The Gift of Bone -Twice!

By Matt Arrasmith, tissue recipient

m-arrasmithLike most boys in middle school, sports were my passion.  I played baseball, basketball, football, ran cross-country and enjoyed pretty much anything where I was active.  When I was in the seventh grade, I began to experience knee pain – but as most teenage boys would be told, it was shrugged off as just growing pains. As the years passed, the pain continued to get worse and finally my parents took me to the doctor where they did an x-ray of my knee.  At first it appeared that nothing was wrong, but thankfully my doctor delved deeper. Little did I know, my world would be turned upside down.

I had just turned 15-years-old, in March of 1996, when I was diagnosed with bone cancer in my leg.  My parents and I were told the particular type of cancer I had, chondrosarcoma, does not respond to chemotherapy and the most common treatment is amputation. This was devastating news. To say that we were matt-grad2stunned was an understatement. This would have meant as a 15-year-old athletic young man, my left leg would have been amputated at the hip.  My life would never be the same.  It is pretty rare that this cancer is contained within the femur but I was told that my tumor was contained. Because of that silver lining, my doctors recommended a brand new procedure.

They suggested that the six-inch portion of my femur containing the tumor be taken out and replaced with donor bone. I underwent three surgeries, including a 12-hour procedure, and then spent about a year on crutches. Today, after a total of six surgeries on my leg, including one in 2011 where I received a second amazing gift of donor bone, I am still walking and enjoying life. And, unfortunately while playing certain sports is no longer an option, I still have my leg!

m-arrasmith-dartsI took part in the 2016 Transplant Games of America, playing Texas Hold ‘em poker, bowling and golf, thanks to the generosity of my donor. It was an awesome experience, meeting people from across the country who have been touched by organ, eye and tissue donation.

I am thankful to all of the doctors that helped drastically change my life. But I am most thankful to my two bone donors – I was incredibly lucky to have had the option of using donor bone to save my leg – and my life as I know it. Won’t you say “yes” to organ, eye and tissue donation?

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Out of Despair, the Gift of Life

After losing her sister, one writer discovers a sense of peace.

1216 diary essay organ donation plnmph

Karen Abercrombie recently shared insight into her experience with donation after her sister, Julie, passed away. Karen describes how the compassion of the donation community helped her heal and her amazement when she learned about the impact of Julie’s tissue donation. Read more>>

“I was astounded to learn that upward of 80 people’s lives were either saved or enriched by Julie’s donations, including, of course, Carson Palmer’s.”

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Dr. Brian Cole Awarded Inaugural Allosource Inspiration Award

AlloSource, in recognition of its work with Dr. Steven Gitelis of Midwest Orthopaedics atDr. Cole Allosource_optimized.jpg Rush, recently created the “Dr. Steven Gitelis Inspiration Award,” honoring a doctor or clinician that inspires through his or her work in treating patients with donated human allografts. The first recipient of this award is Dr. Brian Cole, also of Midwest Orthopaedics of Rush, in recognition of his work using allografts to help his patients heal from a variety of injuries.

Dr. Gitelis, one of the founding physicians of AlloSource, specializes in orthopedic oncology and understands the need for donated human tissue to heal patients. Throughout his career as an orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Gitelis has used donated human tissue in complex surgical procedures. He and his patients appreciate and revere the gift of human tissue donation.

“Dr. Gitelis is a thought leader in the area of allograft research. I am honored to receive this award and grateful to all those who have helped make this happen at my office, Gift of Hope and Allosource,” said Dr. Cole.


The award was presented at the Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush offices in Chicago by Tom Cycyota, President and CEO, AlloSource and Anne Gulota, chairperson, Gift of Hope.

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NFL Films Presents: Carson Palmer’s Doner

An incredible story about the woman whose tendon went on to help NFL quarterback Carson Palmer and the amazing bond donation created between these two families!

carsonpalmerdoner

QB Carson Palmer’s ACL Injury in the past resulted in a unique connection with his donor’s family.

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Sports Medicine Award Winner 2016: ProChondrix by AlloSource

Sports Medicine Award Winner

ProChondrix® is a new treatment option for patients suffering from debilitating cartilage defects who do not want to give up their active lifestyle. Whether you are addressing pain from articular cartilage damage for the first time, or still have pain in following multiple surgeries, ProChondrix may be the answer to helping restore your life.

Learn More About ProChondrix®