Promoting Organ Donation
Reg Green, recipient of the 2016 AST Transplant Advocacy Award
I am the father of Nicholas Green, a seven-year old boy from California who was shot during an attempted carjacking while we were on vacation in Italy and whose organs my wife Maggie and I donated to seven Italians, four of them teenagers.
That was in 1994. Scarcely a day has gone by since then that I have not tried somehow to increase awareness of the donor shortage. Therefore, I was delighted to have been given the AST’s 2016 Transplant Advocacy Award. (Thank you to everyone involved and especially to Professor Adey, Professor of Internal Medicine at the UCSF Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Unit, whose Women’s Health Community of Practice was kind enough to nominate me.)
The award, as you know, does not bring with it the 8 million Swedish kronor of the Nobel Peace Prize. In fact, to collect it I have to pay my own airfare from Los Angeles to Boston! But readers of this blog can give me a reward that far exceeds any purse. You can go to our website, www.nicholasgreen.org, and take a look at what we offer.
The most popular are our 11-minute videos, all groundbreaking:
- The first professionally-produced video by a donor family – "The Nicholas Effect"
- The first video about black family donors and recipients – "How Can You Say Thank You?"
- The first pediatric video – "A Child’s Gift"
- The first video about tissue donation – "Never Forget, Never Forgotten"
Highlights from all four videos can be seen in the much-acclaimed "Four of a Kind." These videos have been shown by every organ procurement organization and hospitals in every corner of the United States, plus church and community groups, schools, and colleges. They make converts wherever they go and they are all free.
Similarly, I have written two books about organ donation that have become classics in the field. The first, titled "The Nicholas Effect," sold 25,000 copies and became the basis for a made-for-television movie starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Alan Bates called "Nicholas' Gift," which has been seen by 100 million people around the world.
The second book may be the most useful of all our materials for professional healthcare personnel. It is called "The Gift that Heals." I was asked to research and write it by UNOS and it was published jointly by them and our Nicholas Green Foundation. It tells the stories of 42 people at every stage of the transplantation process, from people on the waiting list, jumping nervously every time the telephone rings, to transplant surgeons, who have done hundreds of transplants, and ICU nurses who suffer along with their patients – as well as the pilot who races against time to fly organs to waiting recipients.
Like the videos, the books change minds wherever they are read. Both can be bought online at www.authorhouse.com or I can send them free electronically to anyone who emails me at firstname.lastname@example.org. In turn, you can forward them to as many people as you wish. I also give speeches, write articles, and work on special events. I never charge a fee. We also have a blog (https://nicholaseffect.org/) with some nice stories that show the faces of transplantation – some elated, some tearful, some reflective – indeed, every category of emotion.
So, that's me. I hope we can be in touch and find new ways to spread the message of the importance of organ donation and transplantation research together.