E-Kidney Newsletter December 2008

Organ DonorsOrgan Donors--Heroes for the Holiday Season

They don't pore over catalogues or scour the mall for hours in search of the perfect present, yet their gift hits the spot every time.

These generous folk are among this season's special heroes because their gift embodies the true spirit of the holidays and continues to give long after the decorations have been put away and the celebrations are over. Each year, thousands of Americans donate an organ to save the life of another -- a kidney or in some cases, a piece of liver or lung.

But often those in need are reluctant to let others know, according to an NKF survey


A Wakeup Call Brings Family Together

Six words that can change a life: "There is protein in your urine."

Tully Eldredge of Minneapolis, Minnesota was 45 years old when his doctor made that statement during an annual physical exam and explained that he was experiencing the earliest signs of kidney disease. Shocked, Tully went into denial, figuring that if he could strap on his rollerblades and glide for miles every day his doctor had to be wrong.

So for two years he ignored these words, until his doctor changed his tune: "Now you have kidney disease (/atoz/atozTopic.cfm?topic=9)."

Read more (link to rest of story) to find out how Tully's family rallied around to save his health.


Gift-of-Life-MedalSM2.jpgCongressional Medal to Honor Those Who Give the Gift of Life

Now the ultimate gift will be recognized. President George W. Bush recently signed into law the Stephanie Tubbs Jones Gift of Life Congressional Medal Act. The Act establishes a fund administered by the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) to design, produce and distribute the medal to organ donors or family members of deceased organ donors. The medal is named for former Congresswoman Tubbs Jones (D-OH), who donated her organs after she passed away last summer.

"The medal will create a way to honor the gift of life and possibly encourage more people to consider organ donation," says John Davis, CEO of the National Kidney Foundation.

Join NKF's Take Action Network to assist in similar advocacy efforts.


Sandy WebsterA Holiday Cookie from the Kidney Kitchen

Whether it's wearing that tacky sweater that's been waiting in the closet all year, attempting to out-light the neighbors or bravely setting your alarm clock for 3 AM the day after Thanksgiving, the winter holiday season is replete with traditions. Baking holiday cookies is one custom that no one wants to miss and now no one has to. This kidney-friendly holiday cookie recipe will have your taste buds singing carols.




ResilienceResilience: An Inspirational Holiday Gift

Resilience is the story of professional basketball player and kidney transplant recipient Alonzo Mourning's life both on and off the court. And unlike a lot of other sports autobiographies, the off court story is even more interesting than the on court one.

That's because Alonzo Mourning, or Zo as he is known by many of his friends and fans, has faced and conquered the off court challenges of kidney disease that make his on court battles with the likes of Shaquille O'Neal and Patrick Ewing seem like a walk in the park. It's also because Zo is an expansive, thoughtful writer who uses his book to share many of his innermost thoughts and ideas about life.

Resilience makes a great gift for anyone on your list, especially those experiencing health problems. Read the review by kidney recipient Jack Fassnacht or buy the book