This Thing Called Life
Episode 38: Overcoming The Myths About Organ Donation

Episode 38: Overcoming The Myths About Organ Donation

January 18, 2022

On this episode of This Thing Called Life, host Andi is going to talk with Kelly Williams about her connection to donation. There is a lot of misinformation and falsehoods about donation. One of the goals of this podcast is to really dive in and help listeners better understand what donation is and how it truly impacts others. It can be best accomplished by hearing from the people who have lived it, who have walked, can speak, and share their experiences. Tune in for Kelly’s life saving story. 

 

Episode Highlights: 

  • Kelly donated her left kidney 13 years ago to Caleb, and Caleb was 12 years old at the time. Caleb celebrated his 25th birthday a few days ago, and he is in such a good place. It is the power of organ donation. 
  • Andi asks Kelly to take the listeners 13 years back when she was working, she was young and kind of getting her career going, and she met Caleb’s mom at her place of employment. 
  • The process started in September, and then in December, they ended up getting the call that our transplant date was confirmed, and we were on the books for January 15th, and we did it, says Kelly.
  • In the African American community, there are some barriers to donation, and one of them is the lack of transplantation awareness. 
  • Andi asks, how do you think we’re doing at breaking down the donation-related barriers, and what do you think we could be doing better? Unfortunately, people are not taking the time to get that transplant awareness, and it could ultimately be a death sentence for many people.
  • Growing the living kidney donor base of people of color who can stand in front of somebody else and say, you can do it as I did it will probably be most impactful, says Kelly.
  • Kelly doesn’t think there are things that she can’t do, and she genuinely doesn’t have any limitations.
  • Ask as many questions as possible and determine if kidney donation is something that you can do and if you can’t do it, take that knowledge and share it with somebody else.
  • The waitlist continues to increase, and that’s the part that Kelly thinks is so important to highlight. People of color make up the majority of that waitlist for kidney transplants. 
  • It has been amazing to see over the years the number of people who are stepping up to say, “I will be a generous kidney donor. I don’t know who I can donate to, but I’m going to walk through this process, and I will do it.”

 

3 Key Highlights:

  • When you do something like kidney donation, it gives you such a surge of purpose and energy, and it feels like the best possible outcome that could have ever happened, says Kelly.
  • Kelly was young in her 20s when she decided on kidney donation. She tells the listeners how her parents fely about this decision.
  • Kidney donation is a big decision, and it is worth contemplation for sure. You want to make sure it is the right thing for you and your family to do.

 

Resources Mentioned:

This Thing Called Life: Community Heroes 22: The Mistruth About Being An Organ Donor

This Thing Called Life: Community Heroes 22: The Mistruth About Being An Organ Donor

January 11, 2022

Community Heroes is a special extension of This Thing Called Life’s podcast. In this series we talk to community leaders, share important information about organ and tissue donation and honor those who have been instrumental in saving lives through the gift of donation.

 

Resources:

https://lifepassiton.org/

https://www.facebook.com/LifeCenterOH

Life Center Phone #: 513-558-5555

Episode 37: What To Do for A Child Who Is Grieving and What Resources Are Available?

Episode 37: What To Do for A Child Who Is Grieving and What Resources Are Available?

January 4, 2022

On this episode of This Thing Called Life, Andi is going to talk to Katie Beurket. She is a program coordinator at Fernside. Fernside is an exceptional organization in Greater Cincinnati. The fernside staff is very honored to continue their legacy of supporting grieving children and families. Katie says they provide peer support groups for children ages 3 to 18 and their parents or legal guardians. Tune in to hear about their valuable work. 

 

Episode Highlights: 

  • We must understand that many people are struggling right now. They could be grieving a variety of different things or could be mourning the loss of a loved one. So we will talk about those feelings of sadness and how we try to best get through during times like this, says Andy.
  • Fernside is a children’s grief center,the second oldest children’s grief center in the country. They were founded 35 years ago by Rachel and Paul Burrell, says Katie.
  • Andi asks Katie to share about the switch to virtual during covid and how that has been going.
  • Andi asks Katie, “You are very passionate about the work you do; What led you to this?”
  • Grief will change throughout your lifespan based on your developmental age. There are different signs of grieving children that correlate with the period that they are at.
  • Unfortunately, kids at a young age are experiencing loss, but if we are not educating them and telling them what it means now, they will hear about it later on, and it can affect them badly. Educating kids is also part of grief.
  • The 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders are one of Katie’s favorite age groups because they do start to understand what death means. They understand the permanence of death, and that is when they begin to really ask questions.
  • Fernside has over 100 direct service volunteers. They have different lesson plans that are given to them.
  • Programs like Fernside and what they offer allow individuals to keep memories alive of their person and create a safe space to talk about it which is so important.
  • The National Alliance for Children Grief is an excellent resource for finding things even outside the region. They have a wealth of other information on how to help children who are breathing in different resources, says Katie.

