Siblings bonded by a kidney, sense of humor, and organ donation message

On Wednesday, April 11 at 11:05am Hennepin Healthcare will celebrate the thousands of lives changed thanks to its 55th year of kidney transplant at a flag-raising ceremony outside HCMC’s 717 South 6th St. entrance. Every year Hennepin Healthcare honors donors and their families who have given organs, tissue, eyes and blood at this flag-raising ceremony to mark National Donate Life Month.

Attending this year’s Donate Life celebration will be special guests John Nelson, who received a kidney from his sister, Kris Roberts on October 23, 1975 – 42 years ago! Nelson and Roberts will be driving all the way from South Dakota for the flag-raising ceremony.

“So much has happened in the past 42 years that would not have been possible without my sister’s generous donation,” explains Nelson, a 75-year-old who retired from a successful career in the South Dakota Health Department.

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Kris and John in 1975 at dialysis

“I was on dialysis in 1974 and at that time the life expectancy for someone with my diagnosis was 5 years. But after transplant surgery, I went on to complete a 35-year career in public heath microbiology. My wife and I have been married for 53 years. Thirty-nine years ago we adopted our daughter, and we now also have a grandson.”

“In my mind, there was no decision to be made,” said Kris Roberts when asked about her decision to donate her kidney to her brother. “As soon as I heard that he needed a kidney, I wanted to help. It was a great honor to improve his life.” Continue reading “Siblings bonded by a kidney, sense of humor, and organ donation message”

Flag-raising ceremony marks National Donate Life Month

donate life 2017
Organ, tissue and eye donations provide renewed hope to thousands of people waiting for transplants each year.  Through the remarkable process of donation, it is possible for a single donor to save or enhance the lives of up to 60 people. Such hope is truly a gift – one made possible by the generosity of individuals who said “yes” to donation and made the decision to give life or sight to those in need.

On Wednesday, April 5, Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) continues its annual tradition of celebrating those who have given and received the gift of life and sight through organ donation. The annual flag-raising ceremony will take place in front of its 717 S. Sixth St. entrance at 9:40am.
DONATE LIFESince completing the upper Midwest’s first kidney transplant in 1963, HCMC’s transplant program has performed over 2,700 kidney transplants, with an increasing percentage involving living donors. In 2010 the first paired exchange transplant in the upper Midwest was completed at HCMC, adding to its 54-year history of “firsts” in transplant care.

HCMC is a Level I Adult and Level I Pediatric Trauma Center and public teaching hospital. The centerpiece of Hennepin County’s clinical health services, HCMC offers a full spectrum of inpatient and outpatient services, including its Transplant Program, which recently marked its 54th year of providing state-of-the-art transplant services.

For more information about organ donation or to register to be a donor, go to http://www.donatelifemidwest.org/mn/.

 

 

HCMC’s transplant program marks World Kidney Day

 

On Thursday, March 9, 2017 Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) will partner with the National Kidney Foundation to raise awareness about kidney transplant as part of World Kidney Day. The event is one of many taking place during March, which is National Kidney Month.

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Jenny Bodner, RN

“Chronic kidney disease is described as diminishing kidney function that can be from mild to severe.” explains Jenny Bodner, RN, Certified Clinical Transplant Coordinator at HCMC. “It’s so important to keep these organs healthy. That’s why we’re happy for the opportunity to partner with the National Kidney Foundation to focus on kidney disease prevention as well as providing information about transplant.”

Bodner will answer questions about kidney disease and transplant at the skyway level of AT&T Tower in Minneapolis on Thursday.

Who:   Hennepin County Medical Center’s Kidney Transplant Program

What: Kidney transplant awareness activities, Bernie the Rescue Dog

Where: AT&T Tower, 901 Marquette Ave. Minneapolis, Skyway Level

When: 11AM – 1 PM

Why:   World Kidney Day events sponsored by the National Kidney Foundation

“Kidneys are busy organs, performing many functions that are essential to life- from cleaning out the toxins that build up in our bodies, regulating electrolytes and playing a role in stabilizing blood pressure,” said Bodner.

According to the National Kidney Foundation, in Minnesota alone there are an estimated 400,000 people living with kidney disease, and nearly 9,000 of these are on either dialysis or on the transplant wait list.

HCMC was the first transplant program in the Upper Midwest. Established in 1963, the transplant program has played a vital role in the treatment of chronic kidney disease with kidney transplantation. For more information, go to www.hcmc.org/transplant.

The National Kidney Foundation is the leading organization in the U.S. dedicated to the awareness, prevention, and treatment of kidney disease. For more information, visit www.kidney.org.

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Wall of Heroes honors organ, tissue and eye donors

WOH 2Mosaic and kiosk unveiled at HCMC August 22

What:             “Wall of Heroes” unveiling at Hennepin County Medical Center When:          Thursday, August 22, 2013, 4-7 p.m.
Where:            2nd Floor, HCMC’s Red Building, 717 S. 7th St. entrance

On Thursday, August 22, from 4-7 p.m. Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) unveils its “Wall of Heroes” to honor those who have given a part of themselves so that someone else could live a healthier life – or in many cases, simply live. The display consists of a specially designed mosaic created for HCMC, along with an interactive kiosk containing names, photographs, and stories of HCMC organ, tissue and eye donors submitted by both donors and their families. The kiosk will also contain informational articles about the importance of organ donation, a direct link to sign up as an organ donor, and an opportunity to support the Wall of Heroes.

The mosaic artwork was funded by the Hennepin Health Foundation and created by local artist Michael J. Sweere, whose inspiration came from the themes of “transformation” and “new life.” A special focus group of family members and former patients who have been touched by organ donation suggested the themes, which are represented in the artwork by a garden with insects, birds and flowers. Continue reading “Wall of Heroes honors organ, tissue and eye donors”