Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Transplant Fund

The Transplant Buddy Group has added a new purpose to its mission. Fundraising! A "Transplant Fund", for lack of a better name, has been created as part of the University Hospital Foundation. Money raised will be applied to this account and granted to transplant patients/families who may be in need of additional funding to defray the many costs associated with the process. This could be for Meds, travel/lodging or a myriad of other obligations. The goal is to never have to turn a patient away due to lack of funds or insurance coverage.

Dickens Festival
Come one, Come all to the Annual Dickens Festival/Craft Fair!!
Why? The Transplant Buddy Group will have a booth offering many different home-made items for sale for TWO DAYS ONLY (11/20-11/21). All proceeds will go to the Transplant Fund in the University Hospital Foundation.
Where: Utah State Fairgrounds
When: 11/20 and 11/21

**If you can't make the festival but would like to make a direct donation, please do so with a check written to the University Hospital Foundation with "Solid Organ Transplant" in the memo space. Send to Michelle McCardell at the University Medical Center.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Celebration Luncheon

On 9-3 a celebration luncheon was held for the transplant buddy group . It was a catered affair with a good turnout. Plenty of pre and post transplant buddies were in attendanc along with the professionals and volunteers who provide the education and care to the group. The celebration was a chance to thank the educators and volunteers as well as aknowledging the progress that has been made by the group as a whole. Certificates, plaques and Buddy thumbdrives were awarded to some of the volunteers and professioinals who have been instrumental in the groups development and new ventures in the works.

The results of the gathering were good fellowship, good food and good collaboration regarding our special projects team. This team is in the process of planning two fundraising events in the coming year. The money will be reserved for specific use in a transplant fund. As this is further developed, information will be made available here in the blog.

Pictures from the event are above. Enjoy.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Healthy Brunch Spring 09

April 9th marked the sping version of our semi-annual brunch. As it was close to Easter this year, the decoration theme was just that. These included a lavender table cloth, some yellow feathers, metallic eggs containing surprises and a few Easter baskets for centerpieces. Don't tell Priya, but we smuggled in some candy in the eggs and baskets, oh yeah she was there! Everyone there had a great time and shared some good food and stories with new friends and old.
Pics from the event are in the slideshow below.

\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ Updates and News \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
-->Jean D is well enough to go back home to the ranch. We will miss her around here but we are also glad she is doing so well.
-->Emily has survived the biopsy trials and can look forward to non-invasive testing going foward.
-->The new schedule is out and posted in the sidebar on the right.
-->We have a new addition to the volunteer staff. Please help us welcome Monika to the team.
-->A feature section will be added in the near future to relay some of our stories.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Goodbye to a dear friend

It is with a heavy heart that I write this posting. This week, we lost a dear friend to the transplant buddie group. Annette Johnson, Jerry's wife and partner at House of Hope Healing, passed away after a long battle with cancer. The obituary is below and can be found In the Salt Lake Trib from today (2/25)

Annette Jane Gifford Johnson
Annette Jane Gifford Johnson 1964 ~ 2009 Surrounded by her loving family, Annette Jane Gifford Johnson died peacefully at home Sunday night, February 22, 2009, after a courageous 10 year battle with a brain tumor. She was born to Wayne and Bonnie Hunter Gifford, September 8, 1964 in Nyssa, Oregon. Shortly after her birth, the family moved to California, where she was diagnosed with a significant hearing loss. At the age of three she began attending the John Tracy Clinic - a school for the deaf in California. The family moved to Boise, Idaho in 1970 where Annette attended public school and graduated from Capital High School in 1983. She married Thurmond "Jerry" Johnson Jr. on June 11, 1990, in Boise, Idaho. Jerry and Annette moved to Michigan in 1991 so that Jerry could attend the University of Michigan to study medicine. Annette worked as a preschool teacher and home daycare provider as well as being a student at Eastern Michigan University. She helped the family through numerous major medical illnesses and faced all of these obstacles with courage and determination. She was diagnosed with a brain tumor in June of 1999 and had surgery and radiation at that time. The tumor was in remission until 2006 when it unfortunately reoccurred. Since that time, Annette faced many daily challenges. Even during the time of her own illness, she helped over 400 families in the past five years, providing medical housing and emotional support at The House of Hope and Healing, in Sandy, Utah that Jerry and Annette established together. Annette is survived by her husband, Thurmond "Jerry" Johnson Jr., MD, step-daughter Victoria (21), daughters Adrianna (19), and Cassandra (17), her mother and step-father, Lawrence and Bonnie Molt, her father and step-mother, Wayne and Melinda Gifford, sisters Connie Chimonas and Sherry (Ken) Fawcett, her brother Don Gifford (Cathy), step-sister Leanna Davis, step-brother Jon Molt (Lisa), grandparents, Gene and Olla Jane Rutan, and Norma Gifford as well as numerous uncles, aunts, cousins, nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her brother David, grandparents, Eldon Hunter, William Gifford, and Arthur and Marie Molt. A memorial service will be held Saturday, February 28, 2009, 2 p.m., at Hilltop United Methodist Church, 985 E. 10600 S., Sandy, UT. In her memory, donations may be made to the Annette Johnson Memorial Fund at any US Bank location to help with medical and funeral expenses.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Excercise and Transplant

