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Biological Resource Center of Illinois - Quarterly Newsletter Volume 4 - Issue 3

The Leading Family Owned & Operated Spot Light On Our Donors Memberships In Loving Memory of Glenn Livingstone Toppen The last paragraph in the memorial folder for Glenn says, “While Glenn’s life was taken from him too early he lived every day as best he could. He never stopped trying to better himself and the world around him. As Abraham Lincoln once said, “Die when I may, I want it said by those who knew me best that I always plucked a thistle and planted a flower where I thought a flower would grow.” May his legacy be remembered as; the love he gave to his children, family and friends; the second chance at life to a young neighbor, and his endless hours of work put into making Chicago a better place for all of us.” Glenn spent most of his life in Oak Park. He worked at his mother’s realty company until her death in 1983 and then moved in to marketing, working for Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago, a nonprofit organization providing low interest loans for low-income families. His passion for those less fortunate was witness through serving on community boards that focused on homelessness and financial education for those in poverty. He volunteered his time with PADS (Public Action to Deliver Shelter) and Habitat for Humanity. One of the most selfless gifts a person can give to another human being is give the gift of life. Glenn donated one of his kidney’s to a 21 year old neighbor in 2001. Today this young woman is not just surviving but living a full life through Glenn’s live saving gift. The center of his life was his family. Wife; Diane, daughters; Hilary (husband, Alex) and Haldis have many memories of this kind and generous man as do his other family members and friends. An article on from September 28th, 2010 says it best, “A good guy, in other words, the kind of guy Oak Park is blessed with in abundance. The guy across the street or down the block. The guy who shares his tools or his knowledge. The guy you get to know at block parties.” Many are blessed to have known Glenn!

What’s this helicopter got to do with Biological Resource Center of Illinois? Go to page 2 read the story.

Calendar of Events

BRC IL Executive Staff


1000 Subscribers

August 1 National Minority Awareness Day August 12—14 2012 Bio-Skills Lab Management Symposium November November 16—18 National Donor Sabbath

Donald A. Greene, II Executive Director/Owner Donald A. Greene

Education & Lab Director/Owner

James Bryant, MD

Medical Director

Kurt Klitzke, Ph.D. Technical Director Melissa J. Williams Director of Donor Services

Donation Resources

Grief Resources

A Letter from Life Star, Chicago A car wreck leaves the driver pinned in the vehicle, critically injured and on the brink of death. Meanwhile, at a nearby hospital, a patient experiences crushing chest pain diagnosed as severe heart failure and shock. These are not just plots for the latest television drama or the story on the nightly news. They are real life scenarios, and two of the many types of patients Lifestar cares for on a daily basis. Lifestar is an aeromedical program providing helicopter transport of critically ill or injured patients in the Chicagoland area. These transports include both accident scene transports and moving a patient from one hospital to another for specialty care or resources not available at the referring facility. Our flight crew is comprised of a flight nurse, flight paramedic, and pilot. The Lifestar crew provides care to patients across their lifespan, including all types of critical illness and injury. This enables us to provide our community with a flying emergency department or intensive care unit. When a patient is in critical condition it may be necessary to provide life-sustaining treatments before or during transport. Our medical capabilities include advanced airway management including orotracheal intubation and surgical cricothyrotomy, chest needle decompression and chest tube insertion. These skills and capabilities enable the medical flight crew to assist a patient who cannot breathe on their own, or who perhaps, has a difficult airway related to trauma or illness. Skills such as chest needle decompression and chest tube insertion are life saving when a patient has air or blood filling the pleural space of their chest and collapsing the lung. Providing a high level of clinical expertise and skill to our patients is what Lifestar has prided itself on since the programs inception in 1988. Continuing education and skills demonstration is an integral part of clinical competency for the air medical crewmembers. This training includes didactic presentations, traditional exams, human patient simulator scenarios, and animal skills lab. Biannually the medical crewmembers are required to demonstrate competency in several areas including orotracheal intubation, needle cricothyrotomy, surgical cricothyrotomy, chest needle decompression, and chest tube insertion. The Lifestar team must be able to perform these skills quickly and effectively in critical situations. The Biological Resource Center of Illinois assisted Lifestar by providing a cadaver for their most recent skills competency event. Dr. Mark Cichon, Lifestar’s Medical Director, facilitated this learning opportunity by providing instruction and skills review using this cadaver. Each medical crewmember was able to perform the required skills in a realistic fashion that could only be accomplished using a human cadaver. The Lifestar crew felt that this experience far superseded that of an animal lab or previous experiences with preserved cadavers. We are grateful to the Biological Resource Center of Illinois for providing this learning opportunity. We also wholeheartedly appreciate the donation of our patient who recognized the importance of donation for medical education. The gift of ones own body is not to be taken lightly, and his sacrifice has helped our entire team in our educational pursuits. We appreciate that this donation will not only benefit us as individual professionals, but also our patients, and those that we teach. The ripple effect of such a sacrifice cannot be understated. Thank you to the Lifestar crew and to everyone at Biological Resource Center and Loyola who made this skills event a success! Candice Schaper, RN, BSN, CFRN, CCRN, PHRN Flight Nurse,Medical Education Coordinator Lifestar, Chicago Page 2

