2009 Summer Newsletter




The summer is coming to an end and young people everywhere are starting back to school.  Due to the fact that colleges are on break during the summer months, there is not much activity to report in regard to our endowment series--the Colby Cassani Endowed Lectureship Series (CCELS).  Instead, we thought it was a good time to reflect on the strides made in organ and tissue donor awareness.

There is cause to be hopeful and celebrate!  28,000 lives were saved through organ transplantation in 2008!  Enrollment of licensed drivers is up by 15% from 2007.   Currently 79.7 million people (38.2%) are enrolled in donor registries in the United States as of the end of 2008.

Although numbers are up, there are still more than 100,000 Americans waiting for life-saving organ transplants, 18 of whom lose their lives each day waiting for a transplant.   There are real people behind each of these numbers;  people that you have met through stories of hope in this newsletter and on our Stories of Hope page

Wouldn’t it be fantastic if we were able to continue to increase the number of registered donors and decrease the number of lives lost waiting?  In a survey conducted for Donate Life, 51% of those surveyed wished to donate some or all organs and tissue and only 5% identified themselves as reluctant to donate.  Of those that opted not to donate, 23% of them were not sure they were acceptable donors.  It is more important than ever that we get out the good news that age and health do not necessarily prevent donation and that there are very strict protocols and guidelines that are followed in the transplantation review process.  We don’t expect you to have all the information, and encourage you to browse this website for information you can use when making your own decision and when talking to family, friends, social groups or organizations about making an organ and tissue donation decision.

The top two external influences on a person’s decision to donate were family members and medical professionals.  This is where the Colby Foundation's Colby Cassani Endowed Lectureship Series (CCELS) has its greatest impact.  Our goal is to make organ and tissue donation education, through CCELS,  a part of the curriculum at all medical schools.  Imagine a world where doctors talk with their patients about the decision to donate as naturally as they now talk about other preventative health measures.  Imagine if these physician/patient conversations put individuals on a path to decide their wishes about organ and tissue donation when they were not in the middle of a personal crisis.  The Colby Cassani Endowed Lectureship Series, made possible through your contributions, is bringing these imaginings to reality!  Thank you for your ongoing commitment to organ and tissue donation education and for talking with others about the decision to donate and get registered.   Click here to find out how to be a donor in your state.

For more information about the online survey that was conducted by Survey Sampling International for Donate Life America in partnership with Astellas Pharma US, Inc. and about organ and tissue donation, please click here


The Colby Foundation is on Facebook! Please click to check us out and become a “Fan”.  We have a goal of getting 65 Fans before the end of September!

Your contributions are making a difference!  Trustees John and Starla Cassani (on the right) and co-Directors Monica Philbin (left)  and Katie Parker (second to the left) wish to thank you for all that you have done to support and encourage us at the Colby Foundation!

STORY OF HOPE - An update on Macie

We first introduced you to Macie last summer when we kicked off our Colby Foundation newsletter.   As many of you know, Macie is a heart recipient who received a new heart at the tender age of 4 months old.  We thought it was a great time to get an update on Macie from her mother, Michelle!

“Macie has been enjoying a fun-filled summer. She loves being outdoors swimming, playing on her swing set, tee-ball, coloring on the driveway with her chalk, and helping daddy mow. She has enjoyed trips to the zoo, Chuck E. Cheese's, Monkey Joe's, the park, and Kindermusik classes. Macie has also participated in fundraising events for the American Heart Association and for Organ and Tissues Donation.  Beyond that, we had further exciting news and learned that Macie is going to be a big sister.  She is super excited and has been putting her "baby things" in the nursery for her baby sister.

All of these activities are available to us because someone made the decision to give the gift of life!  Through the generous gift from her donor, Macie will be celebrating her third “heart” birthday this fall. Her big day is sure to be filled with family, friends, heart cupcakes, laughter and praise. We are forever grateful the Gift of Life her donor family has given her and to us.

We have learned to live making the most of every opportunity and every day. Whether it's visiting family and friends, a walk in the park, yet another appointment at the doctor’s office, or advocating for organ and tissues donation, we will always make the most of it. Over the past two years we have been sharing her story to encourage others to make the decision to give the gift of life. Macie's life has been made full and complete through her donor family’s decision to give this precious gift.”

For more information about Macie or further stories of hope - click here


To those of you who have already begun using GoodSearch as your search engine...we THANK YOU for your support!  For those who have not yet made the switch, we hope you will consider it because the Colby Foundation earns a penny every time you use GoodSearch to search the internet. 

How does that work?  GoodSearch.com is a Yahoo-powered search engine that donates half its advertising revenue to the charities its users designate. Use it just as you would any search engine, get quality search results from Yahoo, and watch the donations to the Colby Foundation add up!

To learn more, just use the GoodSearch icon (top right of this page) or go to www.goodsearch.com and please spread the word.  We appreciate it!