Thursday, April 12, 2007

Project Progress

Now that we are done with Q1 of 2007, I have begun work on the book portion of the One-A-Day-2007 Organ Donation Awareness project.

But before I get to that, let's take a stroll down memory lane.

Summer of 2006.
The recipient was sick and went through a battery of tests. Over several months the conclusion was his liver was failing. After the requisite tests, he received a MELD score of 8.

Fall of 2006.
I was asked that if my blood matched, would I donate a portion of my liver. I answered YES.

Since I thought I was going to go through the process of donating my liver, I tried to line up a documentary team to follow me through this journey. Living near Pittsburgh PA, I contacted the biggest newspaper here and was not met with much enthusiasm. I also contacted a few other media (two Pulitzer winners, a TV personality I graduated with and a photographer from my home town). I even asked relatives living in areas that might have connections. No one was willing or able to help. Including the hospital. It was up to me from this point on.

My journey, my view.

November 2006.
I went through the tests to see if I was a match. I was not and am diagnosed with a fatty liver. I was also incorrectly diagnosed with a blood disorder that has been subsequently ruled out.

January 1, 2007
With little to no support from anyone else, I began a blog to document everything that is going on in the recipients life, health and general items about organ donation. I met several people on other blogs, but mine is probably tied with first as the most active.

February 19, 2007
The recipient got a call 4 days before his birthday saying they might have a liver. The slow rush to the hospital was on.

February 20, 2007
Early in the morning after a 7 hour surgery, he received a liver from an 85 year old doctor from New York. After several weeks in the hospital, he comes home.

The recipient now:
He has gained weight, increased stamina, more energy and FEELS BETTER.

With the blog, I have a parallel project that involves my photography. I have a photo project on The project has become dismal and an embarrassment to me. I started out with 15 portraits in about 35 days. February and March sucked. Overall I only have 18 portraits, technically 16 since one is of me and another is a double portrait.
I can honestly say the portraits are secondary to the message of organ donation awareness. I have talked to more people than I can count. Normally I talk to 2-4 people a week about organ donation. Most of the simple, short stories are on the blog. But as a photographer, I try really hard to get pictures to lend a face to those stories.

Where I am now:
Now that we are current, I have begun the process of taking all the images (all 18 of them) and the stories from the blog to create the first portion of the book. Without boring you to more tears, I have 226 pages in the current document. It's gong to take some editing to get it readable. I will also begin putting the posts directly onto a document rather than relying on an export process. Which DOESN'T EXIST on Blogger. (Those are the details I will omit for now).

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