The Living Bank - Winter Newsletter 2020

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The need for organs is vastly greater than the number available for transplantation.

113,153 National Transplant Waiting List as of November 2020

Based on Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) Data


11% 86% are waiting for a liver

are waiting for a kidney








Our Mission

Advancing living organ donation to confront the critical shortage of organ donors needed for lifesaving transplants.

As I write you, I think of the incredible challenges we have experienced during these unprecedented times. We are coming upon a new year where the spirited human nature propels us toward the promise of the future. This year compelled The Living Bank to work differently, smarter, and to forge new partnerships. During such times, a break in the clouds, an unforeseen prospect, brings much to be grateful for— that is especially true for The Living Bank. The Living Bank is excited to share the expansion of our Independent Living Donor Advocate (ILDA) services through the use of telehealth. In the last six months, we partnered with several new transplant centers from Galveston and Austin, Texas to Hollywood, Florida. We also collaboratively connected with other non-profits that champion living organ donation. One of these encounters led us to Travis Langlois, the founder of Donor Support Foundation. Travis donated a kidney, and five years later, he donated a lobe of his liver! We highlight his truly remarkable story in the following pages. The Living Bank is fortunate to serve and promote living organ donation through our public and professional education programs and our independent living donor advocate services. Through our work, we marvel at the lifesaving gift of living organ donation and the renewal of life. We could not do this without your support. As you plan your year-end giving please consider a gift to The Living Bank.

With thanksgiving,

Kelly Perdue President and CEO


“Although the donation was anonymous, the amazing feeling of knowing I was able to give six people their lives back made me want to donate again.”

Travis Langlois Founder, Donor Support Foundation

photo by Sylvia A. Thompson

In early 2012, I found myself picking up and moving to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to take care of my grandmother. I got completely hooked on Grey’s Anatomy. By summer of 2012 I had made my way to season five episode five, ‘There’s no ‘I’ in team.’ If you’re not familiar with the show, this episode involved a non-directive altruistic kidney chain transplant. Realizing how many people are on the national transplant list, got me thinking. I did some research and before I knew it, I was going through dozens of tests and getting paired. Pairing took a bit longer, but we were able to set up a six person nondirective altruistic kidney chain donation. Although the donation was anonymous, the amazing feeling of knowing I was able to give six people their lives back made me want to donate again. Once I healed, I asked my transplant coordinator if there were any other organs I could donate. I learned that a lobe of your liver is the next most common organ donated through living donation.

“I think sometimes people need to be reminded there is good in the world, for no other reason than to be good.”

Travis Langlois family

Photo by Travis Calvert

I was cautioned that the surgery was more invasive. Knowing that the liver regenerates 90-95 percent of its original size within six to eight weeks of donation, for both the donor and the recipient, was miraculous to me. I waited the recommended five years and started making calls. I discovered most transplant centers don’t allow nondirective altruistic liver donation and generally do not approve a donor to donate more than one organ. A double donation is rare — less than 50 people in the nation have donated more than one organ over the past 25 years, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS). In 2019, I flew to Cleveland Clinic and underwent dozens of tests again. After three days, I was cleared to donate a lobe of my liver and surgery was set a few weeks after. Both my donations were done anonymously. I think sometimes people need to be reminded there is good in the world, for no other reason than to be good. I was also fortunate enough to have both surgeries done completely laparoscopic. With the laparoscopic robotic surgery, scarring and healing time are dramatically reduced. I quickly realized this would be the last opportunity to be a living donor. It was then the idea for Donor Support Foundation was hatched. Having several weeks off from work provided plenty of time to build a foundation. During the last three months of 2019, Donor Support Foundation was taken from an idea to a full-fledged national nonprofit organization. We built a board of directors for oversight, established corporate partners, received multiple national accreditations and created a trademarked brand. In the year since being founded, DSF has grown to offer assistance with housing, financial aid, transportation, AfterCare, education, advocacy and scholarships to living organ donors nationwide. We manage this through partnerships with fellow non-profits, hospitals, businesses and local cities. Our goal is to establish a comprehensive nationwide network for living organ donors. We have begun calling it the Enso Initiative. Named after our logo, the Enso Infinity. This logo combines principles of both the enso and infinity symbols to represent a single imperfect moment of continuous growth. This network would have one secure application and the donor would be informed of what aid they will receive. Never getting denied and never having to spend countless hours searching for aid. This approach will help partner foundations as well, by reducing acquisition costs and expanding their potential donor base. The program has so much potential, not just for living organ donors, but for all of the transplant recipients waiting. Increasing awareness and education on organ transplantation is a crucial aspect of the initiative.

