Organ Transplant Recipients of SWFL Inc.
April 7, 2016
The regular meeting of the Organ Transplant Recipients of SWFL Inc. was called to order at 11:30 a.m. on April 7, 2016 in The Sanctuary located at 8960 Colonial Center Drive in Ft. Myers by Vice President Mariann Jefferson standing in for President Shamie Kelly who was absent today. This meeting will be shortened due to the extended Night for Life IX planning meeting to immediately follow.
• Anniversaries: Shamie Kelly-Kidney (4/3/15), Derrick Thompson-Liver (4/6/1997), Joseph Myers-Heart (4/9/1997), Cheryl Abraham-Kidney (4/15), and Frank Tutay-3rd Kidney (4/24)
• Member Updates: Tim & Caroline Elkins will be returning to North Carolina, John Hall went back up north also. His Prograf has been dropped to 25% and all reports for his follow-up are good. He and Dee will be back in October.
• Visitors: Leah joins us in support of her husband who recently received a heart in Tampa.
• General: Night for Life planning meeting to follow immediately after conclusion of monthly meeting and another will be held on Saturday to prepare items for auction.
The Secretary’s report was approved. The Treasures report shows a previous balance of $1,174.65 with contributions of $54.00 from the monthly 50/50, and $45.00 in membership dues collected resulting in $99.00 in deposits. $93.78 was Shamie Kelly for the February meetings food expense leaving an ending balance of $1,179.87 There was no report available from the Fletcher Fund but there should be next month.
Everyone please make sure you visit the new website! The updates make it much more user friendly and it is also mobile compatible so it works much better with your smartphone. The Ft. Myers Kidney Walk was a great success! Over 300 people walked and $42,000 was raised! Next year’s date is scheduled for March 12th so mark your calendars now and plan on joining us next year if you couldn’t make it to this one. Close to 20 people from our group including family, friends, and LifeLink participated in the event. Thank you to everyone who came out! The Pitch for Life event with the Ft. Myers Miracle is coming up on April 23rd, be sure to invite your friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers as a portion of the ticket sales purchased using our password (pitchforlife) will benefit our group! Jeff is not here to discuss group shirt purchasing further so that discussion will be delayed until next month.
Barbara Miller, Gulf Coast Medical Centers Transplant Department Director and Janet Milan, the new Social Worker were not able to attend this month’s meeting but hope to attend next month. Rick Keatley and Donna Willamson shared their transplant stories today. Rick went through quite a battle when his liver began to fail. He was in denial about his diagnosis until he went into acute kidney failure multiple times, wound up in a coma and was told by doctors that he was going to die. While admitted in the hospital again in late April, Rick finally got the call for a liver. He has been doing very well since. He wrote his donor family and initially did not hear back but then in January he received a card. He continues to write and they even plan to meet sometime in the near future. Donna’s story starts back in her early 20’s. When she was initially diagnosed she prayed to just be able to stay healthy and raise her daughter which she did.
In 1998 her kidneys took a turn for the worse and her husband was also diagnosed with liver cancer around the same time. She had her first transplant in February 1999 and then her most recent one was from a living donor from her church which she has had some pretty unusual complications with but between her faith and her medical team she thanks God that she is here today to share her story. The complications of her most recent transplant have been identified and treated so that her new kidney is now functioning very well and she is thriving. Janet and David Weinstein are going to the Transplant Games June 10-15 in Cleveland, OH. Janet will be running in the event.
If you are interested in attending please see the Transplant Games website. Flyers for the group are available on your way out and you are encouraged to take some to leave in your doctor’s offices, transplant centers, and dialysis clinics. Norma presented her artwork “Life is a Feather” which she is donating to the Night for Life benefit. Her son Marshall was a member who has since passed and we are very grateful for her continued presence in our group. Don’t forget to wear your blue and green on Donate Life day which is April 15th. Rick Keatley won $36.00 in this month’s 50/50 drawing.
Meeting was adjourned at 12:19 p.m. by Vice President Mariann Jefferson standing in for President Shamie Kelly who was absent today. The next general meeting will be at 11:30 a.m. on May 5, 2016, at The Sanctuary located at 8960 Colonial Center Drive in Ft. Myers.
Minutes submitted by: Melissa Tuff, Secretary