Organ recipients, living donors, donor families to share thanks, tears at Candlelight Ceremony
MAYWOOD -- Thousands of men, women and children are waiting for lifesaving organs in Illinois, joining the more than 100,000 who are on waiting lists across the nation.
At Loyola's Living the Gift candlelight ceremony, organ recipients and donors will gather with family and friends to prove one person can make a huge difference in the lives of hundreds of people by becoming an organ donor.
The ceremony takes place from 4-6 p.m., Thursday, April 23, in the Paul V. Galvin Memorial Chapel at Loyola University Medical Center, 2160 S. First Ave., Maywood
The ceremony is part of National Donate Life Month, which recognizes and applauds those who gave the most precious gift of all – the gift of life. Participating in the event will be:
* An African American minister from Naperville, Ill., whose brother’s donation of a kidney allowed him to return to the pulpit, inspiring the members of his church to all sign up to become organ donors.
* An Elmhurst man who has been able to see his young daughter grow into a lovely teenager after undergoing a heart transplant more than six years ago.
* A Downers Grove man who recently along with his wife and children celebrated the 10th anniversary of his simultaneous liver and kidney transplants.
Each day, an average of 77 people receives organ transplants in the U.S. but thousands more never get the call from their transplant center, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing. Loyola University Health System is one of the leading solid-organ transplant centers in the nation, offering heart, heart/lung, lung, bone marrow, corneal, kidney, intra-abdominal and liver transplant programs.
Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is a member of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system with a 61-acre main medical center campus, the 36-acre Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus and more than 30 primary and specialty care facilities in Cook, Will and DuPage counties. The medical center campus is conveniently located in Maywood, 13 miles west of the Chicago Loop and 8 miles east of Oak Brook, Ill. The heart of the medical center campus, Loyola University Hospital, is a 569-licensed-bed facility. It houses a Level 1 Trauma Center, a Burn Center and the Ronald McDonald® Children’s Hospital of Loyola University Medical Center. Also on campus are the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola Outpatient Center, Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine and Loyola Oral Health Center as well as the LUC Stritch School of Medicine, the LUC Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. Loyola's Gottlieb campus in Melrose Park includes the 264-licensed-bed community hospital, the Professional Office Building housing 150 private practice clinics, the Adult Day Care, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park.