Valerie’s Gift

ValerieValerie is deeply missed by her friends and family. She was her families “greatest joy”. Her family lost Valerie in a tragic accident just days before her High School Graduation. Her Father, Johnny, shares her story with us:

“She has encouraged many to think about life and all we have to offer and that even after we have passed we can make miracles happen for many people that may need a transplant.

Now, with each and every one of Valerie’s tissue grafts that is transplanted, Valerie is able to reach one more of her goals.”

Read the entire story on the Wall of Life page.

CTS Director, TX Jason Morse is Passionate about Tissue Donation

In the photo are three other CTS employee (two females and the gentleman on the far right) the gentleman with the grey hair is retired Dallas Cowboy, and living Kidney donor, Everson Wall. Jason, is where the white shirt with a tie.

In the photo are four CTS employees (Jason is in the white shirt with a tie); the gentleman with the grey hair is retired Dallas Cowboy, and living Kidney donor, Everson Wall.

This month, we’d like to introduce Jason Morse, a Community Tissue Services (CTS) Director in Texas. He became involved in tissue donation through his experience working in the operating room. He noticed some co-workers had departed the O.R. to work in the tissue recovery industry. Eventually, one of them called him and asked if he was interested in joining the tissue recovery team at CTS.  After researching the organization as well as the industry, he determined that this was something he was interest in pursuing. From there, the rest, as they say, is history.

His effective transition into his position with CTS is best summarized by Jason:  ”The ultimate goal of each surgery performed is to hopefully help to save or enhance the life of one individual. On the other hand, each tissue recovery surgery has the ability to save or enhance the live of approximately fifty people!”

Jason not only works with tissue donors, but he is part of a donor family as well. His Father-in-Law, Joseph Wohlferd, was a tissue donor. Jason shared about his amazing Father-in-Law on our Wall of Life. Joseph’s donation of skin, bone and tendons helped to improve the lives of others. His ultimate gift aligned well with his many selfless and generous acts while still alive.  Through this donation as well as through his work with CTS, Jason has felt the true impact of tissue donation countless times. Tissue donation has a positive impact on both a community as well as leaving a lasting legacy. While attending an event recently, a donor family member shared that: “If the only thing you have ever done right in your life was to become a donor, all the other wrongs are removed”.  For Jason, this statement clearly illustrates the pride that many donor families feel knowing their loved one will have a lasting impact on this world.

Feeling passionate about his work comes easily for Jason. For inspiration, he just looks at the CTS vision statement: Extraordinary people…saving and enhancing lives. For him, the extraordinary people addressed in the statement not only include the employees at CTS; it also includes the donor, the donor family and all others that are involved in the miracle of saving and enhancing lives. He says it’s easy to find passion when you are involved in a community of individuals that come together to help others.

When we asked Jason what fuels his passion for tissue donation, here’s what he told us: “My passion for tissue donation is continually fueled by knowing that, despite an increase in the number of individuals deciding to donate, the need for tissue grafts grows as well. I think a lot about how the demand for skin grafts generally keep the supply low and without this life-saving graft, someone may succumb to their injury. I also, think about the recipient letter that I read illustrating how receiving a graft returned the recipients life back to normal. Many of these recipients had lost the ability to function normally. They could not pick up their children or grandchildren, they could not walk freely without pain, they simply had a poor quality of life. However, through the act of donation, they are able to enjoy life again.”

CTS is fortunate to have someone on staff who has such a deep understanding and compassion for tissue donation. You can learn more about CTS and tissue donation online at our website.

April is Donate Life Month

DaffodilsThis April we’re celebrating the 11th Annual Donate Life month. Each year, the month of April is set aside to not only share the stories of generosity of organ, eye and tissue donors and their families; but to also honor the lives of those who have given and received. In addition, this special month provides us an opportunity to renew our commitment to saving and improving lives.

Surveys across the nation show that more than 80% of Americans want to be an organ or tissue donor. However, 42.7 percent of individuals age 18 and older have registered to be organ, eye and tissue donors. An important goal for all of us at FiftyLives is to continue to educate the community on the importance of tissue donation so that families can make informed decisions about the options of donation.

What can you do to help promote the importance of being a registered donor?

First: Don’t keep your decision to be a tissue donor a secret. Tell your family and friends about your decision. Talk about the importance of registering at every opportunity. Share information with them to help answer their questions.

Second: Utilize these resources that have been made available to help spread the word about the importance of being a registered tissue donor:

  • Use one of our Social Media badges. Update your Facebook photo with one of these badges, or simply post one to your timeline.
  • Help others to understand tissue donation by providing them with a link to our “How we Help” Interactive Experience on our website.
  • Encourage everyone with questions to seek answers. Suggest they comment on this blog post, or reach out to us on our Facebook page. Either way, you have our assurance, we will do whatever we can to help provide information to help answer their questions.
  • On Friday, April 19, it’s National Wear your Blue and Green Day. Be sure to save your blue and green clothing to wear as an outward sign to show your support for organ and tissue donors.
  • Bake cookies, cupcakes or a cake — frost with blue and green icing; then share with your coworkers. It’s a simple way to bring up the importance of being a registered donor.

What do you have planned for this month? Share your tips and ideas with us here.

Together we can make a difference.