Diversity in Donation: Creating Programs that Resonate with Diverse Communities
Recorded On: 06/19/2020
Eye banks are often exploring opportunities for expanding their reach within their communities in hopes of promoting cornea donation and transplantation to more individuals while being more inclusive of diverse groups in their programming and communications.
Janice Sedgwick, CEBT
Georgia Eye Bank
Janice Sedgwick, CEBT, is the Manager of Public and Professional Relations at Georgia Eye Bank. Janice has also been a member of the Donor Development committee since 2012.
Kristian Rush is responsible for multicultural and community education at Southwest Transplant Alliance, one of the largest organ procurement organizations in the United States. Throughout her four-year tenure, Rush has educated the community about organ, eye and tissue donation, while also engaging volunteers in support of the organization’s mission to save lives. During her time at STA, she launched the “Know the Truth” campaign, an initiative designed to engage and educate the African American community around organ donation and transplantation.
Prior to her time at STA, Rush was an academic advisor at Cedar Valley Community College. Her love of all things marketing and people began as a street team member and radio personality for K104 FM radio in Dallas. Rush received her Bachelor of Arts from Stephen F. Austin University. She is a native Texan who is passionate about her work, family and friends.
Originally from Henderson, Nevada, Gavin Sweeney has called Southern California home for nearly a decade. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Studies from Biola University. Gavin is the Ambassadors Coordinator at OneLegacy, where he facilitates and directs the organ, eye and tissue donation advocacy efforts of more than 200 volunteers throughout the most populous and diverse service area of any organization in its field. Gavin is passionate about empathetic communication, social justice, and public health.
In 1993, Cheryl's husband, Roderick McGee, Sr, had a seizure. He suffered renal failure and began dialysis. He remained on dialysis for 5 years. This was my first time knowing someone on dialysis. My journey began.
My brother, Lionel Brazile, Jr., had a headache and was taken into surgery for an aneurysm. Lionel's surgery was a Friday and was pronounced brain dead 2 days later. Cheryl's family was approached by LOPA for consent for organ and tissue donation. After 3 1/2 hours we said yes..My husband, Roderick was on the waiting list. We ask the doctor if there's a match, can Roderick receive a kidney.
There was a match. My husband received a kidney and 5 other individuals were able to get a kidney, liver,heart and lungs.
In 1998, Roderick and I became volunteers with the Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency (LOPA). Our lives changed. We were in the community every weekend.
In 2001 Roderick became ill. The transplanted kidney was functioning but there was a tumor on the other kidney. Roderick passed away January 9, 2001.
Roderick's death was not the end of this journey. His corneas were donated and 2 people received sight.
In October 2001, I became a Community Educator with LOPA. I will be at this agency for 20 years this October. I continue to share this story today as a donor/recipient family member.
Sirdaria ""Sid"" Williams is a Community Educator for LOPA (Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency). Her role with LOPA pools her cumulative experience in public relations, strategic communications, public speaking, digital and social media. Sid is very involved with LOPA's social media efforts, as well as their college partnerships to spread awareness about donation and increase Louisiana's donor registry.
In fact, Sid first learned about organ, tissue and eye donation while in graduate school at Louisiana State University. She spent two years as a teacher's assistant for a public relations campaigns class that partners with LOPA every semester to increase the donor registry while spreading awareness on and off-campus. As she helped guide students through their campaigns, she fell in love with LOPA’s core purpose to ""Make Life Happen"" and has helped to promote the cause ever since.