Hi all! I just wanted to introduce myself, and also take the opportunity to tell you all about something new this year.
I am Joseph Hillenburg, and my son Benjamin was given his gift of life at 2 months of age, when he received a heart at Children's Memorial (now Lurie Children's) in Chicago. He is now coming up on 6½ years of age, and the best thing we can say is that, if he has his shirt on, nobody can tell the difference.
His transplant has spurred me into greater involvement in the transplant community, and I try to help out where I can. Perhaps most pertinently, I have served on the UNOS/OPTN Patient Affairs Committee, as an advisor to the UNOS IT Advisory Committee, and I was just elected to the UNOS/OPTN Board of Directors, with a term beginning July 1st of this year.
I also wanted to tell everyone about a new effort this year, driven by recipient parents in concert with Donate Life America, UNOS, and many other transplant organizations. This year will be the first observance of National Pediatric Transplant Week (April 23rd-27th), essentially a carve-out from National Donate Life Month.
Please see the note below from Donate Life America:
DLA will also be adding a page on pediatric donation to Donate Life America’s website, DonateLife.net. This page will have information specific to pediatric donation and transplant, and National Pediatric Transplant Week. This page will be live the first week of April, donatelife.net/types-of-don... The National Donate Life Month page on DonateLife.net will also soon include NPTW information with a link to the pediatric donation page.