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Dear Friends: Welcome to our 2015 annual report/2016 calendar, “Hopes and Dreams Take Flight,” specifically those of children touched by organ, eye and tissue donation. For the transplant recipient, they’re the hopes and dreams realized thanks to the incredible generosity of the donor. For siblings and children of donors, they’re the hopes and dreams that can come true, even after unthinkable tragedy. And for those children who wait for a lifesaving transplant, it’s the hope that their dreams are within reach. The pages that follow tell the stories of remarkable children and their families, who overcame insurmountable odds. Our dual advocacy role – always advocating for the donor and the donor family, while doing all we can to optimize every gift to help as many people as possible – shines through in the faces you’ll meet in this calendar. Incredible generosity and hope, the expectation that good can come from any situation, always amazes us at LifeGift. We are beyond grateful to donors and donor families for making hopes and dreams come true for others. What also amazes us is how LifeGift continues to evolve into a vibrant and growing organization, thanks to our talented staff and supportive partners. In 2015, we made significant

strides in tissue donation and broke ground on a new training area and Communication Center for Donation. We are working towards developing bestin-class clinical training programs and expanded staffing. Additionally, LifeGift is making progress on the ability to evaluate our organ donor management effectiveness and participating in numerous research and innovation projects at the national level. As we look to 2016, we reflect on the advancement of our strategic plan. We are moving forward with improving our donation systems and critical authorization rates, while also focusing on research and education. We are actively creating partnerships in the living donation arena to offer more hope to those waiting for kidney transplants. Our hopes and dreams are for LifeGift to further impact our communities with improved organ, eye and tissue donation results to optimize every opportunity to benefit others through transplantation, medical therapy, research and education. None of this would be possible without the continued support and expert guidance of our Board of Directors, Ambassadors of Hope, Executive Leadership Team and dedicated staff. We invite you to hope and dream along with us. With warm regards, Kevin A. Myer, MSHA President and Chief Executive Officer

Roberta Schwartz, PhD, MHS Chair, Board of Directors



2015 Was a Record-Breaking Year in Tissue Donation

Tissue Donors*

Organs Recovered* Organ Donors*

when approached by LifeGift and asked to donate a loved one’s organs* *For fiscal year 2015: Oct. 1, 2014 to Sept. 30, 2015


Increase from 2014

910 266

Breakdown of Organs Recovered* Kidney 467 Heart 92 Liver


Lung 120 Pancreas 27 Small Intestine


Pancreas Islets



LifeGift Organs Transplanted Includes local and imported organs




Number of Lives Saved Across Three LifeGift Regions*

Breakdown of Organs Transplanted

Patients Waiting for Organ Transplants

LifeGift organs transplanted for calendar year 2014

Based on LifeGift waiting list as of Oct. 6, 2015 (numbers include those awaiting multiple organs)

Heart 144 Heart-Lung 3 Kidney 470 Kidney-Pancreas 24 Liver 255 Lung 138 Pancreas 4 Small Intestine 0

Heart 264 Heart-Lung 3 Kidney 4,085 Kidney-Pancreas 60 Liver 971 Lung 80 Pancreas 17 Small Intestine 1



Number of Organs Shared Outside the LifeGift Service Area

178 Houston, Fort Worth, Lubbock and Amarillo

*For fiscal year 2015: Oct. 1, 2014 to Sept. 30, 2015



2 6






4 8

1 732


1 11



3 1





1 1 11 2


Both the Houston and Fort Worth communities demonstrated their support of organ, eye and tissue donation during the Donate Life Texas 2nd Chance Runs. Although thunderstorms caused us to cancel the inaugural race in Houston only moments before the start time, the rain did not dampen spirits. In Fort Worth, more than 900 people participated in the 13th annual race, including three NBA mascots: Clutch, Champ and Coyote. We look forward to the races in 2016. For more information, visit

Donate Life Texas Registry Reaches 8 Million More than 8 million Texans have now signed up with the Donate Life Texas organ, eye and tissue donor registry. This growth is thanks to the steadfast support of passionate volunteers, health care professionals and donation advocates who know the lifesaving difference donor registration makes. Among these advocates are more than 2,000 employees of the Texas Department of Safety’s Driver License Division, who make joining the registry easy and convenient while applying for a Texas driver’s license.