3 Key Points:

  1. Katie says that they do orientation in their office, and they help give tours to suffering children and families. There is a program called the Pit Crew at Fernside. It is a philanthropy and training. 
  2. A lot of kids don’t understand what happens when people die, they think they are going to come back or don’t understand the permanence of death. 
  3. Fernside is helping families have healthy coping skills to figure out how to move forward because they don’t want anyone to be stuck in their grief forever. 

Resources Mentioned:

This Thing Called Life: Community Heroes 21: The Holidays Can Be Tough, If You Are Struggling Reach Out And Ask For Help…

This Thing Called Life: Community Heroes 21: The Holidays Can Be Tough, If You Are Struggling Reach Out And Ask For Help…

December 28, 2021

Community Heroes is a special extension of This Thing Called Life’s podcast. In this series we talk to community leaders, share important information about organ and tissue donation and honor those who have been instrumental in saving lives through the gift of donation.

 

Resources:

https://www.griefincommon.com/

https://whatsyourgrief.com/

https://www.fernside.org/

National suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255

https://lifepassiton.org/

https://www.facebook.com/LifeCenterOH

Life Center Phone # 513-558-5555

Episode 36: What Does The Bible Say About Organ Donation? with Pastor Chris Beard

Episode 36: What Does The Bible Say About Organ Donation? with Pastor Chris Beard

December 21, 2021

On this episode, host Andy is going to talk to Pastor Chris Beard. He is the leader and pastor of the People’s Church located near the University of Cincinnati. They are discussing how the concept of faith  intersects with the idea of organ, eye, and tissue donation.

 

Episode Highlights: 

  • We just wrapped up national donor Sabbath month, the time when faith leaders or people in their congregation take time out to highlight organ donations within their places of worship, says Andy.
  • Chris shares about his congregation statistics and the church.
  • The church has been in the process of 20 years of moving from homogeneity into a multicultural reality, which led to a church name change about ten years ago. It was an intentional decision to follow the Scriptures and the vision of Jesus, Chris shares.
  • Chris shares how speaking of life means speaking the truth. He calls for continued thought towards and prayer for there to be able people, willing, and a good matches for donation. 
  • Being created by the creator, we have the ability for creative thinking, and let us trust the scientists, the artists, and the engineers of this world to do what they do to bring the quality of life, says David.
  • Andy asks, “For many people who may not be happy this time of year because they are grieving a loss… as a pastor, what would you offer to encourage our listeners?”
  • There is a sadness from a loss that will never be fully overcome, and grief is something that has been with us for a lifetime. 
  • There is healing in sharing with other friends about the memories, feelings, and losses of people who are dear to us.
  • A poor theology of new earth and new heaven causes an effect on a lot of decisions in the current day out of lack of knowledge.
  • Some of America’s racism and medical history was sinfully, wrongfully made concerning people of color, and that story still keeps people of color from life and health.
  • The telling of the true stories will diminish the power of the myths, which is very powerful.
  • David asks the listeners to be strategic about organ and tissue donation to the new and younger generation. He says that we need more stories of those who receive the donation and the quality of life added, and hearing their stories will inspire others.

3 Key Points:

  1. There is a sense in the Christian tradition within evangelicalism or fundamentalism that ‘If my body isn’t buried whole, how will I be raised from the dead properly?’
  2. David shares his thoughts on what he would say to someone who is very ingrained in their faith in God but doesn’t want to be a donor.
  3. Andy highlights the myths around tissue and organ donations that sit in the families for generations and somehow become factual.

Resources Mentioned:

This Thing Called Life: Community Heroes 20: 40 Years Of Saving Lives In Cincinnati

This Thing Called Life: Community Heroes 20: 40 Years Of Saving Lives In Cincinnati

December 14, 2021

40 Years Of Saving Lives In Cincinnati

Community Heroes is a special extension of This Thing Called Life’s podcast. In this series we talk to community leaders, share important information about organ and tissue donation and honor those who have been instrumental in saving lives through the gift of donation.  In this episode we talk to Lincoln Ware from Radio One about the celebration of Life Center’s 40th year of saving lives in the greater Cincinnati market. 

