Second Chance Blog


Starting the Discussion to Save Lives



Gift of Life Donor Program and Power 99 FM have partnered together to raise awareness for organ and tissue donation. Through their daily programs, online platforms and special events, Power 99 FM has used their captive audience to carry out the message of the 6,500 people in our region who are waiting for a life saving organ transplant.

On May 28th, Gift of Life Donor Program was invited to participate in special I Heart radio recording at the Power 99 FM studio, located in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania. Five panelist represented different aspects of the transplant community, and were able to share their knowledge on their subject. The discussion lasted an hour and was moderated by Loraine Ballard, in front of a intimate studio audience.

IMG_4994Panelists included Vanessa Duvert, Multicultural Outreach Coordinator; Doctor Niels D. Martin, MD, FACS, the Co-Medical Director, Surgical Intensive Care Unit of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania; Cynthia London, a donor family member and Gift of Life volunteer; Lynette Luckers, founder of the Founder, Marion Luckers Kidney Foundation, which is dedicated to providing organ donor awareness and supporting dialysis patients and families in the Philadelphia region; and Alexis Sloan, a 28-year-old heart transplant recipient and Gift of Life volunteer.

Throughout the forum, panelists discussed the various myths and misconceptions a person may have about registering to become a donor. “The largest misconception about donation is that a person will receive different medical treatment if they are brought to the hospital” said Dr. Martin. “That is not the truth at all.”

Luckers shared how through her mother’s battle and ultimate passing due to complications of renal failure brought her to the realization that action needed to take place. “By raising awareness about kidney disease and organ donation with organizations like Gift of Life, it has helped me through my grieving, “said Luckers.

Sloan, who received her new heart from champion boxer Paco Rodriguez in 2009, described the new lease on life the power of transplant has been for her as a young adult. “My life is great, and I am lucky to have a healthy heart,” said Sloan. “Before my transplant, I never knew what that was life, so having a healthy heart is great.”

London, who’s son Sipho was killed during a shooting in 1996, shared how her son’s donation has continued his legacy. “My son’s heart went to a man who now has the opportunity to be a grandfather to three little girls” said London. “Without that donation, those children would of never had the chance to experience that.”IMG_4960

During the panel discussion, Duvert stressed the urgency of the growing need of African American and Latino registered organ donors. “African Americans and Latino Americans make up 50 percent of the transplant waiting list, but are less likely to register as a donor,” said Duvert. “People in these communities must become part of this movement to register.”

The entire panel discussion will air on the Power 99 FM website, and will be posted on the Gift of Life Facebook page as soon as the information is available.

To learn more information about Gift of Life Donor Program’s partnership with Power 99 FM, or to learn more about upcoming events, click here.

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2 Responses to “Starting the Discussion to Save Lives”

  1. Donors are heroes was proud to have been a funding partner in the power 99 project. We Thought you all should know this fact. Our educational programs save lives. Our fund raising makes that possible.

    Organ Donors ARE HEROES ,they choice to save lives.

  2. Michelle Wilkinson says:

    Organ donation is so important to our community. Thank you Power 99 and this panel for having this conversation. We all know conversation is simply planting a seed. This seed grows into a tree that saves lives in our community. God bless you all.

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