“People register for all sorts of reasons,” says Suzy Miller, executive director of Donate Life Texas. “They know someone who has been touched by the need. They could be fascinated by the power of transplant medicine or just want to help others. Whatever the reason, those who register are truly heroic because their choice is the gift of hope and may give a second chance at life when nothing else can.” Finding new ways to educate and inspire people about donation is just as important as making it easy to sign up. The Donate Life Texas website offers interactive features that allow people to ask questions, announce their decision to register with personalized e-cards and social media, connect with others passionate about donation and even share their own Donate Life Stories. Donate Life Texas volunteers are now attending more events than ever, equipped with mobile technology that makes registering as fast as Scan. Click. Done!


of adults in Texas are registered organ, eye and tissue donors* *as of October 2015

8M 7M 6M 5M 4M 3M 2M 1M 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

Expansion to Offer More Hope to People Needing Lifesaving Transplants This past August, LifeGift broke ground and began building a new addition that will offer more hope to people needing organ and tissue transplants. Led by Jessica Leibold, LifeGift’s managing director of facilities and purchasing, the new 7,500-square-foot expansion will house a sophisticated call center, the Communication Center for Donation, previously known as the Donor Resource Center (DRC) – the 24/7 lifeline for organ and tissue donation. “Our talented staff who will work in this special place will help thousands of families experiencing the loss of a loved one by being the voice on the other end of the line, helping people at the worst time of their lives make a critical decision to save others,” said Kevin Myer, president and CEO of LifeGift. The state-of-the-art space will operate using clinical information system technology provided by Transplant Connect, allowing LifeGift to serve its transplant partners with better information-sharing capabilities.

Communication Center for Donation Hope starts in the LifeGift Communication Center for Donation (CCD), the 24/7 lifeline for organ, eye and tissue donation. The infographic below illustrates, on average, the number of calls received and made during 2015.


Calls per Month


In addition to an upgraded call center, the structure will include a new training area as well as space for AlloSource, our tissue processing partner, to make specialty tissue grafts more readily available for area hospitals and surgical centers. The expansion is slated to open the first half of 2016.

OUT BOUND Calls per Month

LifeGift leadership and Board of Director officers at the groundbreaking of the Communication Center for Donation in August. From left to right: R. Patrick Wood, M.D.; Kevin Myer; Sharyn Ivory; Pat Rubin; Roberta Schwartz; Matthew Girotto


Caleb Espinoza

Liver Recipient, March 21, 2013, and Son of Donor Texas Children’s Hospital, Houston, Texas

Alfredo Espinoza

Eye and Tissue Donor, September 22, 2014

JAN 2016

Caleb Espinoza, now 4, was just 18 months old when he received a lifesaving liver transplant. The following year, the Espinoza family saw the other side of organ and tissue donation. Caleb’s father, Alfredo, passed away unexpectedly – but his gift helped give eyesight to two people. “As we received the gift of life, we also gave the gift of life,” says Elsy, Alfredo’s wife and Caleb’s mother. “It’s the most rewarding gift anyone can give and receive.” Read the full story at:

sun mon tue wed thu fri


Alfredo Espinoza 1 2 New Year’s Day Tournament of Roses Parade (Donate Life Rose Parade Float)

3 4 5 6 7 8 9

10 11 12 13 14 15 16

17 18 19 20 21 22 23 Chevron Houston Marathon/ Aramco Houston Half-Marathon

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 NATIONAL BLOOD DONOR MONTH NATIONAL THANK YOU MONTH • 800.633.6562

Elif Yuskel

Future Heart Recipient Sugar Land, Texas

FEB 2016

Elif Yuskel, 7, is hoping for a heart that will allow her to run with her friends without getting tired so easily. Her parents, Fatma and Sancak, work hard to keep her happy and carefree. “No one should ever be on the waiting list,” Fatma says, through tears. She hopes that her family, as open-minded Muslims, will inspire people of all faiths to register as organ and tissue donors. Read the full story at:

sun mon tue wed thu fri


1 2 3 4 5 6 Groundhog Day

National Wear Red Day

7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Ash Wednesday

Lincoln’s Birthday

14 15 16 17 18 19 20 Valentine’s Day

Presidents’ Day

National Donor Day Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Day

21 22 23 24 25 26 27 Washington’s Birthday

28 29 • 800.633.6562

BLACK HISTORY MONTH NATIONAL HEART MONTH Feb. 14-20 – Random Acts of Kindness Week

