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Los Angeles Area Non-Profit OneLegacy Grows Into World's Largest Tissue Recovery Organization
Date:4/14/2009

ors who would have been ruled out by other organizations, among them deceased patients age 80 and over who can be eligible to donate bone and skin. In fact, skin from older donors can be preferable because it does not have the elasticity of skin recovered from younger donors.

Also, many potential donors are ruled out because they suffer from cancer and are not eligible to donate tissue. However, because this disease does not affect the corneas, OneLegacy has focused on expanding the opportunity to prevent or cure blindness through these donors.

The 28 staff members responsible for approaching families are highly trained to make an initial assessment of whether a potential donor's tissues are medically safe for transplantation, as well as to sensitively interact with a family within a few hours of their loved one's passing.

"It is a hard phone call to make at such an emotional time for the family, but it is the only way many patients can live without pain, return to full mobility, or regain their sight," said Tami Bryant, family care manager. "It's also an opportunity for the potential donor's family to gain comfort by giving life to others and leaving a legacy of compassion for their loved one."

While many families and individuals say "yes" to donation, deeply held misconceptions about tissue donation may impact their decision. Some families fear their loved one will be disfigured, which is not the case since the surgical procedure includes reconstruction and allows for an open-casket funeral. Other families believe their religion does not support this practice, when in fact all major religions in the world (with the exception of Shinto) approve of organ and tissue donation.

"We offer the highest respect to the donor and family throughout the process, from the initial approach and tissue recovery to the transport of the body to the funeral home," said Mone. "Serving families and our
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SOURCE OneLegacy
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