Of course, the dream is to find ourselves in a wait list free world. As lofty as it may be, the Enso Initiative is a huge first step. Building a network of hospitals, nonprofits and small businesses with shared resources and communication has the potential to change living organ donation entirely. In order to reach a wait list free world we must reach more people, educate more and advocate harder. All of these will be direct effects of the Enso Initiative. We can only achieve these goals by working together for the greater good.


WE WOULD LOVE FOR YOU TO JOIN THE LIVING BANK TEAM TEXAS HEROES, LIVING PROOF. To register: racegroups/93112?groupName=exas+Heroes%2C+Living+Proof

THE VIRTUAL RACE The Harris County – Houston Sports Authority is proud to present the 2021 World Transplant Games 5K AnyWay Virtual Race, benefiting the World Transplant Games Federation. This virtual global event hopes to virtually unite transplant survivors, donors, and supporters.

WHAT IS A 5K ANYWAY? It’s a unique opportunity for you to complete a 5K AnyWay you like! Run, walk, swim, bike, row – the option is yours! Complete your activity anytime from Saturday, May 28th through Friday, June 5th. After finishing your 5K post your time on the link provided and watch as we make our way around the world! We just ask that you have fun, share pictures of your adventure and help us spread the word of the importance of transplant donors.

PROCEEDS All donations are benefiting transplanted children to help them get active and be part of the award-winning Fit for Life! global program through the World Transplant Games Federation’s charitable arm.

Now let’s go 5K AnyWay! Help us celebrate the gift of life AnyWay you wish.

2020 ILDAN WEBINARS 1.29.20 Swaytha Ganesh, MD, Liver Transplant Program at UPMC Changing the Paradigm: Living-Donor

4.17.20 Katrina Bramstedt, PhD, Cedars Sinai Transplant COVID-19: Duty to Care & Duty to Share 4.21.20 Sonny Mullen, Help Hope Live Help Hope Live: Your Guide to Medical Fundraising 5.6.20 Joseph S. Galati, MD, FAASLD, FACG, Houston Methodist COVID-19 and Transplant: Real World Experiences

T HE LIVING BANK PROGRAMS ADVOCATES FOR LIFE THE POWER OF LIFE: LIVING ORGAN DONOR AWARENESS Provides education on living donation to allow communities to make informed health decisions. INDEPENDENT LIVING DONOR ADVOCACY (ILDA) Serves the Texas Medical Center transplant centers and distant site locations 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.

DAN McGURK 1926 - 2020

Dan Lockwood McGurk passed away at his home in Newport Beach on September 3, 2020 at the age of 94 of natural causes. Dan was born in Eufaula, Alabama and lived his early life in Eufaula, London, Argentina, and Connecticut. He went on to receive a degree in Engineering from Texas A&M and then graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1949. He was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University where he received degrees in Economics, Philosophy and Political Science. In 1956, Dan left military service and began a decades-long career in the nascent computer industry, first with TRW and eventually with Scientific Data Systems. In 1971, Dan retired to become a full-time investor and entrepreneur. In 1975, he was asked to join then President Ford’s administration as an assistant director in the Office of Management Budget, a position he kept until President Carter took office. In 1985, Dan co-founded Southland Title (now Lawyers Title) with family friend, David Cronenbold, and went on to serve as Chairman of the Board for the next 20 years. Dan believed in being a strong contributing member of his community. He held positions in a number of southern California non-profit organizations, with a focus on helping disadvantaged youth become leaders. He also set up a family non-profit 501(c)(3), The McGurk Foundation, dedicated to supporting self-sufficiency among young people in need. Above all, Dan was a family man. At 94, Dan had lived a life filled with service, new technology, adventure and family. He is survived by his loving wife, Dr. Joan Anderson McGurk. Joan is one of the five trailblazing women who established The Living Bank. With his spirit of giving and generosity, The Living Bank is able to continue the good work she and the other founding members envisioned over 52 years ago.

