The need for organs is vastly greater than the number available for transplantation.
National Transplant Waiting List as of June 2021
Based on Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) Data
11% 86% are waiting for a liver
are waiting for a kidney
A STAGGERING 86% ARE WAITING FO R A KIDNEY AND 11% FOR A LIVER. THAT’S 97% OF THE WAITING LIST THAT COULD BE TRANSPLANTE D NOW THROUGH LIVING ORGAN DONATION.
P RO F E S SIONAL EDU CATI O N - N EW ON D E M AND W E BI NAR S AVAI L ABL E CHOON H. DAVI D K WO N, M D, PH D DIR E C TO R O F LA PA R O S C O PIC LIVE R SURG E RY P R O F E S S O R O F S U R G E RY, CLE VE LAND CLINIC L A PA R O S C O P I C D O N O R L I V E R SURG E RY – S AV I N G L I V ES WI TH L ES S PAIN
A MI T K . MATHU R, MD LIV ER T R A N S P LA N T S U R G EO N, MAYO CLINIC P H O E N IX , A R IZO N A S TR ATEG I ES TO I N C R EAS E D O NAT IO N A M O N G U N D ER S ER V ED P O PUL AT IO NS
T HE LIVING B ANK PROGRA MS THE POWER OF LIFE: LIVING ORGAN DONOR AWARENESS Provides public education on living donation to allow communities to make informed health decisions. INDEPENDENT LIVING DONOR ADVOCACY (ILDA ) Serves the Texas Medical Center transplant programs and other transplant centers throughout the U.S. via telehealth. Our licensed clinical transplant social workers serve as ILDAs to promote the best interests of living donors to ensure their decision is informed and free from coercion. INDEPENDENT LIVING DONOR ADVOCATE NETWORK™ (ILDAN™) Provides professional development and continuing education credit to nurses, social workers and other ILDA health professionals in transplant centers across the nation.
is to eliminate the shortage of organs for lifesaving transplants by being a trusted education resource for living organ donation and the leading provider of advocacy services for living donors.
MY NAME IS JASON SHEFFIELD AND I NEED A LIVING KIDNEY DONOR. THIS IS MY STORY. I have always felt a call to service, in some form or fashion, since I was a young man. After high school I joined the Iola Volunteer Fire Department (rural Grimes County, Texas) and served as a firefighter for seven years, an emergency medical tech (EMT) for four and ambulance driver for two. During that time, I attended Texas A&M University, studying Business Analysis, and Fire Science at Blinn Junior College. In addition to my studies and working as a first responder, I took a job at a local computer store. The experience laid the groundwork for my eventual career in technology. I have served in multiple roles with various Fortune 500 tech companies over the years; from supporting the help desk and providing network security administration, to working as a sales engineer with IBM and Netskope. In 1999 I married my incredible wife of twentytwo years and I’ve had the blessing of knowing her since the young age of fifteen. We have three amazing kids, ages eighteen, fourteen and nine. The years have bustled with family life and various volunteer activities along the way. Among others I’ve had the pleasure to serve as a local and district level Boy Scout leader, participate as an active board member for our neighborhood swim team and more recently serving as the swim team’s computer manager. About ten years ago, my health problems began when I developed clots behind both knees. As the saying goes, “when it rains, it pours.” At the time, my youngest son had just been born and at two-months old he contracted respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and had to be taken by ambulance, from his pediatrician’s office to Texas Children’s Hospital NICU. That day my back had been hurting and became progressively worse but, as any parent understands, my son was my number one priority. Once he was admitted my wife and I traveled to the other side of town to pick up our other two children. As we were driving, my pain became so excruciating that we had to stop at a hospital on the
way. After receiving pain medication and undergoing several scans, they told me I was suffering from a kidney stone and sent me home to recover. Later that week, I followed up with my physician and my lab results came back with abnormal kidney function. A kidney biopsy followed, and I was diagnosed with kidney disease, specifically Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis (FSGS). If you are not familiar with the effects of kidney disease, also referred to as end stage renal disease (ESRD), you can think of the kidneys as coffee filters. The filters work when they are fresh and fully intact. My kidneys had tears in their “fabric,”and they could not sufficiently filter my blood. When this happens your kidneys slowly begin to shut down. For me, the complete shutdown was gradual and took about ten years to occur. During that time, I was put on an extremely high dose of Prednisone, a common anti-inflammatory drug. The unexpected side effects were brutal. Eighteen months on Prednisone caused excessive weight gain, medically induced diabetes and extreme mood swings, among a host of other health issues. There have been many days when I was so ill I could barely make it out of bed. Even so, I was always seeking ways to live my healthiest life. This well-meaning intention compelled me to spend the first half of 2019 eating vegan. At the time I did not realize the absence of animal protein was one of the worst things I could have done to my body. When managing kidney disease, it is important to work with a good nutritionist who can help you navigate the dietary needs brought on by your disease. My kidneys eventually failed in August 2019. I was summarily put on the national transplant
