“In my 28 years in the field of organ, eye and tissue donation and transplantation, I am always amazed and honored to be a part of the miracles that come from a hero (donor) who passes along the “Gift of Life” to a perfect stranger (recipient) at the end of their life. Some people call this process the “Circle of Life”, however, I often refer to it as the “Donation Triangle.” The three sides of the “donation triangle” are the donor/donor family, those awaiting transplantation, and those fortunate to receive this precious gift of life. For most of my career, I have been dedicated to working with donors and their families, and I have often felt a void of directly engaging with those individuals waiting for another chance for life through transplantation. Over the past 28 years, and living in four states, I have worked to obtain consent from donor families and facilitated the organ, eye and tissue donation process including managing, recovering and transplanting donated organs, eyes and tissue. I have worked at four Organ Procurement Organizations and at the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), but have always been one step removed from organ recipients until I became involved with Transplant House of Cleveland.
A few years ago, I was very fortunate to connect with Erica Miller and Elaine Turley and was provided the opportunity to become a board member of Transplant House of Cleveland. This was the outlet I had been looking for, a position that allowed me to actively serve the individuals who are waiting and receive organ transplants. At Lifebanc, we constantly reiterate that we are saving and healing lives each day. We regularly share meaningful moments with individuals whose loved ones give the gift of life, those waiting and those who have received. It is motivating to hear the impact of our work in the community. We work hard to tell the incredible story of the need for organ donation and transplantation with the help of a volunteer speakers bureau and dedicated Lifebanc board members who represent donor families, recipients and loved ones of those that have died waiting for a transplant.
My commitment to Transplant House of Cleveland is to work with our Board and community to offer affordable housing for Cleveland Clinic and University Hospital transplant patients and their families – providing them with a comfortable home setting while in Cleveland. There are more than 2,000 patients awaiting an organ transplant in Northeast Ohio today, and many need a place to stay before and after transplantation. My dream is that no patient is unable to receive their life-saving transplant due to lack of local housing, and Transplant House of Cleveland offers a wonderful solution for those individuals and their families who would otherwise struggle. I regularly remind the Lifebanc staff that “we have the honor and privilege to directly and indirectly save and heal lives each day”. Each of us have the opportunity to do the same by supporting Transplant House of Cleveland and I would ask that you join me in making a contribution in supporting our mission.”
Gordon Bowen, CEO