Our Programs Our Willed Body Donation Program When you call our office you will speak with one of our knowledgeable staff regarding all aspects of our program. *There is no cost to the family for the donation except for certified copies of the death certificate *Nearly anyone from 18 years of age up (no upper age limit) can donate including patients with cancer, organ/tissue donors, amputations, and autopsies *Exclusions are for infectious diseases (HIV, Hepatitis B & C, untreated MRSA & sepsis), orthopedic abnormalities, and height/weight criteria *The cremated remains are returned to the family within 30 days in an urn not card board box *Donor cremains may also be buried in our Memorial Garden at Elm Lawn Cemetery at no charge *We are available to speak with the family 24/7 *A consent and medical/social history must be completed *We accept donors from any geographic location across the state *We work with local licensed funeral service providers to arrange the transfer to us and legal paperwork Visit our website at: or call us at 847-698-5800 for more details.

Our Tissue Procurement Program Biological Resource Center’s mission is to provide your organization with the highest quality procured human tissue available by: * Having strict quality control procedures to maintain that we operate with the highest industry standards and that all tissue is recovered and procured the same way each and every time by our tissue procurement staff * Operating in accordance with the UAGA and all local, state and federal laws * Comprehensive Medical/Social history is obtained for each donor and is provided to the requestor * Standard Serology tests are taken and results are provided to the requestor for each segment of tissue provided * We have a Board Certified Licensed Pathologist serving as our Medical Director who oversees our screening processes to help secure the safest tissue * All tissue is prepared, packaged and transported under the IATA/DOT Dangerous Goods Regulations Tissue Assistance Service Coordinators (TASC™) Our highly trained Tissue Assistance Service Coordinators (TASC) will accompany shipped tissue to a specific location, receive the tissue, prepare and setup the tissue for your research or education course. Visit or call us at 847-698-5800 for more details.

From the Executive Directors Desk by Donald A. Greene, II Throughout the year the same question is proposed to us, “What makes BRC different than other programs in the US?” I am always excited when I am able to talk about what makes Biological Resource Center the best program in the country. This starts with our foundation which has over 50 years experience in whole body donation and funeral services. Being family owned and operated is a great way to assure quality control and customer service which is always the number one priority on both the donor service and medical service sides. We are the only donation to science program that is active in the Donate Life community out of all the programs in the US. This allows us to help education the public, raise awareness and register organ and tissue donors in Illinois and surrounding states. Each day we are reminded about how special and invaluable the gift of donation is to us and we continuously remind those medical researchers and educators that this is a gift and the proper respect must be given at all times. We have several funeral directors on our staff that are well informed with the laws that govern not only organ and tissue donation, but also those laws and regulations regarding end of life planning (obituaries, social security and burial). We are the only tissue bank in the country that owns and operates its own licensed crematory. Unfortunately, other tissue banks send tissue out and have no intent or care as to the final disposition or resting place of that tissue. All our medical researchers and educators are required to send back the tissue being utilized by them so it is properly cremated and buried unless an agreement is made with us by a local crematory that we have inspected and approved. All the cremated tissue used throughout the year is placed in our memorial garden. Having a small part of each of our donors, buried at the garden, is what makes that garden a magnificent place to fully appreciate and recognize the unparalleled gift of donation. New inscription on back of Memorial Wall

V olu m e 4 , I s s u e 3

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Illinois Eye Bank Helps Thousands Receive the Gift of Sight in 2011 Giving the gift of sight is such a wonderful legacy. Many of us take for granted the world that we “see” everyday. But imagine if you had been blind since birth or became blind during your lifetime, what would it mean to you to now have vision. You might see family members you never saw before, observe new things in our world or maybe just simply be able to read a book again. This is what thousands of patients receive each year through this gift. Last year in Illinois more than 2,000 generous donors gave the gift of sight through eye tissue donation. The recipients of these gifts range from newborn babies to those over 90 years of age. There were more than 2,700 cornea transplants in 2011 through the assistance of the Illinois Eye Bank. In addition, research and medical education using donated eye tissue helps to provide physicians and other staff involved in tissue procurement and transplant, the opportunity to keep their skills updated and learn new procedures and techniques. Eye tissue transplantation is one of the most successful types of transplants. Unlike organ transplant there is no need for tissue typing. And like some types of organ transplants we see where there can be a living donor (like kidney transplants) there is no opportunity for living donor eye tissue donation. The reasons people need eye tissue transplants include Fuch’s Dystrophy, Keratoconus, viral/fungal/bacterial infections and accidents to name just a few. Eye tissue transplantation was first performed in the early 1900’s making it the first type of successful transplant. You can give the gift of sight. Sign up to be an organ/tissue/eye tissue donor today! You can request additional copies, digital format or paper print, of this newsletter to be sent to you or a friend via mail or email at

Biological Resource Center of Illinois 9501 W. Devon, Suite 505 Rosemont, IL 60018 877-698-5855

newsletter 2012 issue 3  
newsletter 2012 issue 3