waiting list and forced to go on dialysis. The average wait time for someone with my Type A Blood was three to five years. I began peritoneal dialysis at home, but it could not adequately clean the toxins from my blood either. This caused fluid retention that led to high blood pressure. After trying six different, high dose blood pressure medications my blood pressure remained high. In the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic I wound up in the emergency room and was subsequently admitted to the hospital. It turns out I had contracted pneumonia. A week later I was transported by ambulance to a hospital with available ICU beds due to breathing difficulties and uncontrolled blood pressure of 212/140. At that level you can easily have a stroke or heart attack. A doppler scan of my heart revealed I was in heart failure. Of course, that news caused me to panic even more. During the ten-day ICU stay, my doctors switched me over to hemodialysis and I went through five sessions of dialysis. This process removed roughly 20 pounds of fluid from my body. Once that happened, my blood pressure dropped to 130/70, I could breathe much easier and my heart
function returned to normal levels. I have since been able to keep my blood pressure in a safe range, but it means I must go to a dialysis clinic three days a week for five-hour treatments each visit. In 2020 I had two willing donors selflessly come forward to be evaluated. Unfortunately, one was not a match and my other donor serendipitously found out he had heart disease, excluding him from donation. The way I see it, because of his generosity, his condition was discovered, and he is now getting the treatment he otherwise would not have received. That is God watching over the both of us. Despite my illness, I still manage to have quality time with my family and achieve 100% of my work sales quota. I often get asked how I’m coping and if I’m depressed or frustrated. Honestly, I have managed to maintain a good attitude throughout because the alternative doesn’t do anyone any good! I can only take one day at a time, and I believe a positive mindset is a huge component in the healing process. During this ongoing, challenging journey I continue to be humbled by the love and support of my family, friends and colleagues.
I am still searching for a living kidney donor. If you know anyone that has A +/- Blood Type, no history of high blood pressure or heart disease please contact a Baylor St. Luke’s Kidney Transplant Representative at 832-355-4100 or toll free at 877-685-0361. The Living Bank first met Jason Sheffield after he set up a GoFundMe fundraiser, unbeknownst to us, in December 2020. It was a complete shock when the PayPal Giving Fund, in partnership with GoFundMe, notified us that we had a large grant being deposited in our account. We set out on social media to track him down and finally connected through LinkedIn. We want to express our gratitude for his generous spirit and that of his family and friends. Jason’s fundraiser raised close to $14,000 for The Living Bank!
On Jason’s GoFundMe page he wrote the following; “I am supporting Livingbank.org because they are doing great work on behalf of individuals in desperate need of a transplant. There are so many people who are in need and far worse off than me. I hope you can help support Livingbank.org and spread the word. I hope that my story has provided a glimpse into the world of kidney disease and if you are someone facing similar issues, please reach out and say hello. We can get through this.” – Jason Sheffield
The Living Bank’s office is in Houston, Texas, located within miles of The Texas Medical Center (TMC), the largest medical complex in the world. Since 2009 we have had the rare opportunity to locally serve four world class transplant programs. This foundation led us to serving out-of-state live donor programs via telehealth. Twelve years ago, The Living Bank had one Independent Living Donor Advocate (ILDA) on staff. Today we have a team of transplant social workers with extensive experience working with living organ donors and transplant recipients. The Living Bank offers an optimal choice, a fully independent living donor advocate, from outside the transplant program, to protect the best interests of the living donor, ensuring their decision to donate is informed and free from coercion. WE CUSTOM IZE OU R S ER V I C E S C O P E BAS ED ON T HE UN I Q U E
T HE L IVING BANK’ S UNIQ UE M O D E L E NSURE S IND E PE ND E NT L IVING D O NO R ADVO C ACY FO R PAT IE NT S.
