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Transplant Athlete
Monday, March 28, 2005
  Pharmacists Playing God

Well, it seems some pharmacists have decided that they won't dispense birth control pills on religious and moral grounds. They are mistaking birth control with abortion. At some point they can stop dispensing all medication on religious grounds. "I'm sorry you can't have this STD/HIV medication because you are a sinner and you got your disease while sinning" or they could be like those religious freaks who refuse common medical treatment for their kids because "God will heal them." Where does it stop?
They could refuse me my medication by saying that God's plan was for me to die 5 years ago, at least I can say that God made Eve by transplanting Adam's rib.
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Wednesday, March 23, 2005
  Cloned Kidneys

I was looking for confirmation of a statistic that I had heard and this is what I found:"Research team successfully clones human kidney in rats"
Check out this site Nephronline for more info on kidney specific information. Obviously, cloning a kidney for a patient nearing End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) would be better than a living related donor, living unrelated donor, cadaveric donor, or dialysis. There probably wouldn't be any need for immuno-suppressive medication. Just a year or two on Prednisone, antiviral and antibiotic medication and then living life like normal.

"The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades..." - Timbuk 3

PS The statistic I was looking for? 43% of African Americans who are now on dialysis found out they had kidney failure one week before they were put on Dialysis. Surprise, you need dialysis to stay alive and let's put you on the waiting list for a new kidney because this one is history!
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Tuesday, March 22, 2005
  Florida Is A Persistent Vegetative State

What's up with Florida? First they deny someone the chance to live, and then they deny someone the chance to die...

They say the Internet never forgets. So I'm stating for the record. If I'm in a persistent vegetative state because my brain has turned to mush, kill me (If I get Alzheimer's, hopefully I'll remember to do it myself) and donate my organs to those who need them. If you let me die slowly like Terry Schiavo, my organs will be useless. I hope all the politicians let her die in peace and I hope her family finds their own peace.
 
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Sunday, March 20, 2005
  Compex Units

We just got the Compex muscle stimulators in our catalogue. I have a unit which I'm testing now. OK, so it sounds to good to be true. Sit on the couch and build muscle while you watch TV, sounds a bit to much like body toning tables to me or those incredible AB Belts you see on laten night infomercials. You may remember the toner table craze in the late 80's when shops were opening up all over America. You sit on a table that moves your limbs for you and you lose weight.
So, before we decided to take on this product, I did some research. While I found several studies and warnings about EMS units, they were all referencing the cheapo units you see on late night TV. These units were pulled by the FDA and FTC. The Compex unit has been approved by the FDA and the study by researchers in Wisconsin (by the way, check out the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine- they have a ton of research). The researchers used another product by Compex which increased abdominal strength by 58% and abdominal endurance increased by 72% over an 8 week period. Here's the bottom line "NMES, as used in the current study, resulted in significant improvements in the muscular strength and endurance of the abdominal region, as well as subject’s perceived shape and satisfaction of the midsection."
SO anyway, I went on a 155 mile ride yesterday and my legs were sore afterwards, so I used the Compex unit's "active recovery program," which is supposed to have benefits similar to a massage. Let me tell you, I think its better than a massage. After the stimulation, my legs felt pretty good.
Stay tuned, I will be using the Compex unit as an integral part of my training for the Race Across AMerica.
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Monday, March 14, 2005
  Illegal Organ Scams

With all the talk recently about soliciting donors over the internet, its easy to forget that there are blatantly illegal websites out there that do more harm to the transplantation process than a thousand people using matchingdonors.com, TV, and their own personal websites could ever do.
This is one such example: http://www.organassociates.com/
Organ Associates:
This site guarantees an organ transplant within one week of receiving between $175,000 and $200,000. They vehemently deny that the donors are getting compensated, but in the US, presumably where costs are higher, A transplant will cost your insurance company around $75,000 to $100,000. So, where is all the extra money going? Now, that’s assuming that this site is legitimate. I wouldn’t be surprised if they took your money and ran. All they would need would be one desperate person to send them $200,000 and they would be set, and believe me, people looking at possible death can get pretty desperate. They request proof that you have the money on hand. Also they say, “do not tell us you are financially qualified unless you are financially qualified today.” There’s a lot more of the “cash on hand” and “I can verify immediately,” language all over the website. Looking more and more like a scam to me. I wouldn’t be surprised if they asked for the bank account information up front “to verify the information” and then they try to pull the money out. I just “whois”ed them on Network Solutions: Alan Raines, PO Box 1602, Anywhere, US 55555 – medtransplant@yahoo.ca - phone 555-555-5555 the hosting service is based in Argentina, the email address is from Canada, and the zip code, city, and phone number are fake. A legitimate company doesn’t fake this information, ever.