IN MEMORY OF benefactors we have lost this year. We are thankful for their generosity and support over the years. MELINA T. BROWN JOSEPHINE GREENWOOD DAN L. MCGURK

OUR GRATITUDE TO THE FOUNDERS OF THE LIVING BANK Five Houston women established The Living Bank in 1968 as the first organ donor registry in the nation. The Living Bank is immensely grateful to these five pioneers and their legacy: Dr. Joan Anderson McGurk Glen Karsten* Louise Johnson* Esther Phillips* Louise Robertson* *deceased

“Gratitude is the memory of the heart.” — Jean Baptiste Massieu

Louise Johnson, Dr. Joan Anderson McGurk, Esther Phillips and Glen Karsten (seated)


Esther Phillips, Dr. Joan Anderson McGurk, Glen Karsten, Louise Johnson and Louise Robertson

A rented trailer in the Texas Medical Center’s parking lot across from Houston Methodist Hospital served as The Living Bank’s first office.

BOARD OFFICERS MARK J. BISCONE, PhD, CHAIRMAN American College of Healthcare Executives Living Kidney Donor JOSH TABIN, VICE CHAIRMAN Liongard

“Don’t give to get. Give to inspire others to give.” —Simon Srek

KATHLEEN WOOD, SECRETARY Mother and Homemaker Living Kidney Donor

BOARD OF DIRECTORS J. STEVE BYNON JR., MD, FACS Memorial Hermann-TMC SALIL V. DESHPANDE, MD, MBA UnitedHealthcare of Texas DAVID M. GREGORY, JD Locke Lord LLP AYKE HOPPENREIJS Texas A&M University School of Public Health DEBORAH MAURER, MBA, RN Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center DIESA SAMP, MHA, BSN, RN, CCTC Texas Children’s Hospital


THE LIVING BANK STAFF KELLY PERDUE President and CEO CATHLEEN THOMAS Director of Programs TERESA RADOSTI Donor Relations Specialist

INDEPENDENT LIVING DONOR ADVOCATES SHELLEY SPECTOR, LCSW, CCTSW Director of Social Work Services Independent Living Donor Advocate SHARON COPLON, LMSW Independent Living Donor Advocate

MICHAEL C. BRAUN, MD, FASN Texas Children’s Hospital

STEPHANIE OSTROSKY, LCSW Independent Living Donor Advocate

OSAMA GABER, MD, FACS, FRCS Houston Methodist

REBECCA STIEMENS, LCSW, CCTSW Independent Living Donor Advocate

MICHAEL SKELLY Lazard Living Kidney Donor

JAN TAYLOR, LCSW, CCTSW-MCS Independent Living Donor Advocate


Don’t forget to shop for the holidays

Visit our Shop online: Check out our customdesigned silk ties and other living donor memorabilia for purchase.

SIMPLE WAYS TO MAKE A GIFT TO THE LIVING BANK 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 taxfree 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

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MENU OF GIVING If you are interested in furthering The Living Bank’s mission, we ask that you consider giving through the following means:

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“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.”

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— Pablo Picasso SHOP FOR MERCHANDISE ONLINE Please make this generous donation in [ ] honor of or [ ] memory of ________________________________________________________________

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4545 Post Oak Place Drive Suite 340, Houston, Texas 77027

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