Why I Blog

 I’m new at this but I blog (I guess blog is also a verb) because I am a heart transplant patient and want to increase the number of organ donors.  I always supported organ donation but until I developed heart disease it never occurred to me that I might need an organ.  Has it ever occurred to you? 

Did you know that one organ/tissue/eye donor can save or positively affect up to 60 lives?  There’s a slogan, “Don’t take your organs to heaven, heaven knows we need them here” that makes a great deal of sense.  We know how many people die every year while waiting for organs, but I wonder how many healthy, useful organs are buried each year because people didn’t understand the need or didn’t take the time to become donors.

Increasing the number of organ donors is a simple goal but impossible to achieve alone, so I started the Facebook group, “Organ Transplant Patients, Friends and You,” a group open to anyone interested in organ transplantation — anyone. http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=15612565382    

The need for more organs is well established.  LifeQuest, a Florida Organ Procurement Organization (OPO) that coordinates organ transplants, lists the following facts on their website: http://www.lifequestfla.org/

  • As of August 31, 2007, there were 97,000 people on the national organ waiting list.  

  • Roughly 17 people die each day waiting for organs (Bob’s note — that’s over 6,000 unnecessary deaths a year).

  • A new name is added to the waiting list every 13 minutes.

  • There were only 8,024 deceased organ donors in 2006.

  • There were only 6,733 living donors in 2006 (Living donors are those who give a kidney or portion of their liver or lung to a relative or friend).

  • In the year 2006, there were 28,923 organ transplants performed in the United States.

My life was saved on August 21, 2007 by a very generous, kind and courageous stranger.  There is a monumental need for many more generous strangers — millions more.  We can stop the dying, we can make sure that anyone who needs an organ gets one but we need to work together.  Please join our group, read, contribute, discuss and spread the word.  Someone’s life depends on it and it could be yours or someone very dear to you. 

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About Bob Aronson

About Bob Aronson On August 21, 2007 I received a new heart at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida. All these years later I am very active, happy and loving life. God bless my donor and his family. His generosity toward a complete stranger will never be forgotten. I am retired and live with my wife Robin and two dogs Reilly the main dog and Ziggy the backup. We are a very happy family. My gratitude to my wonderful caregiver wife, my donor, his family and the Mayo Clinic is beyond my ability to express. Suffice it to say I will do whatever is in my power to promote organ and tissue donation and to help and support everyone affected by the issue. As a result of receiving the “Gift of Life” I have made a major commitment to organ/tissue/blood donation, transplantation and related issues. I am the founder of Facebook's over 4,000 member support group, Organ Transplant Initiative (OTI) and the blog site, “Bob’s Newheart” www.bobsnweheart.wordpress.com. I have authored the great majority of the nearly 250 blogs listed there. The remainder were written by excellent guest bloggers. The posts span a wide variety of topics mostly involving organ/tissue donation/transplantation and related issues, but also covering important current medical news and information. Wordpress data indicate the blogs have readers in 162 countries. Bob's Newheart is quickly becoming the news and information source of choice for those with an interest in organ/tissue donation/transplantation along with current developments in medical news and health care. Born In Chisholm, Minnesota I now reside in Jacksonville, Florida. I have three children and one step son, 8 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren. My three grown children are Roger Aronson a well-known and respected Minneapolis, Minnesota Attorney, Dr. Colleen Hegranes Senior Vice President St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota and Harryet (Hank) Freeman who is probably the best history teacher in America, at least that's what her students at Woodbury, Minnesota High school tell me. Stepson Tim Grant and wife Jennifer live a couple of blocks from us in Jacksonville. Jen is a talented cook, baker, and mother. Tim is an in-demand electrician in Jacksonville who can really make almost anything work. Stella and Lily Grant are two very bright and talented granddaughters. For 25 plus years I owned the Aronson Communications Group an international consultancy specializing in health care communication. The Mayo Clinic was my first consulting client, a relationship that lasted until my retirement. I also worked with 3M health care, UNOS, LIfeSource, Dartmouth University Medical Center and CH2M HILL, one of the nation's largest environmental engineering firms. Prior to being a consultant I served for four years as the first Anchor for Morning Edition on the Minnesota Public Radio Network; was the Communications director for Minnesota Governor Rudy Perpich and before that held positions as a broadcast journalist at several Midwest facilities. I also served as the Director of broadcast communications at Moorhead State University in Moorhead, Minnesota. While I am retired Robin is not and I assist her efforts as founder and owner of Jingler’s Jewelry. She designs and makes colorful, "Fun" anodized aluminum jewelry and is also an accomplished printmaker. She sells her creations at art shows, festivals and gift shops in states east of the Mississippi but mostly in the south. Her website is www.jinglersjewelry.com. When I have time, my hobbies include reading, music and woodworking. One of my most notable projects was completing a wood scale model of the mom and pop grocery store my parents ran for 50 years in Chisholm, Minnesota. The model now resides in Chisholm in my sister's home. Our parents were wonderful people who instilled in us a very strong work ethic and a sense of fairness and equality. I also built a dollhouse for granddaughter Lily Grant and just completed designing and building a CD box that looks like an accordion. A friend commissioned me to make it in memory of his father who was an accomplished accordion musician. I have a brother and sister of whom I am very proud . They are twins. Terry is a Minnesota District Court Judge and Mary a retired but still the best 3rd grade teacher in America. I am proud of them for what they have done but more importantly for who they are. My wife Robin is a caregiver, musician, artist, entrepreneur and the best friend I have. While we do a lot of things together we especially like making music. Often in the evening you can hear the strains of folk, Blue Grass, country and other music coming from our family room. Robin plays several instruments including string bass, accordion, guitar, ukulele, mandolin and...well the list goes on. I play harmonica and have one in almost every key. She's really good...I'm not. Quantity does not ensure quality. One more thing. I am also a recovering Alcoholic and a former smoker. I emerged from a 28 day in-patient alcoholism treatment program in August of 1982 and have managed to stay sober with the help of a lot of people both in and out of Alcoholics Anonymous. I quit smoking in January of 1991 after a 37 year habit of up to four packs of cigarettes a day. It wasn’t easy but I’m living proof that it can be done. I am available to anyone suffering from or affected by any addiction at any time through my email address bob@baronson.org or via phone 904-434-6512.

Posted on December 7, 2007, in waiting for organs. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Thomas H Johnson

    Great to hear that you are doing well !!! It is very cold up here.



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