Five years ago on 11/11/09 I received the Gift of Life in a liver and kidney transplant. We have never met my donor’s family and have not yet received a response to earlier letters. This year, on the fifth anniversary of their loved one’s passing, we hope they may be ready. Here is what I sent to them through the Organ Center:

Good morning,

We hope this letter reaches you and your family in good health and a blessed holiday season!

We have a life connection: your family and mine. One that caused your family the greatest hurt but gave my family and me the greatest hope. It happened five years ago…

I was dying. One of those long, slow chronic illnesses that runs in families and ours goes for the kidneys first and starts crushing them with cysts from the outside before choking them off from the inside. In my case the liver was predisposed for this, too, and it began to grow, covered with cysts the size of oranges, then softballs, and then grapefruits. In time it was going to cut off all those things the body needs to stay alive: eating, swallowing, breathing. And there was only one way to stop it…it had to be replaced.

Your son, brother, husband, father was in a horrible accident on that November day and there was nothing the doctors could do. You made the decision to try to save lives, and his liver and a kidney were given to me.

We don’t know the details and don’t need to but, with your permission, I’d like to know your loved one’s, my donor’s, name. We would like to meet you. And I wish I could tell him, and you, everything that has happened as a result of your generosity and sacrifice.

I could tell you that receiving that gift of life allowed me to live with my loved ones in a way we thought might not be possible. It allowed me to get up and get out and be a husband, a father, a grandfather longer than we had hoped.

There isn’t enough space to share all the things I’ve tried to do to show my thanks, make it right, and pay it forward. Just know that my wife and I hope our efforts and speeches, walks and donor sign-up tables, and even sports successes and personal testimony may help to make some other families know hope and receive the gift of life, too.

But nothing that I can do, until the end, can match both the sorrow you have felt and the generosity you have shown to saves the lives, like mine, that were running out of time but never hope or faith.

My family and I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving and want you to know we think about you, and say thanks to you too, at every Thanksgiving we can share together now.

Thank you and God bless you.

To register to be an organ donor go to http://donatelife.net/register-now/ or register where you receive or renew your driver’s license. Remember you must renew your organ donor registration each time you renew your license.


April is National Donate Life Month. Are you registered to be an organ donor? This liver and kidney transplant recipient is very grateful a young man in Alabama did so over 4 1/2 years ago! Go to http://www.donatelife.net

Enjoy True Transplant Tales on this blog: Scroll down to “The Life and Times of Chuck Basement” and then click the link at right: “The Games”
NDLM_2014_FacebookCoverPublic


And here's where you can register:  http://donatelife.net/register-now/

 Oct. 19, 2013    |
Written by Tom Wilemon The Tennessean
The Methodist University Hospital Transplant Institute, headed by Dr. James D. Eason, has formed an alliance with Saint Thomas Health. University of Tennessee surgeons with the Memphis-based institute began performing kidney transplants for Saint Thomas on July 1.

Rebecca Climer, chief marketing officer for Saint Thomas, said it is evaluating an expansion of the liver transplant program. Eason said that’s his goal.

“We certainly plan on being a full-service abdominal transplant program at Saint Thomas in Nashville,” Eason said.

The alliance gives the Memphis-based institute greater access to organ donations and Saint Thomas a higher profile in transplant surgery. Saint Thomas, which performed the state’s first heart transplant in March 1985, stopped doing those surgeries almost two years ago. Liver transplants would be a new specialty.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center is currently the only Middle Tennessee hospital that does liver or heart transplants.

Steve Baum of Franklin, a volunteer advocate for organ donation and people with liver disease, said he welcomed any development that gives patients more options.

“Anything that would add to the ability of extremely sick and dying people to get an organ transplant more quickly, I would certainly be in favor of,” Baum said.

After being diagnosed with polycystic liver and kidney diseases, he received a liver and kidney transplant four years ago at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, which his doctor recommended because surgeons there specialized in his massively enlarged condition and because it had short wait times for organs.

He advises anyone needing an organ transplant to explore all options, including getting on the list at more than one transplant center, especially if they are served by different organ procurement organizations.

HOW TO HELP

Sign up to be an organ donor when renewing your driver’s license and make sure there’s a red heart near your photo. You must sign up every time you renew. Go online to www.donatelifetn.org or call 877-552-5050.

Liver transplants in Tennessee

» 203 people in Tennessee who are waiting for a liver.
» 172 livers that have been donated in Tennessee so far this year.
» 265 were donated in 2012.

Source: Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network


Unite to Fight

 

 

 

 

And also:      Nashville Liver Life Walk

Good morning!

Join my lovely bride Anne and I as we represent Donate Life registering new organ donors at two locations in the coming week (or so):

Sat 9/21 @ Walk for PKD, River Park Brentwood, 8:30-10:30. I’ll also MC their pre-walk ceremony.

