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

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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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Keeping a stick on the ice

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Dr. Daniel DiBardino
is a double board-certified physician in both adult and congenital cardiothoracic surgery – in other words, he fixes hearts and where they live – both big and small.

“Every heart is precious and I understand the enormous responsibility of caring for every inch of this important organ,” Dr. DiBardino explains, “that’s why I’m so passionate about providing the most advanced surgical care to all patients with heart disease.”

Using extensive training from some of the best centers in the U.S. including Harvard Medical School and the University of Michigan, Dr. DiBardino works with Dr. Domenico Calcaterra, the Chief of Cardiothoracic Care at HCMC, to provide cutting edge care to patients such as valve repair and replacement, coronary bypass surgery, ECMO, and cardiothoracic trauma care. He’s also currently completing advanced training at the Minneapolis Heart Institute in minimally invasive valve surgery and heart transplant surgery.
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In 2010, Dr. DiBardino practiced at Brigham and Women’s Hospital where he was featured in an episode of the TV series, Boston Med. But “Dr. DiBar” (as he was called on the show) feels right at home here in the State of Hockey – both on and off the ice. That’s right, he plays the sport and has already connected with some colleagues to chase pucks.

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Ashley and Daniel DiBardino

“I’ve been playing hockey for 30 years, including in areas where it’s not as popular,” he says. “It’s great to be able to live and work in Minnesota where everyone knows the game and there are so many opportunities to skate, watch hockey and be a hockey fan.”

Dr. DiBardino and his wife, Ashley, live in the Mill District/North Loop area of Minneapolis with their Papillon-mix dog, Gizmo. When he’s not working (or skating), Dr. DiBardino enjoys lifting weights at the gym, taking Gizmo for walks, and finding new places to eat out for dinner. For more information about Dr. DiBardino, check out the recent blog written by Dr. David Hilden after Dr. DiBardino was a guest on his radio show. The post can be found at myhealthymatters.org.

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Gizmo DiBardino

 

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”

HCMC honored for organ donation excellence

Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) was recently awarded a silver medal of honor for organ donation excellence by the Department of Health and Human Services at the National Learning Congress.  This is the fifth time HCMC has won this prestigious national award for meeting and exceeding national goals for donation to increase the number of lives saved through transplantation.

“Of course we’re honored to be recognized;  however, it’s our patients and their families who deserve the recognition,” explains Lynelle Scullard, RN, Nurse Manager of the Surgical Intensive Care Unit who accepted the award on behalf of HCMC.  “They’ve made that important decision to bring life and hope to someone else. It’s only because of this decision that life goes on after one passes away.  Our part in the process pales in comparison to such a gift.”

Hennepin County Medical Center partners with LifeSource Organ and Tissue Donation Services to save lives through organ and tissue donation. LifeSource is a non-profit organization that serves as the “bridge” between donation and transplantation in hospitals throughout the Upper Midwest.

Organ donors remembered in flag-raising ceremony

The decision to become an organ donor is one of the most thoughtful ways someone can continue their giving spirit after they’ve passed away. At a flag-raising ceremony at Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) on Monday, April 2, the families of Kandyce Bryanna Stoffel and Christopher Lee Spears were joined by doctors, nurses, administrative staff, and other caregivers and friends to remember patients and loved ones who made the decision to donate organs  after death.


Shining on… 

Stoffel, a graduate of Mankato West High School, was a student at the University of Minnesota who was walking with some friends around a construction barricade when the group was struck by a vehicle. She was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center, but was unable to survive due to her multiple traumatic injuries. She passed away on October 24, 2010.

Her mom and stepdad, Patty and Randy Appel, and her sister and brother-in-law, Karissa and Christopher Baukol attended the flag-raising ceremony.

“Kandyce had her entire life ahead of her. She was only one class shy of graduating from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities in kinesiology,” explains Patty Appel. “But unfortunately a drunk driver took all those dreams away from a precious 23-year-old and her family.”

Stoffel was able to donate five life-saving organs – her heart, liver, kidneys and pancreas, as well as her eyes and other tissues — thanks to her decision to be an organ donor.

Appel has been in contact with some of the recipients of her daughter’s organs, including “Jennifer,” who received her heart.  Appel attended Jennifer’s wedding last year. “I knew that would be the only wedding I’d see that heart in,” she said.

“During the reception, the groom’s father said a prayer for Kandyce and our family and asked us to stand. The guests gave a standing ovation — what an emotional time for everyone. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the entire ballroom. If we could have picked a person to receive Kandyce’s heart, it would have been Jennifer.”

Spears, an 18-year-old Senior at Hutchinson High School, was also in a car crash. He passed away on March 2, 2010.

“He chose to be an organ donor because it fit his personality and drive to help others out,” explained his mom, Luann Spears. “He didn’t think twice about it.  In fact,  ‘Well, duh!’ was his response when he passed his driver’s test and was answering questions about organ donation.”

Prior to the removal of Spears’ organs, the family asked the operating room staff involved in the organ procurement if they would sing “You are My Sunshine” during the surgery.  The OR staff honored this wish and sang to him during the procedure.

“When my kids were babies, I used to always sing ‘You are My Sunshine’ to them,” says Luann Spears, who attended the flag-raising ceremony with her surviving children Tiffany, Jennifer and Jamey.  “When Christopher was on life support, I just started singing it again and told him he would continue to shine through all of the people who would be helped because of his donation.”

Like Stoffel, his corneas, kidneys and liver tissue and heart valve are now “shining” through the lives of others.

Stoffel’s mom, Patty Appel and Spears’ mom, Luann raised the flag in honor of their children and all of the other organ donors in celebration of Donate Life month.

There are currently more than 110,000 men, women, and children in the United States waiting for a life-saving transplant. More than 3,000 of these individuals live in the Upper Midwest.

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