N EEDS OF E ACH T R A N S P L A N T PRO GR AM W E SE R V E.
TELEHE ALT H ILDA S ER V I C ES . TR A N S L ATI O N SE RVIC E S . O N- C AL L 24/ 7
SHELLEY SPECTOR, LCSW, CCTSW DIRECTOR OF SOCIAL WORK SERVICES has served as a social worker for 24 years. She began her career as a neonatal intensive care and labor and delivery social worker and has dedicated the past 12 years of her career to transplant. Shelley has experience across all organ groups and facilitates support groups for both transplant patients and their caregivers. Shelley joined The Living Bank in 2014 and leads our team of independent living donor advocates (ILDA).
SHARON COPLON, LMSW ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF SOCIAL WORK SERVICES has been a social worker for 23 years and spent most of her career in the mental health field counseling children, family and adults. After a break in her career to raise her two children, she joined The Living Bank in 2016.
STEPHANIE OSTROSKY, LCSW has served as a social worker for 25 years. She began her work in transplant at MD Anderson Cancer Center-TMC, serving stem cell transplant patients and their caregivers. Stephanie joined The Living Bank in the summer of 2018.
JAN TAYLOR, LCSW, CCTSW began a second career in social work 28 years ago. She spent her first 16 years as a social worker serving hospice patients and their families. For the next 10 years she worked in the hospital setting with heart and lung transplant patients. Jan joined The Living Bank in the spring of 2018.
REBECCA ROSALEZ, LCSW-S, CCTSW is bilingual (English/Spanish) and has been a social worker for over 17 years. She began her career as an emergency psychiatric clinical social worker and then transitioned to transplant, serving in both lung and kidney transplant. Rebecca joined The Living Bank in the summer of 2018.
JOY GAYLE, LCSW-S, ACM-SW has served as a social worker for over 30 years. She began her career in the Texas Medical Center, working in a wide variety of practice areas ranging from emergency room trauma to out-patient dialysis settings. Joy joined the Living Bank in December of 2021.
ILDASE RVICE S@ LIV I N G BA N K . O R G . 8 0 0. 5 2 8 . 29 71 . WWW.L IVING BANK.O RG
Silver Linings: My Journey to the World of Transplant -Shelley Spector
During my early twenties, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. As I watched her go through surgery and chemotherapy, I saw how much kindness and compassion came from the nurses, doctors, social workers and other members on her medical team. My desire to be a social worker was born from her heartbreaking cancer journey and the support provided by her team. I wanted to go into a profession that would serve and comfort those navigating their own medical journeys and provide support to their loved ones and caregivers. I first began as a social worker in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and then transitioned over to labor and delivery. I saw the pure joy of parents seeing their newborn babies thrive and the sorrow of those parents watching their newborn babies struggle with physical challenges most of us can’t begin to imagine. During this time, I experienced the grief of multiple pregnancy losses and found it too emotional to continue my work with moms and babies. The silver lining in this was my eventual move to transplant, an area of social work I love and continue to work in today. I started out working on the liver transplant team serving incredibly sick patients waiting for a transplant. Additionally, I worked with those who had received their transplant but needed lifetime care and monitoring to ensure their health and that of their new liver. During my tenure I would often help the kidney transplant team and interview young adults with Type 1 diabetes. Many had struggled with their illness since they were young children and were now faced
with managing kidney disease caused by their Type 1 diabetes. I felt a connection and could relate because I too had Type 1 diabetes and my young daughter had also been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when she was only five years old. It was difficult to work with these beautiful young people because I couldn’t help imagining what my daughter might go through in the future. Even so, I found my work immensely rewarding. Then an opportunity came along to work with living organ donors. I jumped at the chance to build on my transplant background and work with this completely different group of transplant patients. Most significantly, these were healthy individuals who chose to have a surgery they didn’t need. Their willingness to have a perfectly healthy organ removed and give it to another human being continues to be a humbling experience. Living donors remind me there is much good in our fellows. I feel incredibly fortunate to work in a field where kindness and empathy shine through. As I reflect on my twentyfour years as a social worker, I am reminded that there are silver linings in countless life experiences. Trudging through my own difficult times and being a witness to others’ struggles and joys ultimately led me to my career in transplant social work. My experiences provided me with layers of compassion and empathy. These gifts have evolved over time allowing me an even greater capacity to effectively support the transplant patients I serve.
