The Azalea City Chapter of The Links, Incorporated and Cascade United Methodist Church co-sponsored an Organ & Tissue Transplantation/Donation Symposium in an effort to raise community awareness about the need for blood, bone marrow, organ and tissue donation. Wellness Ministry of Cascade United Methodist Church recently hosted the event at Cascade United Methodist Church.
The symposium, appropriately titled “Share Life: Each One, Reach One,” was designed to increase the number of African Americans participating in donor programs by presenting information about organ/tissue donation and transplantation, including bone marrow and blood, in a theologically and scientifically sound environment. The symposium engaged the Cascade community in southwest Atlanta, and constituents from throughout the metropolitan area, in a dialogue that raised awareness of the need for blood, bone marrow, organ, and tissue donation and by celebrated organ and tissue donors and recipients.
Dr. Marvin Moss, senior pastor at Cascade, provided a theological perspective about organ donations and transplantations, while Dr. Roderick Stevenson, a noted surgeon, provided perspective from a surgeon’s point of view. Other speakers included Danyelle Reeves representing the American Red Cross; Bobby Howard from LifeLink; and Roderick Gunn representing the National Bone Marrow Donor Program. Michael and Jerome Russell, siblings and community leaders of the H.J.Russell Company, headlined the symposium and shared their personal testimonies as donor and recipient. Diann Mustin, a living kidney donor, served as honorary chair of “Share Life: Each One, Reach One,” and provided her own unique story as did Kyle Cobb, a junior from Grady High School. Carolyn Byrd, a member of Cascade Church and The Links, Incorporated, read a testimonial letter from her sister, Brenda Paniagua, who is in need of a kidney donor.
There were approximately 100 registrants which included substantial members of The Links from Azalea City Chapter.
The Azalea City Chapter is led by Michele Scott Gandy, president, who stated, “Our chapter members supported this program with enthusiasm. We selected Cascade Church because so many of our members are members of this congregation and we appreciate the partnership between this faith-based organization and our chapter. This is an appropriate kick-off as we return to our 2012-2013 program year.”
Upcoming events for the Azalea City Links Health and Human Services Facet (HHS) include “The National Take Back for unused or expired prescription medications. . .” The HHS facet is supporting the East Point Police Department along with the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) in collecting unused or expired medications which will be turned in on Saturday, September 29, 2012. HHS member, Geneva Isom-Gibson, is an approved “collector” and is coordinating this effort. Also planned is the upcoming 4th Annual HBCU (Sickle Cell) Blood Drive that is being hosted this year by Spelman College on Wednesday, September 26. Activities will include blood and platelet donations, sickle cell testing, bone marrow screening, and organ donation registration and Brenda Aiken is coordinating this effort.
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