 

Resources:

https://lifepassiton.org/

https://www.facebook.com/LifeCenterOH

Life Center Phone # 513-558-5555

Episode 35: Another Listen- Grief Looks Different For Everyone with Debbie Pollino

Episode 35: Another Listen- Grief Looks Different For Everyone with Debbie Pollino

December 7, 2021

During this episode of This Thing Called Life Podcast, host Andi Johnson speaks with Debbie Pollino, a Donate-Life Ambassador for LifeCenter. Unfortunately, Debbie’s experience as an ambassador found its roots in the death of her son Nick after a car crash in 2014. Debbie knows firsthand that grief looks different for everyone and she hopes that sharing her son’s story can help others deal with their own tragedies.

 

Episode Highlights: 

  • In January 2014, Debbie lost her son Nick to a car accident, suffering a brain injury that he could not recover from.
  • Debbie had no idea that her son Nick was very passionate about organ donation until he noticed that she was one on her license.
  • Nick was able to save multiple lives with the organs that were donated from his body.
  • 4 months after the death of her son, Debbie attempted to become a Donate-Life Ambassador, but it was still too soon.
  • After about 18 months of recovering from the death of her son, Debbie started sharing Nick’s story at schools.
  • Nick was a very adventurous and outdoorsy person, driving across the country multiple summers in a row to Northern California.
  • After attending Northern Kentucky for college, Nick transferred to a school in Northern California for a forestry program.
  • What was supposed to be a 3-month trip to Hawaii for Nick, turned into a 5 ½ year trip.
  • The Bernie Madoff pyramid scheme collapse brought an end to Nick’s trip to Hawaii.
  • Debbie’s nephews and nieces were like siblings with Nick in life, children to her after Nick’s death.
  • Fortunately for Debbie, her family continued to talk about Nick, keeping his spirit all around them.
  • Nick had the kind of spirit that makes people proud to remember who he was as a person.
  • Debbie had a meltdown recently when she was looking through pictures and realized that she will never have a current one.
  • Nick made it all the way to Lima, Peru on a buddy pass for New Years, sleeping in the airport for a week.
  • The first time that Debbie went to visit Nick in Hawaii, he jumped off a 60-foot cliff and climbed back up.
  • With how up and down the grieving process is, it’s important to have people that you can ask for help.
  • Though support groups work for some people, Debbie felt it was more beneficial to be around positive reinforcement.
  • Nick was very spiritual in his own way, using nature as his church, as a way to find peace.
  • Debbie and her family celebrate Nick on a variety of occasions, especially Thanksgiving, his favorite holiday.
  • On August 4th every year, Nick’s birthday, Debbie’s family throws a party to celebrate his life.
  • Debbie had the pleasure of meeting Nick’s heart recipient, Brian, and welcoming his family into her family.
  • Brian looks and acts the same as Nick, with a similar build and a love for outdoor adventure.
  • The pandemic has been especially difficult for Debbie, given how close she is with her family.
  • Though it’s hard during the pandemic, don’t hide away from other people while you are grieving.

 

3 Key Points:

  1. Debbie lost her 36-year-old son, Nick, after a car accident in January of 2014. Because of his passion for organ donation, he was able to save multiple lives.
  2. While most days are good, filled with great memories, some days are rough for Debbie when all she wants is a hug from her son.
  3. Nick’s heart recipient, Brian, a father of 2, has since become a part of Debbie’s family, along with the rest of his family.

Resources Mentioned:

This Thing Called Life: Community Heroes 19: The Holidays Can Be Tough, If You Are Struggling Reach Out And Ask For Help- EP 19

This Thing Called Life: Community Heroes 19: The Holidays Can Be Tough, If You Are Struggling Reach Out And Ask For Help- EP 19

November 30, 2021

The Holidays Can Be Tough, If You Are Struggling Reach Out And Ask For Help...

Community Heroes is a special extension of This Thing Called Life’s podcast. In this series we talk to community leaders, share important information about organ and tissue donation and honor those who have been instrumental in saving lives through the gift of donation.

