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MARIN COUNTY'S NEWS MONTHLY - FREE PRESS
(415)868-1600 - (415)868-0502(fax) - P.O. Box 31, Bolinas, CA, 94924


October, 2004

 

Friends Help Marin Man Who Needs A Slice Of Liver
   Doug Dion isn't asking for much as his 56th birthday approaches (in October)-so his friends are asking for him:  can you give a piece of your liver to save Doug's life?  Can you be his living donor?
   Twenty years ago, after a battery of tests, Doug Dion was told he had a rare form of liver disease called primary sclerosing cholangitis. No one can really point to a cause. Doctors think it's auto immune related but can't say for sure. The disease scars the ducts inside and outside the liver, causing it not to function properly.  The good news, 20 years ago, was that it was slow moving.  Now, however, that slow moving disease has reached its "end stage".   
   Though Doug is currently on the liver transplant list at UCSF, there are never enough organ donations, from people who die, to cover the need.  There are already 1,000 people on the list waiting to receive a liver.  Doug's best hope at life is finding someone who will share their liver - i.e. a living donor!  "Sharing" is an appropriate word because the liver regenerates itself, making it possible for two people to share an organ that will replace itself in about 2 weeks!
   Several people have already volunteered to be donors but, unfortunately, they did not meet the minimum requirements (see attached for donor specifics). 
   Doug has lived in the Bay Area for most of his life - with the last 12 years in
Rohnert Park with his wife, Sharon. They have been happily married for 15 years and are parents to 4 sons and 1 daughter.  His mom, Ruth, still lives in Vallejo after losing Doug's dad to congestive heart failure 3 years ago. They were married 54 years.
   Doug is currently employed in the Mail Room at the
County of Marin where he has worked for almost 10 years.  He was previously employed with the Novato Unified School District for 12 years and was also a letter carrier for the US Postal Service.
   For more information, contact Doug at [email protected],marin.ca.us  or phone weekdays (
8 am   4 pm): 415-499-6381.   You can also contact Gina Purin at 415-499-3202.


What a Donor for Doug* Should Know!
Amazing Fact:  The liver is the only organ in the body that regenerates itself.  The donor's liver is almost completely back to its original size in 2 weeks.  It takes about 12 weeks to fully regenerate itself!
   Recovery Time:  A donor should plan on being off work for 4 - 6 weeks (4 - 6 days of which is spent in the hospital).   Personal recovery time varies and may take up to 12 weeks.  
   UCSF has done over 80 of the living donor transplants in the last few years and has never lost a donor patient.  They're very skilled and particular about which living donor is a good choice.  UCSF is among the top rated hospitals in the country.
   Blood Type:  " A"  or "O"   The RH factor  (+ or -) doesn't matter.   Your doctor, or a local blood bank, can do a simple test to tell you your type.
   Age: Generally, a donor should be between the ages of 18 - 55. 
   Body Type:  Must be similar in body size to the recipient - or larger.   In Doug's case, it simply means you can't be "petite". 
   Changing Your Mind:  You can change your mind at any time in the process.
   Weight:  Cannot be too overweight.
   Health matters:  For obvious reasons, the donor cannot be a drug abuser, alcoholic, or excessive drinker. The donor shouldn't be a smoker, or at the least must stop for 6 weeks prior to surgery.  The donor can't have a major medical illness.
   Employment:  The medical professionals prefer that the donor be employed (and able to take leave), and have a healthcare plan.  In Doug's case, Kaiser will pay for the living donor's entire evaluation testing, preparation, surgery and care up to 3 months after the operation.  In the unusual case that any problem arises later, then generally that is when the donors own healthcare would be needed.
   MORE INFO:  To talk with a Liver Transplant Coordinator, please call Rachel Cotroneo at 1-800-548-3789.   Tell her the name of the person you are considering donating for is Doug Dion! 
   To reach Doug, contact him at [email protected] or call 415-499-6381 weekdays (
8 a.m. - 4 p.m.).
   Trouble reaching Doug?  Call:  Gina Purin at 415-883-5557 or 415-499-3202 or [email protected]


 

 

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