How we Remember

Quilt SquareAs Memorial Day quickly approaches, we thought we’d share with all of you how we take the time to remember each tissue donor through our “Connected By Giving” remembrance quilts. We ask each family who has had a loved one share the gift of life through tissue donation, to create a quilt square in remembrance. We then combine the squares to create a beautiful quilt. Each square if filled with memories and love.

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We’ve shared a few squared with your here, but you can view the quilts online on our parent website at Community Tissue Services. As you can see, it’s a special privilege to be able to receive each square, and to then create these quilts for our donor families.

Just seeing these quilts hanging proudly on display is a touching sight to behold.

We are honored to do what we do. We remember. Always.

Ken Blair, CTS Director-OH, is Privileged to be a Steward of Tissue Donations

Ken Blair and Family

Ken Blair and Family

Ken Blair, CTS Director-OH, has been working for Community Tissue Services (CTS) in his current role for 23 years. He started out working in an orthopedic clinic in Texas in the 80’s, just as modern tissue banking was evolving.  While at this clinic, they occasionally used grafts from local tissue banks.  After 10 years, he left that position and worked weekends at an ER. With the encouragement of local tissue bank, he participated in donor recoveries. In 1990, he joined CTS, and as Ken says, “the rest is history.”

When asked what tissue donation means to him, Ken shared with us that it’s “about individuals who can look beyond their circumstance and see how their gift can benefit/change the lives of others in need.  It is an unconditional gift, given freely without restriction, solely for the benefit of others.”

Ken explains his passion for his work by defining it as a “privilege to be one of the stewards of these gifts” of tissue donation, “and as such the obligation to ensure that each gift has the opportunity to be utilized to its fullest.  I work with individuals with a shared desire to honor the gift, the donor and their family; as well as a commitment to our mission and vision of “Extraordinary people saving and enhancing lives”.”

His work has impacted his life in many ways: It has allowed Ken to participate in an emerging field that holds many answers to the problems of today and the future. It has given him the opportunity to meet and share ideas that will hopefully move the field forward.  Perhaps most importantly, though, in some ways, it prepared his family for the loss of a child and the myriad of emotions and decisions that go with that process. Ultimately, Ken says, “it has given me the opportunity to celebrate my son’s life and the impact of his gifts on the lives of others.”

All of us are proud and honored to call Ken not only our co-worker, but also an important part of our CTS family.  To learn more about CTS, visit online at our website. To learn more about tissue donation, visit our interactive experience here.

Dispelling Common Myths about Being a Donor

2947074Are you thinking about signing up to be an organ and tissue donor, but still have questions about what registering means? We’d like to look at some of the myths behind being a donor…

I’m too old or ill to be a donor.

~Anyone can be a potential donor regardless of age, race, or medical history. Your medical condition at the time of death will determine what may be donated.

My religion doesn’t support being a donor.

~All major religions in the United States support organ, eye, and tissue donation and see it as the final act of love and generosity toward others.

If I’m critically hurt, if the hospital knows I’m a donor, they won’t try to save my life.

~If you’re sick or injured and admitted to the hospital, the number one priority is to save your life. Organ, eye and tissue donation can only be considered after you’re deceased.

One of my end of life wishes is to have an open casket funeral. I can’t do this if I’m a donor.

~An open casket funeral is possible for organ, eye and tissue donors. Through the entire donation process, the body is treated with care, respect and dignity.

Being a donor is going to put an unnecessary financial burden on my family.

~There is no cost to the donor, or their family, for organ or tissue donation.

Do you have a question or concern we don’t address here? If you do, please be sure to leave a comment for us. Knowing all of the facts will help you make the right decision for you.