August 2012

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work to inspire Someone You Should Know: Mary Scott By Elishah Oesch Donations come in many forms and styles these days. From money, to community service, to simple acts of kindness, many give back on a regular basis. However, this month's Jefferson Award winner— part of a national award series honoring those with outstanding gifts in community service—may just have gone above and beyond when answering the call to give back. Mary Scott has volunteered through the American Red Cross Badger Chapter for more than a decade. In that time, she's donated her time and talents generously both locally and across the country. But it wasn't until June 7, 2011, that she donated her greatest gift yet: one of her own organs. It all started before that pivotal day, when Scott says she caught a story on kidney donation. It was a story that hit home; her own mother had been on dialysis and Scott remembered vividly how challenging the situation was. Th at got her thinking. "I certainly can do this," she says, remembering her train of thought. "I'm in perfect health, so there's no reason that I can't do this." After talking with friends and family, Scott decided to go for- ward with her mission to give someone her kidney. Th e process turned out to be a lot simpler than she anticipated. Scott contacted the National Kidney Registry, which put her in contact with a local hospital. From there, Scott took a series of tests, including a blood and antigen match test, and then the national search for a match began. Shortly thereafter, Scott's match was found. It was a gentleman in Philadelphia who was awaiting a chance at a new life. From there, things moved quickly. Scott was wheeled into sur- even though she's down one vital organ, she feels more whole than she ever has before. "I feel great now. I know I've helped my recipient. He can enjoy gery at 3:45 a.m., and the doctors had her kidney on a plane to Philadelphia by 8 a.m. And the recovery? Well, Scott says it was almost as easy as the decision she made to give her kidney away. "Th e fi rst 24 hours were the toughest, but I was out of the hospi- tal in two days, and now I don't have any effects from donating my kidney," she says happily. Scott may not have any physical effects from the donation, but it's safe to say the emotional effects will be life lasting. Scott says donating her kidney was one of the best decisions of her life, and his retirement and go on vacations with his wife. He can have a life now, which a lot of us take for granted," she says. Since the operation, Scott and her recipient have made contact via email. Someday they hope to meet in person. For now though, Scott is content with the knowledge that she made the greatest sacrifi ce she could for another person. "I think it was the greatest gift I could give," she says. Elishah Oesch is co-anchor at WKOW 27s Wake up Wisconsin. Find more about Scott at ••• Organ Donation: A sampling of organizations dedicated to offering information Donate Life Wisconsin Every 11 minutes, a person is added to the national organ donor waiting list. This state- wide list allows you to register to be a donor. Visit health/donatelife 36 Lions Eye Bank Wisconsin To provide the gift of sight to those in need, Lions Eye Bank Wisconsin will answer your questions and help you register to be an eye tissue donor. Visit National Kidney Registry This organization makes ef- fi ciency a priority with a goal of fi nding anyone suffering from kidney failure a matched living donor in six months or less. Visit UW Health Organ Procurement Organization Located within UW Hospital and Clinics, this organiza- tion offers information and resources regarding donation, including living donors. Visit Yes, I Will Wisconsin Choose from a variety of ways to get involved by either regis- tering to donate, volunteering to promote local donations or walking for the cause. Visit BRAVA Magazine August 2012 Photo by Bobbi Peterson

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