Shelley Spector is a licensed clinical social worker and a certified clinical transplant social worker. She serves as The Living Bank’s Director of Social Work Services and has been an independent living donor advocate for the past eight years.
Joan S. Anderson, The Living Bank Co-Founder
JOAN S. ANDERSON
dedicated mother, clinical psychologist, and co-founder* of The Living Bank passed away at home in Houston with family beside her on Thursday, the 7th of January 2021. *Joan was predeceased by The Living Bank’s other four co-founders, Louise Johnson, Glen Karsten, Esther Phillips and Louise Robertson
Born in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1933 to the late Leonhard Naef Scheuermann and Laura Barelli McCarnes, she grew up surrounded by her large, warm extended family in a house filled with lots of good food and inspiring conversation. Joan graduated from Louise S. McGehee School in 1950 and received her BA from Sophie Newcomb College in 1954 and her PhD from the University of Houston in 1969. In her clinical practice, she specialized in child, family, and forensic psychology. She served as president of both the Texas Psychological Association (1977) and the Houston Psychological Association (1979), and was appointed by Gov. William P. Clements to the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists (1980-1985). She was also a Clinical Associate Professor in the Dept. of Psychiatry at the Baylor College of Medicine where she lectured and supervised students (1985-retirement). Professionally, Joan was known for her integrity and clarity of thought. Generosity was a cornerstone of Joan’s life, and she supported numerous charitable causes. In 1968, Joan, together with four friends, saw the necessity to educate and engage the general public concerning the critical demand for organ and tissue donations. This need drove these five ladies to co-found The Living Bank, the nation’s first organ donor registry. In 1954, Joan married Frank C. Anderson, Jr. of New Orleans, and the couple raised their two children in Houston in a nurturing home reminiscent of the one in which Joan had thrived as a child. A wonderful cook and mother, Joan was a role model to many and the rock of their extended family. She loved having family to care for, including opening her home to over 20 relatives during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Years after her divorce, Joan was fortunate to find love again with Daniel Lockwood McGurk. The couple married in 2013, and Joan moved to Newport Beach, California, where she welcomed Dan’s seven adult children and their families into her heart and life. Joan was predeceased by her loving husband Dan, and is survived by her siblings, Peggy Baggett and Lenny Scheuermann; her ex-husband, Frank C. Anderson, Jr.; her children, Clay Anderson (Lauri) and Mollie Whisler (Scott); her grandchildren, Elise, Bryn, and Austin; and many other beloved family and friends.
2021 W TG WO R LD T R A N S P LA N T GAME S
thank you team!
Wood Family: Patrick, Charles, William, Kathleen, John Thomas, and Pat Wood
THANKS TO OUR AWESOME BOARD MEMBER AND LIVING KIDNEY DONOR, KATHLEEN WOOD, ALONG WITH HER FAMILY AND FRIENDS, THE LIVING BANK RECEIVED GOLD MEDALS IN THREE CATEGORIES: BEST TEAM FUNDRAISER, LARGEST NUMBER OF TEAM PARTICIPANTS AND TEDDY BEAR TREND SETTERS.
THE LIVING BANK TEAM, TEXAS HEROES, LIVING PROOF, HAD THE LARGEST TEAM IN THE WORLD WITH 161 PARTICIPANTS!
Rachel Godleski & John Thomas Wood
Barbara Ryder, Mother of Kathleen Wood
Jack Hachtman at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley
A BIG SHOUT OUT TO MARK BISCONE, OUR BOARD CHAIR AND LIVING KIDNEY DONOR, AND THE TEAM MEMBERS HE RECRUITED THROUGH ACHE-SOUTHEAST TEXAS CHAPTER.
