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Paired Kidney ExchangePaired Kidney Exchange| Diabetes diet| Mindfulness

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Paired Kidney Exchange| Diabetes diet| Mindfulness

Paired Kidney Exchange / Gift of Life

Organ donation is more than just a box you check on your driver’s license. For those in need of a transplant, it can be the difference between life and death. The team at Gift of Life Donor Program know this firsthand. Their non-profit helps to pair those in need with organ donors throughout Eastern Pennsylvania, Southern New Jersey, and Delaware. Howard Nathan, president and CEO at Gift of Life, explains that this organization works hard to ensure everyone gets the match that could save their life. They’re able to help more people than ever before through their paired kidney exchange program. 

Paired kidney exchange is a program that works with living donors. Typically, when a person needs a kidney donated, their loved ones may get tested to give theirs. When they don’t match, though, it can be difficult to find a donor. This exchange works to remedy that by creating a kind of organ donation “pool.” Using this database, donors’ loved ones can agree to give a kidney to a stranger they are a match for, in exchange for receiving a strangers’ kidney for their family member in need. Donors go through a minor surgery and can be out of the hospital in a few days. This program provides a solution for those who often feel stuck without a direct donor lined up. 

Mary and Ed Coyle were one of the success stories to come out of this exchange. In 2012, after a previously transplanted kidney began to fail, Mary needed to find another donor.   Unfortunately, none of her family were a match. So, they waited, while Mary began to feel so fatigued that she says she was failing at work and at home. They knew something had to be done. 

When they were presented with the option of the kidney exchange, that seemed like their best bet. Ed explains that this program was designed for people just like them. They had a need and a willingness to give, but they just weren’t a match for viable transplant. So, Mary asked her husband to do something for her, give his kidney to a stranger. Once he made it through the evaluation, he did just that. Because of his gift, Mary got a donated kidney from a stranger in return. Now, she’s healthy again. She says that it’s hard to ask for something so big from someone else, but the couple agrees that it was worth it. Now, they simply want to spread the message about this program. It can be so rewarding, they say, to help a stranger’s life while also saving the life of someone you love.

Diabetes Diet

Healthy food is more than a career for celebrity chef and cookbook author, Daniel Thomas. For him, it’s a lifestyle. With a culinary career inspired by his father’s at-home dishes, Thomas’ passions changed when his father became a borderline diabetic. Now, cooking isn’t just about making tasty meals, but also about encouraging a healthy lifestyle through the foods we eat every day. Diabetic or not, his meals are perfect for anyone who wants to make everything they eat just a little better for you. Today, Suzanne joins him to create some of these delicious, yet nutritious, new recipes.

First up are tips on snack choices. Chef Thomas walks us through which nuts make the best pick-me-up when you’re on the go. Then, he offers a quick, healthy alternative to cranberry and other juices with his Strawberry, Berry, Cranberry Spritzer. In this recipe, sugar-filled fruit juice is kept in moderation by being frozen into ice cubes. Then they’re topped with club soda, fresh berries, and mint to make a refreshing, guilt-free alternative. 

Next, Suzanne and Chef Thomas take on a classic dish: chicken-noodle soup. Except this one is made without the noodles. The chef explains Israeli couscous might be a better choice than rice or pasta if you’re trying to make your meal healthier. On top of the carb swap, he’s also adding superfood vegetables like kale, as well as celery and carrots.  In the end, you’ve got an easy way to enjoy an old favorite made even better.

They finish up by making a twist on the turkey burger. Here, Chef Thomas suggests putting the patty seasoning-down in the pan to do what he calls LITF—lock in the flavor. Then the meal gets even healthier by removing the top bun and replacing the mayonnaise with fresh guacamole. That way even burger night is just as good for you. 

With a couple bites from each, Suzanne agrees that healthy cooking can still be packed with flavor. Which is why Chef Thomas says he loves it. He hopes that meals like his can change lives, one taste bud at a time. 

Mindfulness

Have you ever felt trapped within the routine of everyday life? Perhaps you have experienced the anxiety of spending your waking hours in a cycle of work, bills and schedules; without ever stopping to ask “why?”. Oftentimes, we are guided to take medications that help treat these feelings of monotony. For those here looking for alternative treatments, many people have found comfort in the practice of mindfulness: a technique of learning how to be more present in your life.

In the segment, Suzanne explores herself through the practice of mindfulness with the Founder and Director of the Penn Program for Mindfulness, Michael J. Baime, MD. Doctor Baime has been teaching this stress-reducing technique for over thirty years. For Dr. Baime, mindfulness isn’t a replacement for traditional western medicine. Baime simply wants to offer another option of treatment for those wishing to one day become less reliant on their medications.

The technique of mindfulness is not associated with any religion and does not require patients to be overly spiritual. This practice is applicable to all people regardless of age, ethnicity or belief. Join Suzanne in her very first experience with mindfulness. With an open heart and mind, this segment may hold the answers to better health, relationships and personal fulfilment. 

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