Elise Babin

Liver Recipient, March 23, 2013 Texas Children’s Hospital, Houston, Texas

Julia Wardwell

Organ and Tissue Donor, March 23, 2013

MAR 2016

Elise Babin was only a few months old when she was placed on the waiting list for a new liver. It was nearly a year before she received the lifesaving gift from her donor angel, Julia Wardwell, 20, a mother and pediatric nursing student who longed to help children. Little did Julia know that her choice to register as a donor would save a little girl’s life. Thanks to Julia’s gift, Elise is now a happy 4-year-old. Read the full story at:

sun mon tue wed thu fri


Julia Wardwell 1 2 3 4 5

6 7 8 9 10 11 12

13 14 15 16 17 18 19 Daylight Saving Time Begins

St. Patrick’s Day

20 21 22 23 24 25 26 Palm Sunday Spring Begins

American Diabetes Alert Day

Good Friday

27 28 29 30 31 Easter

Doctors’ Day • 800.633.6562


Delton Crone

Kidney Recipient, February 15, 2012 Texas Children’s Hospital, Houston, Texas

Ian Heidemann

Organ, Tissue and Hand Donor, February 14, 2012

APR 2016

Delton was stuck in the hospital with no parents and a debilitating kidney condition. Foster parents Roger and Judy Crone had already raised five kids of their own, but they adopted Delton in 2011, while he was still waiting for a new kidney. In February 2012, they received the miracle that would keep their new family together. Months later, the Crones got to personally thank the family of Delton’s donor, 22-year-old Ian Heidemann – they are now close friends. Read the full story at:

sun mon tue wed thu fri


Ian Heidemann 1 2 April Fool’s Day

3 4 5 6 7 8 9 World Health Day

10 11 12 13 14 15 16 National Donate Life Blue & Green Day

Donate Life Texas 2nd Chance Run in Houston National Healthcare Decisions Day

17 18 19 20 21 22 23 Transplant Nurses Day

Passover Begins Earth Day

24 25 26 27 28 29 30 Administrative Professionals’ Day • 800.633.6562

Passover Ends

NATIONAL DONATE LIFE MONTH NATIONAL CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION MONTH Apr. 4-10 – National Public Health Week Apr. 10-16 – National Volunteer Week

Jenna, Faith and Audrey Martin Donor Family Hobbs, New Mexico

Caleb Martin

Organ and Tissue Donor, August 24, 2013

MAY 2016

Faith, 14, Jenna, 10, and Audrey Martin, 6, lost their big brother, Caleb, when he was only 15, but through the tragedy, they learned how to give back. Caleb’s parents, Clay and Joanna, knew he would’ve wanted to donate his organs and tissues – he often shared his lunch money to help other kids at school. Today, the sisters find their own ways to spread hope, volunteering through church, making cards for people and becoming friends with lonely classmates. Read the full story at:

sun mon tue wed thu fri


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Orthodox Easter

National Nurses Day

Cinco de Mayo National Day of Prayer

8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Donate Life Texas 2nd Chance Run in Fort Worth

Mother’s Day

15 16 17 18 19 20 21

22 23 24 25 26 27 28

29 30 31


Memorial Day

Caleb Martin • 800.633.6562

May 6-12 – National Nurses Week May 15-21 – National Police Week May 15-21 – National EMS Week

David “Davidcito” Rodriguez Brother of Donor Houston, Texas

Fernanda “Fergy” Rodriguez Tissue Donor, September 29, 2011

JUN 2016

David Rodriguez, 1, never met his big sister Fergy; she died tragically in a car accident before he was born. Fergy’s donated tissues helped up to 80 people, which helped her parents, David and Nancy, with the grieving process. Davidcito was born four years later, giving them the chance to be a mom and dad again. “He is not here to replace his sister,” Nancy says. “He is here to give us love and make us feel alive again.” Read the full story at:

sun mon tue wed thu fri


Fernanda “Fergy” Rodriguez 1 2 3 4

5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Ramadan Begins

Donate Life Transplant Games Cleveland, Ohio

12 13 14 15 16 17 18 Flag Day World Blood Donor Day

19 20 21 22 23 24 25 Father’s Day

Summer Begins

26 27 28 29 30 • 800.633.6562

Katelyn “Kate” Nalley

Heart Recipient, July 3, 2011 Texas Children’s Hospital, Houston, Texas

JUL 2016

Kate Nalley was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy in 2011 at 5 weeks old. A month later, she was blessed with a lifesaving heart. Kate, now 5, still feels sick sometimes, but she stays joyful through it all. When she grows up, she wants to have 10 kids and be a doctor. The Nalleys are grateful she’ll have the opportunity. Every year on Kate’s “heart birthday,” they release balloons in honor of Kate’s anonymous donor, who gave her that second chance at life. Read the full story at:

sun mon tue wed thu fri


1 2

3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Independence Day

Ramadan Ends

10 11 12 13 14 15 16

17 18 19 20 21 22 23

24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 July 10-20 – Every Community Has Opportunity (ECHO) • 800.633.6562