Cornelius Cornell, ACHE member
Brandan Motiuk, ACHE member
Mark Biscone, ACHE ED, Living Kidney Donor
“The WTG were important to me this year because of the unique ability to get more people involved due to the virtual aspect. I felt like this was a great way to spread the word about organ donation and to educate others on the beautiful gift of life that can be given. Family and friends have been incredibly supportive of us and I’m so thankful for their involvement! I loved being able to participate in this 5K as a family, and watching William zoom around on his scooter was the best!” – Kathleen Wood
Erin Conley & Chris Carillo
Steve Ryder paddle boarding
Subbu Venkat, living kidney donor to his wife and Gold Medalist
NEW SHOP ITEM: CUSTOM DESIGNED LIVER TIE STRAIGHT FROM THE LONE STAR STATE
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T R A N S P L A N T CA R E G I V E R S O N LY SUPPORT GROUP EVERY SE COND TH U R S DAY O F TH E M O N TH 11AM - 12P M PLE ASE CONTAC T I N F O @ N O R AS H O M E. O R G FO R ZOOM LOGI N D ETA I L S
CAREGIVER VIRT UAL SUPPORT GROUP FACILITATORS
S H ELLE Y S PE C TOR, LCS W, C C T SW
S H AR ON COPLON, LMSW
DIREC TOR OF SOC I A L WO R K S ER V I C ES -
ASSO C IAT E D IRE C TO R O F SO C IAL WO RK
THE LIVING B ANK
SE RVIC E S - T HE L IVING BANK
THE LIVING BANK STAFF
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
KELLY PERDUE President and CEO
MARK J. BISCONE, PhD, CHAIRMAN ACHE SouthEast Texas Chapter Living Kidney Donor
J. STEVE BYNON JR., MD, FACS Memorial Hermann-TMC
CATHLEEN THOMAS Director of Programs TERESA RADOSTI Development Specialist
JOSH TABIN, VICE CHAIRMAN Liongard KATHLEEN WOOD, SECRETARY Mother and Homemaker Living Kidney Donor
SALIL V. DESHPANDE, MD, MBA UnitedHealthcare of Texas DAVID M. GREGORY, JD Locke Lord LLP AYKE HOPPENREIJS Baylor College of Medicine Living Kidney Recipient DEBORAH MAURER, MBA, RN Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center DIESA SAMP, MHA, BSN, RN, CCTC Texas Children’s Hospital
S I M P L E WAYS TO MA K E A GI FT TO T H E L IV I NG BANK
A SPIRIT OF GIVING
Below are suggested gift types that can be given now during your lifetime, or set up as a planned gift to The Living Bank. 1. Gifts of Cash: This is the simplest and easiest way for you to make a gift. You will receive a charitable tax deduction providing you with potential savings on the same year’s tax return. 2. Gifts of Stocks and Bonds: A gift of your appreciated securities, including your stocks and bonds, is easy to make. You could avoid capital gains taxes that would otherwise be due if you sold them directly. Contact us to facilitate. 3. Gifts of Retirement Assets: A gift of your IRA, 401(k), 403(b), pension or other tax-deferred plan is an excellent, simple way to make a gift. This allows you to enjoy your current income, and to still support the mission of The Living Bank as a named beneficiary. If you are over age 70½, you can make a tax-free transfer from an IRA directly to The Living Bank now. 4. Gifts of Property: A gift of real estate or other appreciated property such as a home, vacation property, vacant land, farmland, mineral rights, commercial property, collectible or jewelry can make an excellent choice to offset a potential capital gains tax. 5. Gifts of Insurance Policies: This gift can be made outright for cash value, or by naming The Living Bank as beneficiary. If your life insurance policy is no longer needed, or will no longer benefit your survivors, consider a transfer of ownership to The Living Bank of your paid-up policy. Talk to your financial advisor or attorney about ways to create a meaningful way to help us continue to serve the living organ donor community through your estate. The Living Bank is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization – Tax ID 74-1607315
The LIVING BANK 4545 Post Oak Place Suite 340
HELP US CONT I NUE TO SAVE L I VE S SUPPORT THE LIVING BANK ALL YEAR WITH A GIFT OF
Houston, TX 77027
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THE LIVING BANK IS
GRATEFUL FOR OUR MANY SUPPORTERS.
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