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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Oct. 8, 2012/ 22 Tishrei, 5773

Anxious moments on the wait list for life

By Mitch Albom








http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | They gave him the news when he was 9 years old. It was a Thursday. In a doctor's office.

"You are a type 1 diabetic," they said. His parents were taken aback. But all he could think was, "Can I still play my Little League game on Saturday?"

He is 35 now, and in some ways, for all he has endured -- the constant needles, the endless blood tests, the epileptic seizures, and, recently, the kidney failure that leaves him regularly attaching to a dialysis device -- he is still looking forward. Still asking if he'll be able to play.

His name is Courtney Penn. He is one of more than 100,000 Americans waiting for an organ transplant. He needs a kidney and a pancreas. With them, he has a good chance at a normal life.

Without them, the clock is ticking.

"They told me in March it was about an 18-month wait," he says, "but it depends on who's in front of you and who's behind you. I try not to think about it. I think about how lucky I am to even have a chance."

Lucky? If you hear the details of what Penn has endured, you would hardly use that adjective. He spent his childhood and teenage years endlessly pricking his finger or taking injections. The seizures he suffered kept him from ever getting a driver's license.

Despite this, he went to college, become a teacher, married, had a son.

Then, last year, he and his wife were driving to see President Barack Obama speak at a university, when his leg swelled so large with fluid, he could press on it and leave an indention.

"Something's really wrong," he said.

His kidneys were malfunctioning. By September of last year, his blood was 20 percent toxic. He was put on dialysis, and now has a permanent tube in his abdomen, through which he flushes the poison with help of a device. He sleeps with it attached at night. This is all part of daily life.

Last March, he officially went on the organ donors list. His age is an advantage; the fact that he needs two organs is not.

"I try to tell my 5-year-old son as much as I can about my situation," he says. "We talk about the transplant that might happen. He calls it 'the big surgery.' He keeps asking me, 'When's the big surgery coming?'."

Courtney, who lives in Charlotte, N.C. (his mother was raised in Detroit), wants no special attention, no extra sympathy. He simply would like people to know how much good they can do if they decide to become an organ donor. One person could help up to 50 others with organs and tissue donation. Sadly, right now, the list of the needy far outpaces the list of donors.

"It's one of the most selfless gifts," says Penn, who signed up as a donor at 18. "It's painless. Unless you have a religious reason not to, I would encourage people to at least consider it."

Now, I admit to being squeamish over the years about becoming an organ donor. I thought about my body, the invasion, how my family might react at that grieving moment.

But a few weeks ago, I sat on a TV panel, next to a vibrant 37-year-old woman named Dawn. She had been close to death with a bad heart. She had planned her funeral. In May of 2010, she went into a coma.

She awoke five days later, with a new life. That same week, a 21-year-old Phoenix woman had been killed during a robbery. Her organs were donated and her heart went to Dawn. A tragedy had created a miracle. Dawn rejoined the world of the living.

I stared at her, sitting next to me, all smiles, and I watched her meet her donor's mother for the first time. There were tears everywhere. And it hit me just how amazing humanity can be, and what a good, true final act it could be to give breath to another life, just as you die.

I hope someone does that for Courtney Penn. I hope someone does it for the other 100,000-plus on the list. Courtney's son often asks, "Dad, will you be able to play Monster Trucks after the big surgery?"

For a guy who has been waiting since age 9 to play without worry, that would be an awfully sweet moment.

To become an organ donor, click on 2giftoflifemichigan.org,1 call 800-482-4881 or sign up at a Secretary of State office to receive a heart emblem for the front of the driver's license (which adds the donor's name to the state's database for organ and tissue donors after death). National instructions and more information are available at www.organdonor.gov.




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