Today's support meeting had a presentation on exercise and transplant by the wonderful folks at Pulmonary Rehab. The handout that was given is below. Feel free to send any follow up questions or concerns to my email and I willl work to get the answers.
Thanx again to Bill and his staff for taking the time to educate and help us.

Exercise and Chronic Lung and Heart Disease

The primary aim of exercise training is dependent on the individual’s goals. Common health and fitness benefits include:
· Increased muscle mass and/or tone
· Improvement in cardio-respiratory endurance
· Improvement in muscular strength and endurance
· Improvement in the immune system
· Reduction in risk of cardiovascular disease
· Reduction in risk of osteoporosis
· Increase in life expectancy
· Increased sense of well being

For the individual awaiting heart or lung transplantation, exercise training will improve functional capacity and help get through the surgery and onto the road to recovery optimally. Muscles that are “in shape” will allow you to get back on your feet after surgery.

The question is often asked, “Which is the best type of exercise?” The answer is fairly simple: Remember the goal is for exercise to be both safe and effective. So, pick an activity of the proper intensity and duration that you enjoy enough to perform regularly. Many activities in which we engage are stop-and-go in nature: yard work, gardening, housework, occupational activities, shopping, etc. Activities like bowling and golf, while recreational in nature, also fall into this category. While it is true that one can get fatigued from these types of activities, they are not a good choice for therapeutic exercise. You are encouraged to participate in all types of physical activity, but these low intensity stop-and-go activities should not be substituted for your regular exercise sessions of moderate to somewhat hard intensity.

The type of exercise that is most effective for most adults, especially those with chronic health issues, are activities such as walking, jogging, swimming, cycling, cross country skiing, in-line skating, stair stepping, aerobics classes, etc. These activities are aerobic in that they are continuous and the pace is one that is easily maintained for at least 20 to 30 minutes. One must choose the activities that are most appropriate, considering the level of exertion and the risk of injury that accompanies those activities. Sports we engage in as kids and young adults (football, basketball, soccer, tennis, etc.) are anaerobic. That is, they are stop-and-go in nature, but are of high intensity and therefore subject us to pushing our heart and muscles too hard.

Strength training with weights or Therabands can also be helpful in increasing metabolic rate (assisting with weight loss) in addition to strength.

A cardiopulmonary exercise test is the most accurate method of determining an exercise prescription. This is the amount of exercise that is both safe and effective for your needs. A target heart rate can then be determined according to that individual’s cardiopulmonary capacity and any drug side effects. An individual who undergoes heart transplantation will not have a target heart rate prescription because of the blunted heart rate response after transplant.

* Whether or not it is appropriate for you to exercise as you await transplantation should be determined by your physician.

Aerobic Exercise Prescription
Warm-up: _______________ for 3-5 minutes at an easy pace – one at which you feel you could go on indefinitely. (RPE of 1-2)

Conditioning: _______________ for _______ minutes. Exercise at a level which you consider to be moderate to somewhat hard (RPE of 3-4); healthier, more motivated individuals may even push to a level of hard (RPE of 5). It is reasonable to expect some shortness of breath, muscle fatigue, and even perspiration. Your target heart rate has been established as a range of _______ to _______ beats per minute. You may increase your duration by ____ min.(s) every ____ session(s) until you reach a goal of _______ min.(s)

Cool-down: _______________ at a very easy pace for 3-5 minutes before stopping.

The frequency of exercise needs to be a minimum of 3 times a week to be effective. A goal of 5-6 times a week is even more productive.

Fortunately, it’s not necessary to check your heart rate every time you exercise. Once you have experienced exercise at your target heart rate range, you can rely on your feelings of perceived exertion to determine exercise intensity. Simply ask the question, “How hard am I working?” on a scale of 1-10. Heart transplant patients will use this method to adhere to an exercise intensity that is appropriate.

Rating of Perceived Exertion
0 Nothing at all (Resting)
0.5 Very, very easy
1 Very easy
2 Easy
3 Moderate
4 Somewhat hard
5 Hard
7 Very hard
10 Very, very hard