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What does it mean to be a transplant advocate?

IzabellaDOnofrio
IzabellaDOnofrioAdministrator

Are you involved in public policy? Do you spread awareness about organ transplantation? Do you volunteer at your local transplant center?

Being an advocate can also simply mean that you help your loved ones with keeping track of their medications or follow up appointments!

Let us know!

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Yes, yes and yes (Smile). I lead a national support organization, TRIO (Transplant Recipients International Organization) which plays a strong advocacy role both at the state level and nationally as a partner in several organ donation/patient coalitions and have personally met with legislators in Washington over the years to promote our causes. I do many speaking events, over 500 in the past 25 years, with 25 in 2019 as one example. Those are in addition to so many one-on-one opportunities that arise daily to promote organ donation with sharing the success of my donor's heart those many years ago.

As for the local transplant center, yes, in hosting a bi-annual speaker's event, often with a panel of experts talking on some important issue, and that has been going on for more than ten years. Currently, I serve on a PFAC (Patient and Family Advisory Council) that provides the program and hospital overall with access to support of the patient voice in their endeavors.

It has been a blessing to be able to give back in these many ways in gratitude for my donor's act of giving in their organ donation decision that gave me life today.

And the other area you didn't ask about was volunteering with the local organ procurement organization, and yes, that continues to be art of my giving back for these 25+ years.

I hope that doesn't come across as bragging, rather I offer it as inspiration to others who may be able to support the community with their own ways to offer advocacy that is so essential to lives of those who follow in our steps of organ transplant.

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