Mark Meyers – Champion of Donation

Mark Meyers – Champion of Donation

As the Decedent Affairs Coordinator for The University of Kansas Health System, Mark Myers manages the day-to-day operation of their office as well as autopsy service for the health system. Mark’s support of organ, eye and tissue donation is instrumental in helping Saving Sight facilitate the gift of sight in the hospital.

“We take our work very seriously. Our goal is to never release a potential donor to the funeral home until we talk with Saving Sight as well as Midwest Transplant Network,” he says.

His team of two works 7 days a week with doctors, nurses, families, clergy, Midwest Transplant Network, Saving Sight, funeral homes and coroners to serve the families of deceased patients.

“Our entire health system is pro-donation and it trickles down to us. Every day the need for the gift of sight grows and we all realize just how valuable the gift of sight is,” says Mark.

Mark and his team work to ensure everything flows smoothly for Saving Sight and Midwest Transplant Network. “I’m very proud to partner with Saving Sight because of the work they do to help so many people – it’s a great cause that changes many lives.”

Not only does Mark support donation through his work, but he takes part in the donor advisory council at the health system. He finds it impactful hearing other’s stories of donation and learning how to be a great advocate. “Sometimes it takes a little extra time to facilitate donation, but if you think about the outcome and how many lives are changed, that time is invaluable. Once you get involved, like with donor advisory council, and you hear about the lives changed and saved out of tragedy it makes all the work we do totally worth it,” he says.

If you work at a health system and have a donor advisory council, Mark says it’s worthwhile to attend. “If you have the meetings, I encourage you to go. You not only learn so much but it can also touch your heart.”

He adds that signing up to join the donor registry is an easy process at registerme.org or at your local DMV. If you join the registry, it’s important to let your family members know your choice so there aren’t any surprises when the time comes.

“My personal preference to be a donor is important to our family and it’s the most unselfish gift you can give,” he says. “My wife and sons know how important it is to me personally. And someday it could be me or my family that needs a transplant.”

Saving Sight Partners with Community to Increase Donor Designation

Saving Sight Partners with Community to Increase Donor Designation

Saving Sight, Donate Life Team Illinois, Life Goes On and Mid-America Transplant at the Cardinals/Cubs baseball game on September 13.

Saving Sight, Donate Life Team Illinois, Life Goes On and Mid-America Transplant at the Cardinals/Cubs baseball game on September 13.

Saving Sight partners with local community events, health fairs and hospitals to increase donor designation through local donor designation drives. While 95 percent of Americans are in favor of being a donor, only 52 percent are registered. Donor designation drives help bridge the gap and allow Saving Sight to educate individuals about eye, organ and tissue donation and provide the community with resources to make the best decision for themselves and their family in regards to donation. In September, Saving Sight held several of these events throughout our service area. 

Saving Sight teamed up with the Kansas Lions Sight Foundation to have a booth at the Kansas State Fair September 9-18. Saving Sight’s Hutchinson, Kan. office staff Heather Britain, Amber Simmons and Samantha Christenson took turns during the 10 days of the fair, along with local Lions Club volunteers, to man the booth that was part of the Lions Mobile Screening Unit. “What we as staff enjoyed the most was getting to talk to recipients and their families, donor families and even a transplant surgeon about all the positive things about donation they have encountered,” said Heather Britain, partner relations coordinator. 

At the Washington County Memorial Hospital 22nd Annual Washington Health Fair on September 10 Richard Hamilton, partner relations coordinator for Saving Sight, raised awareness about Saving Sight and the community vision programs we offer and educated attendees on the importance of eye, organ and tissue donation. 

Amber Simmons of Saving Sight shares about donor designation at the Kansas State Fair.

Saving Sight also joined Donate Life Team Illinois, Mid-America Transplant and Life Goes On at a donor designation drive at the Cardinals and Cubs game on September 13 to educate and increase donor designation with baseball fans. In addition to the organizations being represented, a heart transplant recipient, a donor mother and a kidney recipient also volunteered to speak with those who approached the booth, sparking conversation and questions among attendees. 

Hosting donor designation drives at these different events helps educate those in different population groups throughout our service area and allows us to work with groups who have similar missions for promoting the positive impact of organ donation. 

Nationally, nearly 120,000 men, women and children are awaiting organ transplants and each organ donor has the potential to save up to 8 lives and enhance the lives of up to 50 people. You can join the millions of Americans who have registered to be donors by signing up at registerme.org. Visit donatelife.net for resources to help spread the Donate Life message or to learn how you can host an event to register donors in your community.