Organ donation is personal for Spectrum Health employees. As presenting sponsor of the 2012 Transplant Games of America, Spectrum Health was honored to help raise awareness for organ donation by holding donor drives across West Michigan—but the work doesn't stop there. In addition to continued advocacy efforts, Spectrum Health has regional transplant programs for heart, lung, and pediatric kidney and bone marrow, giving greater possibilities to West Michigan residents. Nationally, more than 114,000 individuals are waiting for a transplant. Hear personal stories of hope, love and loss and see how organ donation personally affects members of our community.
Are you registered as an organ donor? Is there a red heart on your Michigan driver’s license? Help us save lives and register online. Registration is fast and simple. Find your driver’s license and get started here.
Beth Debri is a Spectrum Health nurse at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in the pediatric pulmonary clinic. Beth also is a kidney donor. After learning about the critical need for organs to save lives, Beth decided she could help. She explored the possibility of living organ donation and donated one of her kidneys in 2010. Beth’s selfless donation has begun a non-simultaneous national chain of kidney donations, saving several lives. Watch to see why Beth decided to donate a kidney to a stranger.
Ronda Passon is a respiratory therapist at Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital. Ronda also is a double lung transplant recipient. After living with cystic fibrosis since childhood that worsened as an adult, Ronda received a double lung transplant in her 30s. Her work as a respiratory therapist at Spectrum Health is very personal to her; Ronda works with patients living her former struggles. Now, Ronda is an avid bicyclist and an advocate for organ donation awareness. Ronda is grateful to have competed in the 2012 Transplant Games of America. Watch Ronda’s story.
Karen Denko is a finance manager at Spectrum Health and a living organ donor. In early 2012, Karen donated one of her kidneys to her niece, Kelly, who was in need of a second kidney transplant. Kelly had received a kidney at a young age from her mother and competed in numerous Transplant Games around the country. Recently, she experienced acute rejection and needed the second transplant—this time from Karen. Kelly and Karen are both doing well today and are looking forward to future Transplant Games where they will celebrate their bond as ‘kidney mother and daughter.’ See their story.
Jennifer Richardson is an account representative at Priority Health. Jennifer is also a donor mom. In 2011, Jennifer lost her teenage daughter Alix to injuries sustained in a tragic automobile accident. When Alix received her driver’s license at age 16, she registered herself as an organ donor. Upon her death, several of her organs were donated. Recognizing it was what Alix would have wanted, Jennifer finds some peace of mind knowing that three people have better lives today because of Alix’s gift. Watch Jennifer reflect on what it means to be a donor mom.
Angie Reynolds is a small business sales coordinator at Priority Health. She also is the mom of 6-year-old Cadon, a kidney transplant recipient. Cadon was diagnosed with congenital nephrotic syndrome within a year of birth. Angie and her family knew that a transplant was Cadon’s only option. Angie’s brother-in-law and Cadon’s uncle, Mike, proved to be a perfect match. Today, Mike is healthier than ever and Cadon is an active 6-year-old who loves explaining why he as an “extra” belly button. In July 2012, Cadon competed in the Transplant Games of America and emerged as a proud medal winner.
Jodi Boyce is an executive assistant at Spectrum Health. Jodi also is a kidney donor. After her father was diagnosed with kidney failure several years ago, Jodi immediately knew she wanted to donate one of her kidneys to him. Jodi wanted to prove to her father that donating a kidney would not diminish her health—within a year of surgery, she completed several 5K races. Jodi has no regrets, saying, “How often does a child get the opportunity to give the gift of life to one of the people who gave you that gift?”
John Mosley is executive vice president and chief strategy officer of Spectrum Health. John also is a kidney and liver transplant recipient. John’s life was saved by a double organ transplant in 2006. Today, John and his wife, Cathy, have set a goal to walk at least 100,000 steps a week and regularly exceed their goal. John was proud to compete in track & field at the 2012 Transplant Games of America.