Busting the Top Three Myths about Kidney Transplants

Posted by | Posted in Transplant | Posted on 16-04-2014

GHSH Website Question Homepage Banner Transplant 961 x 300Nearly 103,000 people are awaiting a lifesaving kidney transplant nationwide. Every 10 minutes, another name is added to the national transplant waiting list. And, still, myths persist about kidney transplants. We asked the Memorial Transplant Services team to debunk some of the more common myths surrounding kidney transplants and donation. Read the rest of this entry »

SIU’s Hand Transplant Program: “Now, We are Going to Restore Some Lives”

Posted by | Posted in Foundation, Transplant, Videos | Posted on 08-04-2014

Hand Youtube ThumbnailPhysicians with the Institute for Plastic Surgery at Southern Illinois University (SIU) School of Medicine are searching for the first candidate for the school’s newly launched hand transplant program – the first of its kind in Illinois.

Between 6,000 and 10,000 upper extremity amputations occur each year in the United States. More than 1,200 soldiers have lost a limb as a result of explosions in Iraq and Afghanistan. Check out the brief video below to learn more about the program. Read the rest of this entry »

A Rare Double Birthday Gift – a Kidney and a Pancreas

Posted by | Posted in Transplant | Posted on 19-09-2013

TammyWhen Tammy Smith, a 48-year-old Dalton City resident, was diagnosed with diabetes at age 14, doctors weren’t certain what might have caused her illness.

“I remember the doctors were a little vague,” Tammy said. “I was told my diabetes could have been caused by a virus, or even a type of immune deficiency disease. It was just something I had to deal with.”

Fast forward about 30 years. Tammy grew up, married and had four children, one of whom passed away in childhood. She went through a divorce, then married a man with four boys of his own. Together, they raised their combined family in a little house in Dalton City. Everything seemed normal.  

But then, Tammy’s normal life was turned upside down. Read the rest of this entry »

90 Miles for Transplant Awareness

Posted by | Posted in Memorial Medical Center, Transplant | Posted on 27-08-2013

Transplant 5K Photo StuckeyHis entire life changed overnight. Twice.

“We had company coming over for the weekend, and I asked if this couldn’t wait until Monday. My doctor said if you wait until Monday, you’ll probably be dead.”

Don Stuckey, 59, of Beecher City, a small community southeast of Springfield, remembers those words as if they were yesterday instead of three years ago.

“I was having trouble sleeping,” Don recalled. “I was up and down a lot at night, but I figured that was just old age. One week, I only slept about four hours the entire week. I went to the doctor and asked for some sleeping pills. He said OK, but told me to have a blood test before I left.”

“That was a Thursday,” Don said. “The next morning the doctor called to say something was wrong with my test and to come back in for another blood test. Early that afternoon, I got another call and was told to get to the hospital immediately.” Read the rest of this entry »

Kidney Transplants: Know the Facts Infographic

Posted by | Posted in Memorial Medical Center, Transplant | Posted on 10-07-2013

Transplant Infographic 2013How often do we hear numbers associated with a concept so incredible we can hardly fully comprehend the weight of what those numbers truly mean?

Numbers like 103,000 people waiting for a kidney; 1,219 days to wait for a kidney; 840 transplant surgeries.

Each one of these numbers, and those shown in the infographic below, is more than just a number; it’s a reminder that a person is waiting for a chance at a normal life again. Each number represents a person patiently waiting for the phone call that they have a match, or a family wanting to enjoy life with their loved one again, or a mother or father needing to be actively present for their child. Memorial Medical Center Transplant Services makes that difference in the lives of these people every year.

As you read through these numbers, remember that these numbers represent real life–people who are patiently waiting, generous donors who so unselfishly give life to another, and talented surgeons who can restore quality of life.


Read the rest of this entry »

The Gift of Life

Posted by | Posted in Memorial Medical Center, Testimonial, Transplant | Posted on 16-04-2013


Billy Ruyle, Transplant Recipient

When Billy Ruyle could not sign his name at work or even grasp the pen, he realized he had a problem that was bigger than just a cold.