 

Resources:

https://www.griefincommon.com/

https://whatsyourgrief.com/

https://www.fernside.org/

National suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255

https://lifepassiton.org/

https://www.facebook.com/LifeCenterOH

Life Center Phone # 513-558-5555

Episode 34: Thankful For Transplanted Lungs, A Families Journey Of Gratitude

Episode 34: Thankful For Transplanted Lungs, A Families Journey Of Gratitude

November 23, 2021

During this episode of This Thing Called Life Podcast, host Andi Johnson speaks with Kris Grigsby, an incredible human being that has acted as the primary support system for a loved one. After struggling with Cystic Fibrosis for his entire life, Kris’s husband Joe had to have a lung transplant in 2012. Listen in to hear all about Kris and Joe’s inspiring story!

 

Episode Highlights: 

  • Organ donation doesn’t just affect the donor, but also changes the lives of the close friends and family.
  • Not all transplant stories have a happy ending, but at the same time, not all stories end in tragedy.
  • Kris’s husband Joe was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis as an infant, beating the odds and living well beyond his initial life expectancy.
  • When their twins were 3-years-old, Joe was operating at only 20-30% lung capacity.
  • Lung donation requires a donor that has already passed away.
  • Due to Joe’s convenient blood type, Joe only had to wait just over 3 months on the waitlist before getting his transplant.
  • Spending 6 weeks at the hospital for the transplant, Joe and Kris went 5 weeks without seeing their children.
  • Just 16 hours after his transplant, Joe was able to walk 150 feet.
  • After the transplant, Kris had to change her mindset from one of a caregiver to one of a more normal wife.
  • Kris continued to work full-time throughout the entire process for insurance purposes, but it also gave her some relief.
  • Both Joe and Kris, very independent humans, had to learn how to say yes when people offered help.
  • It took over 2 years to connect with the donor’s family, and now Kris and Joe are very actively connected with them.
  • Staying connected with the donor’s family has helped with the healing process on both sides.
  • Kris and Joe’s children do not remember the time when Joe was sick and unable to live an active lifestyle.
  • Going through the transplant process alone is impossible, so it’s important to accept the help that is offered.
  • The transplantation process is a journey for both the donor and their family/friends.
  • As a result of the different recipient and supporter groups, Joe and Kris have connected with people all over the country.
  • Kris’s grandpa passed away in April unexpectedly after marrying his new wife just a year and a half before.
  • The funeral home director advised Kris’s grandpa’s widow to deny the option for her deceased husband to be an organ donor.
  • It should be the #1 responsibility for transplant centers and funeral homes to support the family.
  • We must all advocate for ourselves and our loved ones for what’s right in the moment of a donation decision.
  • Leave the decision on whether you can or cannot be a donor up to the medical professionals.
  • Tissue and cornea donation has the potential to help up to 50 people from one donor, and can change/save lives.
  • Science is constantly evolving and as a result, the number of people that can donate is constantly increasing.
  • Transplant is not a fix-all option and it’s important to remember that there will still be rough times.
  • 2020, while chaotic, has presented an opportunity for everyone to grow closer to their families.
  • Faith has acted as an essential support beam throughout the transplant process and life in general for Kris.
  • Support groups are incredible resources for those affected by transplantations.

 

3 Key Points:

  1. Unlike kidney and liver donation where you can have a living donor, lung donation requires a donor that is already deceased.
  2. Kris and Joe actually watched the accident on the news that involved Joe’s donor but didn’t know it until later.
  3. A misguided funeral home director gave incorrect advice to Kris’s grandpa’s widow and ultimately swayed her to turn down his option to be an organ donor.

 

Resources Mentioned:

This Thing Called Life: Community Heroes 18: Don’t Forget To Register For The Virtual Community Breakfast.

This Thing Called Life: Community Heroes 18: Don’t Forget To Register For The Virtual Community Breakfast.

November 16, 2021

Don’t Forget To Register For The Virtual Community Breakfast.  It starts at 9am on 11-17.  Register At https://lifepassiton.org/

 

Andi Johnson joins Lincoln Ware on WDBZ and today they discuss November Events for Life Center.

 

Community Heroes is a special extension of This Thing Called Life’s podcast. In this series we talk to community leaders, share important information about organ and tissue donation and honor those who have been instrumental in saving lives through the gift of donation.

 

Resources:

Register For Free at https://lifepassiton.org/communitybreakfast/

https://lifepassiton.org/

https://www.facebook.com/LifeCenterOH

Life Center Phone # 513-558-5555

Podbean App

Play this podcast on Podbean App