Young Transplant Patient Says He Knows How To Increase Organ Donation

Media Resources

Jill Chadwick

News Director

Office: (913) 588-5013

Cell: (913) 223-3974

Email

jchadwick@kumc.edu

         Luke Harbur was five-months-old when doctors told his mother he needed a liver transplant or he would die before age two. He received his life-saving gift and his grateful parents started a program in the greater KC Metro area called ‘Gift of Life’.  Luke works with his mother when he can, talking to students and helping them to understand what it means when asked if they want to be an organ donor.  Luke has been following the efforts of the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) to take livers from areas where people generously donate organs and ship those organs to communities with fewer donors.  Luke, like many experts in the transplant community, believes there is a better way and want UNOS to put efforts into increasing organ donation and stop trying to snatch livers from each other. Public comment ends October 15.  Doctors urge the community to get involved. Currently, the U.S. is divided into 11 regions (see map).  Six of the 11 have taken symbolic votes during their regional meetings going on now and five (regions 3, 11, 2, 7 and 10) have vote against the proposal.  Only Region 9 has voted to support broader sharing. Made up of New York and Vermont, it has the lowest donation rate in the country. Listen in the video below to learn how Luke says coastal cities could increase donation and save lives.  Video b-roll shows students in high schools listening to Gift of Life volunteers talk about organ donation