Billy grew up in a small town, just south of Springfield. After high school, Billy married “the most amazing wife” and together they had three boys and one girl and now have lots of grandkids. He worked as a full-time truck driver until just a few years ago when he took a part-time job hauling beans in Waverly.

“There is a lot of dust when you haul beans. At first, I thought I caught some sort of cold from the dust, and I just kept getting weaker and weaker,” he said. “I should have stopped working right then, but I didn’t because there was a job to finish.”

“When I got home later that day, I told my wife what had happened and we knew then something was seriously wrong.” Read the rest of this entry »

Runners, Walkers Raise $9,000 for Annual 5K to Benefit Transplant Services

Posted by | Posted in Transplant | Posted on 13-09-2012

"Team Greg Oest" Team Captain is Joleen Oest (wife of Greg), sitting on rock with kids on lap. They raised over $600!

Bolstered by a record-setting 501 people registered, the annual 5K run/walk to benefit the Alan G. Birtch, MD, Center for Transplant Services at Memorial raised nearly $9,000 last Saturday.

The eighth annual event was held in Springfield’s Washington Park on Sept. 8. Bill Coon, a double heart transplant and kidney transplant recipient, shared his inspiring story before the event began. A local band, The Fireside Relics, kept the mood festive.

“Once again, the community has so generously shown their support for our transplant program,” said Sara Danner, Memorial’s transplant financial coordinator and chair of this year’s 5K. “This year was another successful event with beautiful weather and a very large crowd.” Read the rest of this entry »

Daughter Donates Kidney to Dad; Family Gives Back Through Annual 5K Run/Walk

Posted by | Posted in Transplant | Posted on 27-08-2012

Team Share Your Spare, led by Lindsay Lopian, living kidney donor to her father Allan Lauher.

When Lindsay Lopian and her sister learned that their dad needed a kidney transplant, neither one of them had to think twice about being tested as possible donors.

Their father’s reaction was completely and understandably different. Like any dad who wants the best for his children, Allan Lauher didn’t want to burden either of his girls.

“As soon as Mom told us, we were both ready to be tested,” Lindsay recalls. “But he said there was no way his daughters were going to donate a kidney.”

In his mid-50s, Allan has struggled with high blood pressure and only had one remaining kidney after the other had been removed when he was a child.

In the summer of 2011, his doctor advised him that high blood pressure had taken its toll on his kidney. His only options were dialysis or a transplant. Read the rest of this entry »

The Gift of Life: Organ Donation Saves Lives

Posted by | Posted in Transplant | Posted on 19-04-2012

Christina Geisler and her mother, Kathy Geisler

At just 20 years old, Christina Geisler needed a kidney transplant.

It started in late 2010 when the Gillespie native noticed her urine was discolored. In January 2011, she was rushed to the hospital and immediately went on dialysis. She was later diagnosed with Goodpasture’s syndrome, a rare disease where your antibodies attack the kidneys and lungs.

“I lost 20 pounds in no time at all,” she said. “At one point, I just ate ice. It was awful.”

Her mother, 59-year-old Kathy Geisler, decided to donate one of her kidneys once the doctors realized Christina’s own kidney function would not return.

“It was a no-brainer,” Kathy said. “I felt blessed I could do this for her.” Read the rest of this entry »

Memorial Celebrates 800th Organ Transplant

Posted by | Posted in Memorial Medical Center, Transplant | Posted on 10-01-2012

For nearly 40 years, the kidney and pancreas transplant program at Memorial Medical Center has made a difference in the lives of hundreds of patients and their loved ones, and on Dec. 26, the team celebrated a significant milestone when it performed its 800th organ transplant.

The organ — a kidney — was offered on Christmas Day, and it was a perfect match to the recipient, who had been on the waiting list for more than five years. Read the rest of this entry »