Christopher John “CJ” Cooper Twin Brother of Donor Crowley, Texas

Cash Cooper

Organ and Tissue Donor, July 15, 2014

AUG 2016

CJ and the Cooper family suffered heartbreak when CJ’s twin brother, Cash, died tragically at the age of 2. Even though the pain of their loss never subsides, the Coopers find comfort in knowing that Cash’s donation saved a life and that their son lives on in others. A happy, energetic 4-year-old today, CJ loves Mickey Mouse, “Star Wars” and hamburgers. Read the full story at:

sun mon tue wed thu fri


1 2 3 4 5 6

7 8 9 10 11 12 13 International Friendship Day

14 15 16 17 18 19 20

21 22 23 24 25 26 27

28 29 30 31

Cash Cooper

Aug. 1-7 – National Minority Donor Awareness Week • 800.633.6562

Justin Stout

Liver Recipient, March 31, 2015 Texas Children’s Hospital, Houston, Texas

SEP 2016

To Justin Stout, 14, hope means knowing something better is coming in the future. That includes one day attending Texas A&M University and eventually fighting cancer as an oncologist. However, none of these things would have been possible without the liver transplant that saved his life and is keeping him in the fight against his own cancer – acute lymphoblastic leukemia or ALL. That gift inspires Justin to stay positive, even with several rounds of chemotherapy ahead. Read the full story at:

sun mon tue wed thu fri


1 2 3

4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Labor Day

11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Grandparent’s Day

Hispanic Heritage Month Begins

National Day of Service and Remembrance

18 19 20 21 22 23 24 Fall Begins

25 26 27 28 29 30 • 800.633.6562

Carissa, Conner and Cooper Barnes Donor Family

Christopher “Toadbucket” Barnes Organ and Tissue Donor, January 13, 2007

OCT 2016

Conner Barnes and his 4-year-old brother Christopher were inseparable – until Christopher died in a 2007 car accident. But Christopher lives on as an organ and tissue donor who saved lives. And Conner, now 16, wasn’t alone for long. In 2009, his parents signed the papers to adopt Carissa, now 6; not long after, they found out they were pregnant with Cooper, also 6. Read the full story at:

sun mon tue wed thu fri


Christopher “Toadbucket” Barnes 1

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Rosh Hashanah Ends

Rosh Hashanah Begins

9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Columbus Day

Yom Kippur

Sweetest Day Hispanic Heritage Month Ends

16 17 18 19 20 21 22 National Bosses Day

National Make a Difference Day

23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31



Bethanie and Austin Boggs Children of Living Donor Weatherford, Texas

Kaci Lusk

Altruistic Living Kidney Donor, June 25, 2013

NOV 2016

Kaci Lusk is an altruistic living donor – she volunteered to give her kidney to a total stranger. Because of her selfless gift, her children now have a new definition of hope and a desire to carry on their mother’s legacy of helping others. Austin, 16, hopes to become a forensic anthropologist, and Bethanie, 13, dreams of becoming a nurse. For Kaci and her children, caring for others runs in the family. Read the full story at:

sun mon tue wed thu fri


Kaci Lusk 1 2 3 4 5 All Saints’ Day

All Souls’ Day

6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Daylight Saving Time Ends

Election Day

Veterans Day

13 14 15 16 17 18 19

20 21 22 23 24 25 26 Thanksgiving

27 28 29 30 NATIONAL DIABETES MONTH Advent Begins

Giving Tuesday


Jensen, Jaron and Ameena Cruz Children of Heart Valve Recipient & LifeGift Organ Placement Specialist Houston, Texas

DEC 2016

Jaron, 12, Jensen, 5, and Ameena Cruz, 2, have been impacted by LifeGift in more ways than one. Their dad, Rodney, an organ placement specialist, is a tissue recipient. He received an aortic valve and ascending aorta replacement in 2015. Their mother, Maria, works as a radiation therapist at MD Anderson Cancer Center. Clearly, Rodney and Maria set an amazing example for their children. “As long as you hope,” Jaron says, “you can do almost anything.” Read the full story at

