Category Archives: Community

National Donor Sabbath Reaches Faith-Based Communities about the Importance of Donation

Initiative partners with faith leaders to educate about the critical need for donors

RICHMOND, November 11, 2016—National Donor Sabbath is observed annually, two weekends before Thanksgiving, from Friday through Sunday—in 2016, National Donor Sabbath is November 11-13. This three-day observance seeks to include the days of worship for major religions practiced in the United States. During National Donor Sabbath, faith leaders from many religions, with donor families, transplant recipients, and donation and transplantation professionals, participate in services and programs to educate the public about the need for donation and the importance of registering one’s decision to be an organ, eye and tissue donor.

All major religions in the U.S. support donation and believe it to be the ultimate act of love and generosity. For many people, faith plays an important role in the decision to register as a donor or consider living donation. With almost 120,000 men, women and children on the national transplant waiting list, registering to be a donor can provide hope to those desperately waiting for the gift of life.

Alison Mohn lost her son Ryan in a car crash. She has shared that, “so much good has come out of this tragedy. I believe that God works for all things good, and I see it. Just knowing that Ryan lives on through other people is comforting.” Ryan was able to save and heal the lives of more than 50 people through organ and tissue donation. Alison tells her story in her church and community, sharing the lifesaving benefits of donation and the pride that she has knowing that her son’s legacy is one of selflessness.

Samuel Shareef, a donor father, is rooted in the Islamic Faith. Samuel recognizes and believes that some things – like the opportunity to save a life – transcend religious dogma and rituals. Samuel’s words: “We chose and choose to Donate Life … not because it was the Muslim, Christian or Jewish thing to do. We choose to be an organ donation family because we believe it is the Human thing to do.”

To register as a donor, please visit RegsiterMe.org. For more information about National Donor Sabbath, please visit www.donatelife.net/nds

About Donate Life America

Donate Life America is a 501(c)3 nonprofit alliance of national organizations and Donate Life State Teams across the United States committed to increasing the number of donated organs, eyes and tissue available for transplant to save and heal lives. Donate Life America manages and promotes the national brand for donation, Donate Life℠; develops and executes effective multi-media donor education programs; motivates the American public to register now as organ, eye and tissue donors; maintains the National Donate Life Registry, RegisterMe.org; and assists Donate Life State Teams and national partners in facilitating high-performing donor registration programs.

 

Media Contact:

Hilary Czarda

Donate Life America

hczarda@donatelife.net

804.377.3584

Donate Life America Announces 2016 James S. Wolf, M.D., Courage Award Winner

RICHMOND, November 1, 2016 – Last week, Donate Life America (DLA), a national non-profit organization committed to increasing the number of donated organs, eyes and tissue available to save and heal lives, presented Imam Johari Abdul-Malik, with the James S. Wolf, M.D., Courage Award at DLA’s annual meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The James S. Wolf, M.D., Courage Award is named in honor of the transplant surgeon pioneer who founded the Coalition on Donation (now Donate Life America). The award is presented annually to an individual outside the professional donation and transplantation community, who has: played a significant national role in helping to educate the public about organ, eye and tissue donation and promoting donor registration; expressed personal commitment and enthusiasm in educating the public; sought to reach audiences on a national level; and demonstrated the ‘service above self’ attitude in their mission.

The Washington, D.C. metropolitan region has the highest concentration of newly entered Muslims in the U.S. When given with the option of donation, the overwhelming majority of family members who self-identified as Muslim, did not authorize donation on behalf of their deceased loved one. The singular reason that was given: “It’s against my religion.” Similarly, these case reviews also revealed that none of these deceased Muslim individuals was a registered organ, eye and tissue donor. Washington Regional Transplant Community’s (WRTC) Community Affairs team needed to launch a highly strategic public education and community outreach initiative designed to educate those of the Islamic faith that organ donation is permitted in their religion. WRTC needed a partner, an advocate and a leader in the Islamic community. Imam Johari Abdul-Malik is the outreach director at the Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center in Northern Virginia, one of the largest Islamic Centers in North America. He has a Master’s degree in Genetics and Human Genetics, is currently completing his PhD course work in Bioethics at Georgetown University’s Kennedy Center for Ethics, and is a passionate advocate for organ, eye and tissue donation.

In 2015, Imam Johari agreed to partner with WRTC in its efforts to educate those of the Islamic faith that organ donation is allowed by their religion, and they are empowered to give the gift of life. His partnership has been exclusively on a volunteer basis without any form of compensation—and it has had an incredible effect:

  • In 2015, through his contacts at the Islamic Medical Association of North America (IMANA), he secured a 60-minute panel presentation on organ donation at the Islamic Society of North America’s (ISNA) Annual Convention. This Convention attracts almost 50,000 people and is the largest gathering of Muslims in the country.
  • In 2016 he facilitated a critically important meeting between WRTC and the International Institute Islamic of Thought (IIIT), the preeminent Muslim think tank in the country. It was at this meeting that IIIT agreed that the topic of organ donation, and the myths and misconceptions around it within the Muslim community, needed to be discussed among Islamic experts.
  • On July 20th, 2016, Imam Johari, WRTC and IIIT hosted a national Fiqh Forum titled, Reaching Consensus on Organ Donation: A Call to the American Muslim Community where national leaders in Islamic religion and law joined national leaders in the donation community of practice including AOPO*, AMAT*, DLA*, HRSA*, MOTTEP*, UNOS* and WRTC*.
  • Executive Members of the Fiqh Council of North America also attended the Forum and agreed to examine and review this matter to decide if they will issue a fatwa to American Muslims that communicates permissibility of organ donation.
  • Two moths later, The Fiqh Council of North America met during this year’s ISNA Convention and reached a consensus that the Council will be issuing a fatwa to American Muslims in support of, and permissibility for, organ eye and tissue donation. Further announcements and promotion of this development are forthcoming.

“I am deeply humbled and grateful to partner with WRTC and Donate Life to contribute, in any way I can, to this lifesaving work,” said Abdul-Malik.

Donate Life America is honored to present this year’s James S. Wolf Courage Award to Imam Johari Abdul-Malik for his incredible commitment to ensure that Muslims across the United States know they have the power to save lives through donation.

To find out more about Donate Life America and organ, eye and tissue donation—and to register your decision to be a donor, please visit www.donatelife.net.

*AOPO – Association of Organ Procurement Organizations
*AMAT – Association for Multicultural Affairs in Transplantation
*HRSA – Health Resources Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
*MOTTEP – Minority Organ and Tissue Transplant Education Program
*UNOS – United Network for Organ Sharing

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About Donate Life America

Donate Life America is a 501(c)3 nonprofit alliance of national organizations and Donate Life State Teams across the United States committed to increasing the number of donated organs, eyes and tissue available for transplant to save and heal lives. Donate Life America manages and promotes the national brand for donation, Donate Life℠; develops and executes effective multi-media donor education programs; motivates the American public to register now as organ, eye and tissue donors; maintains the National Donate Life Registry, RegisterMe.org; and assists Donate Life State Teams and national partners in facilitating high-performing donor registration programs.

Contact:

Hilary Czarda

Donate Life America

hczarda@donatelife.net

804.377.3584

Astellas and Donate Life America Attempt to Achieve GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ Title for Organ Donor Registrations

Social Shares of #OrganDonor Support $5 Contribution from Astellas to World Transplant Games Federation, up to $175,000 USD

NORTHBROOK, Ill. and RICHMOND, Va., Oct. 27, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — At any given moment in America, there are more than 120,000 men, women and children awaiting lifesaving organ transplantsi. To bring greater focus to the critical importance of organ donation, Astellas and Donate Life America will attempt to break the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title for online organ donor registrations in an eight-hour period from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central Daylight Time (CDT) on Saturday, Nov. 5. The record-breaking attempt will take place during the Astellas-sponsored New Zealand All Blacks and Irish Rugby Football Union match at Chicago’s Soldier Field.

2016 marks the third year in a row that Astellas has used international rugby as a global platform for educating and engaging people around the world on important health issues,” said Jim Robinson, president, Astellas Americas. “We understand that community engagement plays a pivotal role in bringing increased education and awareness to areas such as prostate cancer and organ donation, and we look forward to connecting with fans, patients and caregivers around the world through our support of this program.”

All eligible U.S. residents are encouraged to help break the record by registering to be an organ donor at RugbyRecord.org or using the Apple Health App as part of iOS 10. Everyone is also encouraged to help raise awareness of the importance of organ donation by sharing the hashtag #organdonor via Twitter beginning today and through Nov. 5. In celebration, every social post including the hashtag will support a $5 contribution from Astellas to the World Transplant Games Federation’s (WTGF) Fit for Life! program, up to a maximum of $175,000 USD. To learn more about Fit for Life! please visit www.wtgf.org

i Donate Life America (2016). Organ, Eye and Tissue Donation Statistics. Retrieved October 11, 2016 from: https://www.donatelife.net/statistics/

About Astellas
Astellas is a pharmaceutical company dedicated to improving the health of people around the world through the provision of innovative and reliable pharmaceutical products. For more information on Astellas, please visit our website at www.astellas.us. You can also follow us on Twitter at @AstellasUS, Facebook at www.facebook.com/AstellasUS or LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/astellas-pharma.

About Donate Life America
Donate Life America is a 501(c)3 nonprofit alliance of national organizations and Donate Life State Teams across the United States committed to increasing the number of donated organs, eyes and tissue available for transplant to save and heal lives. Donate Life America manages and promotes the national brand for donation, Donate LifeSM; develops and executes effective multi-media donor education programs; motivates the American public to register now as organ, eye and tissue donors; maintains the National Donate Life Registry, www.RegisterMe.org; and assists Donate Life State Teams and national partners in facilitating high-performing donor registration programs. For more information, please visit www.DonateLife.net.

Photo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20161026/432996

Logo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140416/84970

 

SOURCE Astellas

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