Hello, I’m Bill Catlette.
For 8 years I’ve been on the board of directors of the National Foundation for Transplants, a national, Memphis-based nonprofit that advocates for organ and tissue transplant patients and helps them raise critically needed funds for uncovered expenses associated with getting and living with a transplant.
Several years ago, my wife and I learned that our then 30-some year-old daughter, Mother to 5, and wife of a US Coast Guardsman was in kidney failure, and by virtue of other health conditions, wasn’t a candidate for a transplant. In other words, barring a miracle, kidney disease is likely to take her life. Suffice it to say that my interest in organ transplantation as a means of saving lives is more than casual. It’s personal, whether the patient is my daughter or your father. Every one of us knows someone who’s in or has succumbed to organ failure.
Kidney disease, the greatest cause of organ failure, strikes (and kills) non-white patients at a rate significantly greater than people who look like my daughter, and together, we can do something about that.
National Minority Donor Awareness Month was organized in 1996 to raise awareness within multi-cultural communities as to the prevalence of kidney disease (in particular) within the minority community, AND the very real need to increase the number of donated organs. Many organ failure patients die daily awaiting transplant, due to one of 3 reasons:
- They waited too long to be diagnosed and treated
- A lack of transplantable organs
- Funds needed to pay for expenses associated with their procedure, and post-op medications that must be taken for life
Between us, we can do something about all of those.
Here’s my ask of you:
- Please be mindful of your own health, and the conditions that often cause organ failure, undiagnosed and untreated high blood pressure being one of the primary culprits. They call it the silent killer for a reason. You can do it yourself (I do it every day, at home – it takes less than a minute), or a doctor or nurse will be happy to do it for you. If it’s outside the normal range, get treated. It’s no big deal, unless you ignore it.
- Be a registered organ donor PLEASE! If all the people who SAY they support organ donation & transplant backed it up by registering as a donor, there would be little to no supply problems. And by the way, in the case of livers and kidneys, healthy people don’t have to wait until they die to donate. You can do it now.
- Please consider giving to the National Foundation for Transplants. It’s a fine, worthwhile organization, or I wouldn’t be associated with them.
Thank you. Here’s to good health.
Bill Catlette, Contributor
book(s) on the economic power of a motivated workforce, and how leaders can productively harness the human spirit. His company brings messages to leadership teams via one-on-one coaching, keynote speeches, seminars, or literature.
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