Late Winter/First Quarter 2010

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COLBY FOUNDATION NEWSLETTER

FOUNDATION NEWS:

OUR MISSION IN ACTION:  RAISING AWARENESS THROUGH THE COLBY CASSANI ENDOWED LECTURESHIP SERIES

Did you know…

  • The Colby Cassani Endowed Lectureship Series (CCELS) plans are set for the next two years?  Thanks to your contributions, the CCELS will be held in 2010 at Lincoln Memorial University and Pacific Northwest University College of Osteopathic Medicine. In 2011, the CCELS will be presented at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine on three different campuses (the main campus in Erie, Pennsylvania; LECOM Bradenton, Florida and the newest campus in Greenburg, Pennsylvania).  In 2010 and 2011 the CCELS will be attended by over 900 students and many more community members with information and education about organ, eye and tissue donation. This will exceed the more than 500 students attending the CCELS in 2009!
  • There is an annual scrub run named in honor of Colby and his heart recipient?  Students at Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine (the first recipients of the CCELS) were so inspired by the lectureship series that they decided to designate their annual Osteopathic Scrub Run as a fundraiser for LifeShare Transplant Donor Services of Oklahoma .  They have even gone so far as to name the 10K portion of the race the Colby and Brayden Gift of Life 10K!  Good luck to all those runners and walkers participating on April 3rd.
  • March is National Eye Donor Month More than 52,000 people have their site restored through corneal transplantation in the United States each year!  According to the Eye Bank Association of America, “Over 90% of all corneal transplants operations successfully restore the recipient’s vision … and cataracts, poor eyesight or age do not prevent you from being a donor.”
  • April is National Donate Life month?  How can you honor and promote this important issue?  Perhaps you will sign up to be an organ donor?  If you are already a donor, you could talk to five other people and share the reasons you are a donor and ask them to consider being a donor!  If you belong to a service group, perhaps you could ask a guest speaker to come in and talk about organ, eye and tissue donor awareness.  There are many ways that you personally can promote organ and tissue awareness!  We are all in this together!
  • In 2009, 28,462 transplants occurred?   According to United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), there are currently106,397 waiting list candidates.
  • The Colby Foundation is now on Facebook?  You can help spread the word about organ and tissue donation by signing up as a “FAN”!  If you are already a fan, you can send an invite to your friends.   Do you think we can get to 1000 FANS by June 30th?
  • We are in the final weeks of our annual fundraising campaign?  We are so grateful to those of you who have contributed, bringing us 45% of the way to our goal!  And we look to our supporters to help get us the rest of the way there! Please consider the Colby Foundation in your annual giving, and we thank you for your support!  Click here to donate securely online.

STORY OF HOPE:

INTRODUCING GINA - A NEW POINT OF VIEW AND A STORY OF HOPE

March is National Eye Donor Month.  Meet Gina, whose life was changed dramatically through cornea transplant.  “Cornea transplantation made it possible for me to reclaim my independence; I could drive and read again, I no longer struggled with depth perception issues as I had before and I did not have to sit at home at night anymore” says Gina.

In the late 1970s, Gina found it difficult to do her job due to significant vision impairments.  "I had had problems with vision all my life, but I had completed my degree and had joined the Merchant Marines.  I was working, but in order to advance in marine engineering, I had to meet specific physical requirements.  At that time, radial keratotomy surgery was done with a knife because laser surgery had not yet started."  Gina underwent radial keratotomy twice in each eye in an effort to correct her vision and to meet the physical requirements for licensing in the Merchant Marines.  Even after going through surgery, her vision remained poor enough that she had to leave the ship.

Gina continued to have problems and developed further issues that complicated her vision.  Her vision would change dramatically throughout the day.  Her depth perception was seriously altered and she did not have good definition to her sight.  “I could see the trees but not the birds in the trees,” said Gina.  “it is exhausting to see images the way I was seeing them, I would see multiple images of a single item I was looking at.”  She further commented that due to the surgeries she had already had, her vision could not be corrected and she had significant issues with the amount of scar tissue that had built up from the surgeries.

“I was frustrated with all of my vision issues and the limitations that it presented,” says Gina.  However, she was excited to hear from a friend of hers about a cornea transplant he had received.  Gina went to see a specialist and it was decided that she was a good candidate and would go forward with a cornea transplant in her right eye.

“The transplant was 15 years ago and I don’t even think about sight limitation anymore.  I do what I want  and I am not limited by my vision.  I have to wear glasses, but that is nothing compared to what it was before.  I can read, recognize people from a distance, drive, and my depth perception is so much better.  The things that use[d] to limit me are no longer an issue” Gina reported.  “If I had not had a cornea transplant, I don’t know what I would have done.  Vision is involved in every moment of your day and I could not be working in the fields that I have chosen without the transplant!”

For more stories of hope, please visit our Stories of Hope page

A REMINDER ABOUT GOOD SEARCH:  ANOTHER WAY TO CONTRIBUTE.  SEARCHING THE NET SUPPORTS THE COLBY FOUNDATION...IT REALLY DOES!

We know that not everyone can send in a contribution but here is another way to contribute!  To those of you who have already begun using GoodSearch as your search engine...we THANK YOU for your support!  For those who have not yet made the switch, we hope you will consider it because the Colby Foundation earns a penny every time you use GoodSearch to search the internet.

How does that work?  GoodSearch.com is a Yahoo-powered search engine that donates half its advertising revenue to the charities its users designate. Use it just as you would any search engine, get quality search results from Yahoo, and watch the donations to the Colby Foundation add up!

To learn more, just use the GoodSearch icon (top right of this page) or go to www.goodsearch.com and please spread the word.  We appreciate it! 

THE COLBY FOUNDATION WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU.  HOW HAS YOUR LIFE BEEN TOUCHED BY ORGAN DONATION?  PLEASE CONTACT US!