Organ Recipients Celebrate Transplant Survival

07/20/01    Portland, Ore.

Annual Transplant Picnic brings together recipients and donors


OHSU's Annual Transplant Picnic


Gaines Street side of Campus Services Building, OHSU


Saturday, July 21, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Organ transplant recipients, living donors and donor families will be on hand for the annual Oregon Health & Science University Transplant Picnic on Saturday, July 21, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event celebrates the gift of life given to critically ill patients who are able to live healthy lives after receiving organ transplants.

"Any time you get a group of people together who are living on borrowed time, so to speak, it's a wonderful thing," said Laura Ellsworth, a 25-year-old kidney transplant patient. Ellsworth discovered she had kidney disease during a routine sports physical when she was a senior in high school. As her condition deteriorated, her best option for recovery was a transplant. She received a kidney donated from her father in October 1999 at OHSU.

"I felt better from the moment I woke up from the surgery," said Ellsworth. Now, she is helping people like her as public information director for the National Kidney Foundation of Oregon and Washington. At the picnic, she will be sharing her story with fellow transplant recipients and helping to sell t-shirts to raise money for the Foundation's team in next year's U.S. Transplant Games.

About 400 organ recipients, living donors, family and friends are expected to be at the picnic. In addition, many of the transplant staff from OHSU will help serve food and play games with the picnic-goers. Since 1959, OHSU has provided more than 4,000 heart, kidney, liver, lung and pancreas transplants to patients from the Northwest and around the world.

For information about being an organ donor, call the Oregon Donor Program at 1-800-452-1369.