New York, NY (October 30, 2002) - The National Kidney Foundation's National Donor Family Council (NDFC) celebrates its tenth anniversary as the "home for donor families" this fall. Created in 1992 to support and empower donor families, the Council has made donor families a vital part of the organ donation and transplantation team. " With more than 10,000 members, it's the largest organized group of donor families in the world," says Ellen Kulik, chair of the NDFC.
Since its inception, the NDFC has had a dramatic impact on the care and support for donor families in the U.S. According to Maggie Coolican, R.N., donor mom and founder of the NDFC, "Ten years ago, the needs and concerns of donor families were not factored into the transplant equation. The NDFC has given a voice to donor families and we are proud that the innovative programming based on expressed need of the "experts,' the donor families, has positioned the Council as the recognized leader in shaping standards of care for families."
The National Donor Family Council's major accomplishments include Making the Critical Difference, an educational program that has trained 12,000 critical care nurses on approaching families about organ and tissue donation; numerous resources including the Bill of Rights for Donor Families, For Those Who Give and Grieve book and newsletter; and the "Patches of Love" Donor Family Quilt which has grown to over 20 panels featuring more than 1,500 squares memorializing organ donors. The Council also has an online home for donor families at www.donorfamily.org, which features tributes to donors, a message board, Quilt patches and stories, bereavement resources and information about public policy issues affecting families.
The National Donor Family Council is dedicated to enhancing the sensitivity and effectiveness of the organ and tissue procurement process; providing opportunities for families to grieve and grow; and utilizing the unique perspective and experience of these families to increase organ and tissue donation. For more information on the National Kidney Foundation's National Donor Family Council, please call (800) 622-9010 or visit www.donorfamily.org.