Transplant Athlete
Monday, February 21, 2005
  The Sleeper Has Awakened

"Transplant Denied" from the Tampa Tribune 2/18/05.
Here's the short version. Alex Crionas is a dialysis patient in Orlando, Florida. He started a webpage to find a donor. He eventually found a donor, Patrick Garrity, through mutual friends and the transplant center - Life-Link abruptly stopped the tissue typing of the potential donor when they learned that Alex had set up a website.

In a brief letter dated Feb. 4 and signed by LifeLink medical director Victor Bowers, Crionas learned why.
His case had been reviewed, the letter said. ``In addition, we have reviewed your personal Web site.''
The American Society of Transplant Surgeons and LifeLink are ``strongly opposed to the solicitation of organs or organ donors by recipients or their agents through Web sites,'' the letter continued.
``After careful deliberation, we will not consider any living donor for you.''

Life-Link's website says "LifeLink of Florida is an independent, non-profit organ and tissue recovery organization dedicated to serving patients in need of transplant therapy and their families." and "LifeLink Foundation is a non-profit community service organization dedicated to the recovery and transplantation of an increasing number of high quality organs and tissues for transplant therapy."

According to the UNOS website, there are 65,133 patients waiting for a kidney transplant. Cadaveric donations will never be able to meet the demand, living related and living unrelated will have to pick up the slack. Organs from living donors give patients the highest survival rates. From the article, it seems like Life-Link didn't even bother to interview the donor. Its standard procedure for a social worker to interview potential donors to determine motives, expectations, etc. The social worker should be making the call as to whether or not Patrick Garrity is an appropriate donor, not some backwards-thinking *expletive deleted* director.

Give the guy his life saving operation and if you're still queasy about web donations, develop a better screening process, don't just bury your head in the sand. The WWW is not going away. If you'd like to write to Director Bowers, here is his email: Bowers@lifelinkfound.org


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Thanks for the support. I intend to fight this all the way, and I won't be happy until I see Bowers out of a job. Even then, I still intend to fight until there has been some real change for the thousands of people stuck waiting for an organ. Sometime in between, I might bike across the country too.

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I've gone through kidney failure twice. The first time in 2000, my mother donated a kidney; and again in 2008, I'm on dialysis waiting for a breakthrough in immuno-suppression medicines before seeking a new kidney.

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