Minnesotan’s Creative Efforts to Increase Organ Donation

LifeSource is an Organ Procurement Organization (OPO) in St. Paul, Minnesota.  I know the people there quite well and was so impressed by their latest posting in “The Source” I decided to reprint it so others could benefit from it as well.  I am often asked, “What can I do to promote organ donation besides becoming a donor myself?”  Well, there are many answers but this blog offers a couple of excellent examples. 

The Source

by Jeff Richert


We have many exceptional, creative and energetic volunteers. I want to focus on just two of them and what they are doing to celebrate National Donate Life Month in April.

Judy is a long time LifeSource volunteer from Fergus Falls, MN. She lost her daughter, Jenny, in May of 1993.  Judy’s activities for April included a radio interview about donation and drunk driving that she has done for many years. She also coordinates a unique program with her beautician.

In addition to providing space for a display and information table, her friend who owns the “ExSalonce” has a special promotion during April. She gives a 20% discount to customers who either show that they have “Donor” on their license or to those who sign up as donors for the first time! What a unique and fun way to communicate our message during April!

Suzanne Ruff is a LifeSource volunteer who knows too well the ravages of Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD). For several generations, her family has suffered from this often fatal genetic disorder. For National Donate Life Month and for National Donor Sabbath for at least two years, Suzanne has communicated with the Archbishop of St Paul and Minneapolis to convey information to him about donation and transplantation.

Earlier this month, Suzanne received a response from the Archbishop’s office saying that he is both supportive of our cause and that he will try, ” … to the best of my ability, to mention it in my Catholic Spirit column.”  Thank you Suzanne for your perseverance and for helping us to communicate to our friends in high places.

Judy and Suzanne’s activities  for April are not big and flashy acts. They don’t involve billboards or spot lights. But ultimately their work will contribute to the many activities of our volunteers that help ensure that thousands of people hear about the life saving miracles of donation and transplantation!

I hope reprinting this blog inspires people to do something special to promote organ donation.  If each of us could convince just one person to become an organ donor we could end the shortage and be able to offer transplants to everyone on the list. 

Please comment in the space provided or email your thoughts to me at bob@baronson.org.  And – spread the word about the immediate need for more organ donors.  On-line registration can be done at http://www.donatelife.net/index.php  Whenever you can, help people formally register.  There is nothing you can do that is of greater importance.  If you convince one person to be a donor you may save or positively affect over 50 lives.  Some of those lives may be people you know and love.  

You are also invited to join Organ Transplantation Initiative (OTI) http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=152655364765710 a group dedicated to providing help and information to donors, donor families, transplant patients and families, caregivers and all other interested parties.  Your participation is important if we are to influence decision makers to support efforts to increase organ donation and support organ regeneration, replacement and research efforts.   


About Bob Aronson

Bob Aronson is a former journalist, a Minnesota Governor's Press Secretary and talk show host. For nearly a quarter of a century, he led the Aronson Partnership, a Minnesota-based communications consultancy that prepared corporate and government executives for crisis situations, regulatory testimony, media interviews and Presentations. Among his clients were all three U.S. Mayo Clinic locations, 3M, general Mills, CH2M Hill, the U.S. Department of Energy and scores more. In 2007 bob had a heart transplant after suffering from idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy for 12 years. Shortly after he got his new heart he founded the now 4,300 member Facebook support group, Organ Transplant Initiative. At the same time, he established the Bob's Newheart blog where he has posted nearly 300 columns on organ donation, transplantation and other health related issues. The Viewpoint blog was started in late 2016 and bears the name of the Radio Talk show Bob did from 1966 until 1974, when he resigned to become Minnesota Governor Rudy Perpich first Press secretary. Bob and his artist wife Robin, live in Jacksonville, Florida with their two dogs, Reilly and Ziggy. Bob is also a woodworker and makes all of the furnishings for Robin's art festival booth. He also makes one of a kind jewelry or "memories" boxes that he donates to select transplant patients, caregivers, donor families and others who have somehow contributed to making life easier for the ill, the elderly and the less fortunate. Bob is in the final stages of editing two full-length novels that will be available on Kindle when ready for release sometime in early 2017. One is a sci fi novel about an amazing discovery near Roswell, New Mexico and you will be surprised to find it has nothing to do with the Roswell story everyone knows. It features a woman scientist who investigates impact craters for the U.S. Department of the Interior, Dr. Rita Sylvester and her female student intern. The other book is a political thriller that introduces a new hero to the genre, Fargo Dennison.

Posted on April 15, 2009, in Innovative methods for increasing organ donation. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Glad you liked this Bob. Let’s borrow from each other as often as we can.


  2. Please disregard the last post. I put it under the wrong entry. Sorry!


  3. I’m a kidney transplant recipient, and my husband and I were just talking about how when we go to transplant clinic, the majority of the recipients in the waiting room are overweight. I can’t imagine how many less kidney transplant there would be if people would learn to live healthier. Thanks for this post.


  4. Hi, Amazing! Not clear for me, how offen you updating your bobsnewheart.wordpress.com.


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