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1 2 3

4 5 6 7 8 9 10

11 12 13 14 15 16 17

18 19 20 21 22 23 24 Winter Begins

Christmas Eve Hanukkah Begins

25 26 27 28 29 30 31 Christmas

Kwanzaa Begins

New Year’s Eve • 800.633.6562

Grants and Contributions LifeGift’s Board of Directors and staff wish to express sincere appreciation to the following individuals and organizations that generously contributed to our programs in 2015. A & B Lawn and Garden AlloSource Anonymous donor families The Barnes family BMP Robert Boudwin and friends Charles Schwab CHI St. Luke’s Health – Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center Community Tissue Services Cook Children’s Health Care System CryoLife Cytonet Diabetes Research & Wellness Foundation The Dubose family ExxonMobil Foundation Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center

Houston Methodist J.C. Walter Jr. Transplant Center IRONMAN Foundation, Inc. Mike and Berni Elder Million Air Nick Plummer and family Nora’s Home Organ Recovery Systems Red Boot Foundation Rhoads Insurance State Farm Good Neighbor Citizenship Program Texas Children’s Hospital Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth TEXR Foundation Transplant Connect The Van der Linden Family Foundation

Gone But Not Forgotten Our Ambassadors of Hope carry messages of strength, courage and joy. And when they depart from this earth, their legacies still shine brightly. LifeGift honors the memories of those we’ve recently lost: Mary Frugé Willie “Willie T.” Thornton Frank Rocha Yolanda “YoYo” Johnson Marlon Jackson Tyler D. Nelson Twana Thomas Schulz We also would like to remember baby Catherine Barnes, who passed away shortly before the publication of this calendar.

Hopes & Dreams Take Flight We are proud to share with you these hopes and dreams. Please make sure to visit our website,, for a more in-depth look at this year’s calendar participants. There you will find additional photos and will learn more about the participants’ “hopes and dreams.”

Share Your Story Do you have a story of hope that you would like to share on our website? Please visit to submit the details, along with a photograph of you or your loved one.

2015 Board of Directors

Executive Leadership Team

Roberta Schwartz, PhD, MHS

Patricia Rubin, CPA


Sharyn Ivory, FACHE

Kevin A. Myer, MSHA President and Chief Executive Officer Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer


R. Patrick Wood, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Matthew Girotto, MHA, MHR

Chief Medical Officer


David Staley, SPHR/SCP

Kristen Turner, RN, MBA

Senior Managing Director of Human Resources and Organizational Development


Kevin A. Myer, MSHA Stacy Bacon, M.D. Robert Boudwin Nancy C. Cychol Tom Flanagan, RN, BSN, MA, LP John Graham, M.D., D. Min Jenifer Jarriel, MBA Edward Kuntz George Mallory Jr., M.D. Joseph Prosser, M.D. Steve Sanders, MS Adriana Valencia, CPRC

Kimberly Davis, RN, CPTC, CTBS Managing Director of Donation Systems

Laura Frnka-Davis, BS, APR Director of Communications

Jerry Dunn, Six Sigma Green Belt Managing Director of Information Systems

Ron Ehrle, RN, BSN, CPTC Managing Director, North Region

Justin Johnson, RN, BSN, CPTC Managing Director, West Region

Jessica C. Leibold Managing Director of Facilities and Purchasing



Barclay Berdan, FACHE Edward K. Massin, M.D. Ruth Schiermeyer Lawrence Schkade, PhD

Senior Managing Director of Tissue Services and Communication Center Operations

Thank You LifeGift thanks Ralph Lauer for his generous contribution of photography throughout the 2016 calendar.

SchawntĂŠ Williams-Taylor, RN, BSN, CCRN, CPTC Managing Director of Clinical Operations, Southeast Region

to all our donor families and supporters for making hopes and dreams come true for others

800.633.6562 North 1701 River Run, Suite 300 Fort Worth, TX 76107 817-870-0060 817-870-2073 fax Southeast 2510 Westridge St. Houston, TX 77054 713-523-4438 713-737-8100 fax West 5812 64th St. Lubbock, TX 79424 806-798-5568 806-798-5572 fax

Register to become a donor at

 Pictured on the cover: Christopher John “CJ” Cooper

Register to become a donor at

Profile for LifeGift

2016 LifeGift Calendar (English)  

LifeGift's 2015 annual report / 2016 calendar, "Hopes & Dreams Take Flight" features the stories of children touched by organ and tissue don...

2016 LifeGift Calendar (English)  

LifeGift's 2015 annual report / 2016 calendar, "Hopes & Dreams Take Flight" features the stories of children touched by organ and tissue don...

Profile for lifegift

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