your lives better in some way.

A number of those stories stood out for their emotional appeal, writing style, and tie to the mission of FiftyLives. We had a tough time selecting just one entry to win the grand prize of two iPad 2s. That being said, our top choice is …

Rachelle Henthorn of Sydney, Ohio

We featured her entry in a post last week, expressing gratitude and love for her friend Tina. A few years ago, Tina lost her 10-year-old son Michael in a car accident. Rachelle talked about Tina’s decision to donate her son’s organs to help others.

She has faced so many losses and difficult times in the years I have known her but she remains a gentle spirit and a loving friend, wife and mother–and recently Grandmother! In the spirit of what your organization stands for I would say Tina embodies who anyone would be grateful to have in their lives.

We are thankful to Rachelle and all those who shared their stories of gratitude with us. We’ll continue to feature more of our favorites, and look forward to hearing from Rachelle and Tina when they receive their prizes. Happy holidays to all of our supporters!