Then there is Transplant Coordination Services who didn’t even bother to put up an elaborate website, just “We expertise in coordination of fast and trustfully service of organ transplantation in various centers around the world.” which has a better faked “whois.” The address which looks fake is in Manhattan and has the wrong zip code and the guy’s email address is professor.shapira@gmail.com – the phone number is 212-354-3476 which looks fake, but I’ve made that assumption before and I’ve been wrong. This site was registered through a company in Kingston, Jamaica.

 
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Thursday, March 10, 2005
  U.S. race tests transplant cyclist

One expert said, "How much you can hurt yourself, how much pain you can take, how long you can handle the pain ... that all depends on how successful you will be."

Among the hundreds of riders who will be answering these questions is kidney-transplant recipient Lou Lamoureux, 33, the first organ transplant recipient to enter the Race Across America -- a non-stop 3,000-mile ultra-racing marathon from San Diego to Atlantic City, N.J., in seven days.
More...


Recycle Yourself - Donate Life

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Wednesday, March 09, 2005
  Breaking News

British doctors claim that they have a cure for Type 1 diabetes. It involves transplanting pancreatic cells from a donor to the Diabetic patient. According to the American Diabetes Association, 43% of new cases of End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) can be attributed to Diabetes and that percentage is increasing more rapidly than other diseases. Other interesting Diabetes facts from the Association:
  • In the United States, the incidence of reported ESRD in people with diabetes is more than 4 times as high in African Americans, 4 to 6 times as high in Mexican Americans and 6 times as high in Native Americans than in the general population of diabetes patients.

  • The risk of ESRD is 12 times as high in people with type 1 diabetes as in those with type 2 diabetes.

  • In patients with type 1 diabetes who develop persistent proteinuria, ESRD or death usually follows after about 5-10 years.

A cure for diabetes greatly reduces the need for kidney transplantation. According to UNOS, there were 27,306 people added to the waiting list for kidney transplants in 2004. If this cure removes 43% of those who had diabetes, that leaves 15,564 new additions to the waiting list. In 2004, there were 15,977 kidney transplants performed. There are currently over 60,000 people waiting for a kidney transplant, so we would still need to increase organ donation to get rid of the backlog.
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  Some heart recipients report strange changes

I was giving a talk to high school students a couple of years back and they had heard stories of transplant patients taking on characteristics of their donors, so they wanted to know if it was true or not. I had never heard that, so I gave an answer based on my experience. I was never a big fan of chocolate, but after the transplant I did have more of a taste for it. I chalked that up to the Prednisone, which increases appetite and had me downing sweets(cookies, candy, cake, pie) like there was some sort of global shortage.

According to the article, my friend Bill cries when he hears Sade, an artist he had never really heard of before the transplant. Which reminds me of Jay and Silent Bob "And then, "Pretty in Pink," which I can't even watch with this tubby bitch anymore, 'cause every time we get to the part where the redhead hooks up with her dream guy, he starts sobbin' like a little bitch with a skinned knee and shit. And there's nothing worse than watchin' a fuckin' fat man weep." Sorry Bill, its just such a funny line.



RAAM 101 Days away.
"Slow Down, You Die Ace" - Logan from Gilmore Girls

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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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Warning Signs for Kidney Disease:

  • High Blood Pressure
  • Burning or Difficulty when Urinating
  • Frequent Urination at Night
  • Blood in your urine
  • Cola or tea colored urine
  • Swellig of the eyes, ankles, or feet
  • Lower back pain unrelated to physical activity


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