Tirisi, Wall Street Journal — Death by Journalism

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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 July 24, 2012, in Lies about donation/transplantaation. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. And what about people like me who have donated a loved one’s organs only to learn in the hardest of all possible ways that what Dick Teresi says is true? Would you try to denigrate us, too? People like you whose only experience is on the receiving end of organ donation shouldn’t be so quick to criticize Mr. Teresi or anyone else who takes the time to truly educate themselves to BOTH sides of the story.


    • Ms. Larimer:

      I understand your concern and appreciate and respect yourt comments. Most certianly have no intention of ever denigrating anyone particularly organ donors. Yes, I am a heart recipient but I am also a registered organ donor and so is everyone in my family.

      You suggest that my only knowledge lies in being a recipient. Not quite accurte. Allow me to offer my credentials. Prior to getting a heart translant I was first a journalist, then a Governor’s Press Secretary and finally a communications consultant specializing in health care.

      I served as a consultant to the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), the national organization that promotes donation and coordinates all transplants in the United States. I have also worked with the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO) and with several Individual Organ Procurement Organizations (OPOs) in the United States. All of them promote organ donation and do so in good conscience. They are helping to save thousands of lives.

      Additionaly I have posted over 130 blogs on organ donation, founded a Facebook group, Organ Transplant Initiative which has 2,300 members and produced four videos on organ donation. I ithink I can say without qualification that I have far more experience with both sides of the issue than Mr. Tirisi.

      That is not to say that you don’t have a right to your views, you most certainly do and if you are not comfortable being an organ donor then you should not be one.

      I read what Mr. Tirisi had to say and I can understand your fear and concern but I talk with medical experts regularly and there is no doubt in my mind that people who register as organ donors will not have their organs removed while living. The tests for determining death prior to organ donation are far more comprehensive than any other death declaration.

      Mr. Tirisi is making money selling fear. I report the facts and the truth and I don’t charge anyone anything for my work. I pay my own way and have paid all the expenses out of my own pocket for the videos I have produced and any costs associated with any other donation/transplantation activity in which I am involved.

      You certainly are entitled to your opinion but to suggest that I know nothing of the donation side of this issue is as far from the truth as you can get.

      An organ donor saved my life. I thank him and his family a thousand times a day. I try to honor his memory by doing what I can to save lives. Every time I hear of a transplant I bow my head and thank God for the donor’s gift. Thank you for your comments and if you have any questions you may write to be at bob@baronson.org.


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