Transplant Chronicles Fall 2009


A Whole Lot of Pills=Stamina, Dedication and Courage!

By Dena Rifkin, MD, MS

Read the health section of any newspaper regularly and you're likely to see an article about organ transplants. But you're unlikely to find much about the upkeep after transplantation—the pills taken two or three times a day, mild immunesuppression and its side effects, or about waiting in a doctor's office for checkups and blood tests every few weeks or months.

Read on for important reminders on some of what it takes to be a transplant survivor.

A Salute to Caregivers

By Sophia Washington

When Sophia Washington was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that was destroying her liver, she was given a life-saving transplant. Sophia quickly realized that the time, concern and commitment of caregivers is essential to the healing process.

Click here to read Sophia's moving dedication to caregivers everywhere.









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Daughter, Sister, Wife, Friend, Aunt, Co-Worker, and Living Donor

By Amy Schwab, sister

Elizabeth Ann Schwab Stevens—daughter, sister, wife, friend, aunt, co worker. These are just superficial ways to describe Beth. Beth is also a person who donated a kidney to her brother. She is the sister who, with her selfless act, has allowed him to share 26 more years of living with those who love him.

Read more of Beth's inspiring story here.

Four Soldiers

By Marilyn Lara-Puccio

Four kidneys are a lot to ask for in one lifetime. But that is just what Marilyn Lara-Puccio is blessed enough to have received. In a 14-year span, four kidneys have been generously donated to her by a family so unselfishly loving that even her transplant medical team remains baffled by her good fortune. Click here to read Marilyn's amazing journey.



Make Your Voice Heard

Join the National Kidney Foundation People Like Us Take Action Network and learn how to become an effective advocate. Learn more.

My Husband Helped Pass the End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Act

Capitol Hill

Carl was 35 in 1968, when he was diagnosed with Polycystic Kidney Disease and began dialysis. His community outreach to find an organ donor led to unprecedented coverage at the time—including an ongoing relationship with Congressman Robert Roe (D-New Jersey), who promised to address the many problems faced by dialysis patients.

Read more about Carl's heroic battle with kidney disease and how it helped lead to the passing of a bill placing kidney dialysis and transplant patients under Medicare's public insurance program.



End The Wait!End the Wait! A Program to End the Wait for a Kidney Transplant in the U.S. in 10 Years

There is on an ongoing and urgent need to increase the number of organs available for transplantation in the U.S. To address this complex problem, the NKF has developed a comprehensive action plan to increase the number of transplants for kidney patients. Find out more about this exciting new initiative here.

Protecting yourself against H1N1 (For Transplant Recipients)

Jaime Myers, RN, MSN, CCTC

H1N1H1N1 is a new type of influenza virus. The first case of H1N1 seen in the United States was in April 2009. As common with any virus, if you have had a transplant, you may be at a higher risk of getting H1N1.

Click here for helpful tips on avoiding the H1N1 virus



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For past issues of Transplant Chronicles please visit the archive.


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