College hosts Share Your Spare: Importance of Organ Donation
A Ripon College social psychology class is working on a project close to the heart of the community. Two Ripon College alumni are waiting for a kidney transplant to save their lives, and another has donated a kidney and part of her liver to save the lives of complete strangers.
Beth Palmbach Nemecek ‘79 received her first kidney transplant in late 2018; however, shortly after having Covid-19, she was placed back onto dialysis to await another transplant.
Chuck Winer ‘68 went into kidney failure from a medical treatment he used to fight blood cancer. Currently, Chuck is on the edge of needing to start dialysis.
Emilia Erickson ‘15 is a living double organ donor giving both a kidney and part of her liver.
Fond du Lac resident Paul Osterholm, a kidney donor himself, is partnering with Professor Joe Hatcher’s social psychology class to host a Share Your Spare: The Importance of Organ Donation Event on Monday, April 17. The event will kick off with a book signing with national author Brenda Cortez at 5:30 p.m. in the Rodman Center lobby. Cortez will sign copies of one of her recently published books, “Because of Organ Donation.”
Following the book signing, the event will officially begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Demmer Recital Hall. Seven speakers will share their stories of donating an organ, receiving an organ, or supporting loved ones through the process. A time for questions and answers will be available following the presenters’ talks.
The speakers that will be in attendance are:
- Erickson, who donated both a kidney and part of her liver.
- Nemeck, who has had one kidney transplant and is currently awaiting another.
- Cortez, living organ donor and author of several books regarding the importance of organ donation and stories from transplant survivors.
- Dawn Lyons-Wood, mother of Emily Lyons who tragically lost her life in a snowmobiling accident, but because of the donor sticker on her driver’s license was able to leave a legacy by saving the lives of six people and helping two others regain their sight through organ donation.
- Christy Russell, who donated a kidney to Eric Warnke, a 23-year-old from Waupan who was attending Marian University in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. Speaking with Russell is Eric’s mother, Michelle Warnke.
The goal of the event is to draw awareness to students, faculty, and community members about the importance of organ donation. There will also be information at the event for audience members to sign up to be an organ donor on their Wisconsin driver’s license.
For more information about the event and organ donation check out the Facebook page at Ripon College Share Your Spare: The Importance of Organ Donation.