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Second Chance spreads the word about organ and tissue donation

By Staff
SUPPORT MEETING James Laird, community education and volunteer services coordinator for the Mississippi Organ Recovery Agency, left, talks to a group of transplant recipients and their families during a support meeting Saturday at Jeff Anderson Regional Medical Center. Members of the group are, from left, Patricia Killinworth, Bonnie Griffin, Brenda Alawine, Larry Meador, Linda Allan and Hollis Shirley. PHOTO BY KYLE CARTER / THE MERIDIAN STAR
By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
March 14, 2004
Linda Allan doesn't know why more people don't come to the monthly meetings of the Second Chance Transplant Awareness Group of East Mississippi.
Allan, of the House community, is the president of the group. She received a liver transplant in 1998. Since that time, the number of transplant recipients and donor families who could benefit from the meetings has been growing.
Seven people were present at Saturday's meeting, including James Laird, community education and volunteer services coordinator for the Mississippi Organ Recovery Agency known as MORA.
The group discussed upcoming events where members can help educate the public about organ donation. They shared their feelings and personal experiences. And, they discussed how possible cuts to Medicaid and Medicare may affect transplant recipients who depend on the programs to get their medicine.
A way to learn more
Saturday was the first meeting for Brenda Alawine of Collinsville.
Her only nephew, who has muscular dystrophy, is 22 years old and lives in Oxford. He had a heart transplant on Nov. 4. Doctors had estimated he would die within the year without a new heart. She said he is doing fine.
Laird, who lives in Brookhaven, began working with MORA after his son, Jonathan, had a liver transplant when he was 7 months old. Now his son is 12, and is healthy.
MORA depends on volunteers, like the members of the Second Chance group, to help educate others, Laird said, but participants don't have to be transplant recipients or members of donor families. He said anyone who is interested can help.

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