Sat 9/28 @ Liver Life Walk, Steeplechase area @ Warner Parks, 8:30-11.

Both will have music, food, activities for children, special auctions items (including Titans tix and signed stuff @ PKD 9/21) You know how important this is to our family and may some day affect your’s!

Y’all come!


end-of-the-5k-and-its-funny-finishWhen Chuck and I were both small we loved competition but knew our limits: we were lousy runners. Slow. Bad. And it hurt.
After it was confirmed we had PKD we went through the long, slow chronic illness process: Long. Slow. Bad. And it hurt.
With the support of family and people like you we made it to the blessed day…
On 11-11-09 the second gift of life came in the form of a liver and kidney transplant.
We have been doubly blessed as our recovery has allowed us to participate and compete in some sports and sometimes even win a medal.
BUT WE HAVE NEVER ATTEMPTED A MARATHON.
So these “old farts with new parts”, flat feet and all, are going to complete the Nashville Marathon by jogging, walking, and anything else it might take.
You can read about our story below here if you wish:

To make a donation go to:

 

 

 
http://runforpkd.kintera.org/faf/donorReg/donorPledge.asp?ievent=1037858&lis=1&kntae1037858=592CBC0752064FB78DDE0C96B9681787&supId=387088475

Thank you for supporting PKD Foundation. Your contribution is greatly appreciated. – mohttp://runforpkd.kintera.org/faf/donorReievent=1037858&lis=1&kntae1037858=592CBC0752064FB78DDE0C96B9681787&supId=387088475#sthash.8iIqIQf1.dpufg/donorPledge.asp?

 

http://runforpkd.kintera.org/faf/donorReg/donorPledge.asp?ievent=1037858&lis=1&kntae1037858=592CBC0752064FB78DDE0C96B9681787&supId=387088475


Hi Neighbor! Come on in!.

Check out some old memories from Bear Creek HS vocal music, musicals, and Sounds of BC. Then send your own photos and memories through the contact portal.

Special thanks to Janne (Lawson) Nielson for all her work so far!

Want to listen to a Sounds/Jazz Band concert from spring ’72?

Just click “By Request” here on this site…


Several friends, like Jay Preston Swafford and Ed Campbell and I, received our invitations to the National Seniors Games in July as official qualifiers. But for me the dates conflict with a World event just a little closer to my heart. And new liver. And new kidney:

 

World Transplant Games

World Transplant Games

Durban,. South AfricaJuly 28, 2013

Durban,. South Africa
July 28, 2013

http://www.wtg2013.com/

Stay tuned for further developments!


Reading so many wonderful New Year’s notes it occurred to me that the calendar year is no longer how I mark my time.

Our wedding anniversary is preceded annually by the anniversary of my life-saving transplants. In between we finally get through the shortest day of the year which is always a celebration because I love longer days and shorter nights.

I don’t mind counting birthdays because I wasn’t sure at one time how many I would see. My family’s birthdays are even bigger celebrations. The first day of school is huge in a family of teachers.

So New Year’s is special simply because so many people get together and lay out and share their hopes for the future. Which four digits are assigned to this link in life are really rather immaterial except for accounting purposes. Every new day can be your best day.

So come together and share with the people who are most important to you. Today is just a great excuse to start!


Or Beauty and the Bifocals


Walk at River Park in Brentwood to benefit Polycystic Kidney Disease Foundation
Steve Baum

Steve Baum

Written by
Vicky Travis
The Tennessean
  • FILED UNDER

BRENTWOOD — A walk in the park Saturday is set to raise research dollars for a little-known health disorder, Polycystic Kidney Disease.

The PKD Foundation Walk begins at 9:30 a.m. with registration at 8:30 a.m. at River Park on Knox Valley Drive in Brentwood.

A grateful Steve Baum will be there, after having life-saving kidney and liver transplants in 2009 after his PKD had progressed for years.

“For organ recipients, it’s the generosity of the donor, the grace of God and great doctors,” he said.

The disease, which can be hidden under heart failure or diabetes, is genetic and usually creeps up over time. Symptoms usually develop between the ages of 30 and 40 but can begin earlier. PKD causes cysts to develop in internal organs, primarily the kidneys. The cysts will eventually choke off kidney function, making dialysis necessary. There is no cure. The disease affects more than 600,000 Americans.

Typically, the Brentwood PKD Walk raises about $45,000 or more, with many donations coming in after the walk. “The most special thing about the walk is the teams that form,” said Baum. Sometimes it’s coworkers supporting a patient or friends of a child diagnosed.

Founded in 1982, the PKD Foundation is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization with 61 chapters in the United States. To learn more, go to www.pkdcure.org.