“I’m not gonna live the rest of my life like this.” Debilitating back pain plagued Chicago CEO Tiffany Mathis for years, until spinal surgery using a donor’s bone tissue. She talks about how she took charge of her care to get there, the challenges facing Black and Brown communities, and the need to talk more about organ and tissue donation.
Jan 25 - 23 min 32 sec
One to 100
When Police Officer Tommy Butts needed a kidney transplant, his wife Sarah took to social media to find a donor. It didn’t come in time for Tommy. But Sarah’s outreach motivated a state trooper hundreds of miles away to become a donor. She inspired one person—now she wants to inspire 100. Sarah shares what it was like through Tommy’s diagnosis and dialysis, the wait, his death, his own organ & tissue donation, and what gets her out of bed every morning: the chance to encourage someone to say yes to donation.
Jan 11 - 26 min 02 sec
Coming Full Circle
A minor car accident forced Daru Smith to get an in-depth medical exam. The exam uncovered critical health problems that ultimately led to an almost unbelievable situation: Daru needed a new heart, a new kidney and a new liver.
Dec 2022 - 34 min 33 sec
Keep moving forward
When it comes to grief, everyone follows their own timeline. After years of grieving their son’s loss following a tragic accident, John Beach found solace in attending the 2022 Transplant Games in San Diego. On this episode, listen to John and Joy Beach talk about the meaning that organ & tissue donation brought to their lives after their son John became a donor, their path to healing and the wisdom they share with others about coping with loss.
Nov 2022 - 30 min 52 sec
Brain Donation: It Just Made Sense
“My dad was a real practical guy. He wanted to be as useful and helpful as he could.” When Tish’s father died from dementia, his brain was donated for science. Since then, Tish and her sister have worked to educate people about brain donation and to simplify the process.
Nov 2022 - 37 min 56 sec
Family, Faith, and a Pair of Roller Skates
Police officer Mark wondered if he’d ever be able to roller skate again. He’d waited for a liver transplant for nearly a decade. With less than three days left to live Mark received a life-saving donation. Now, he reflects on his journey to health and shares his story to help spread awareness about organ donation among minority communities.
Oct 2022 - 23 min 30 sec
Una Segunda Oportunidad de Vida (A Second Chance at Life) – En Español
Rocío Muñoz tenía una enfermedad renal tan grave que en pocos años acumuló 76 visitas a la sala de emergencias y 13 cirugías. Su situación se volvió tan severa que la unica esperanza para ella era recibir un trasplante de riñon. Una Navidad recibieron una llamada diciendo que habian encontrado un riñon compatible, y ella y su esposo Gerardo Huerta se fueron al hospital, llenos de esperanza y al mismo tiempo incrédulos. Al cabo un helicóptero trajo esa segunda oportunidad de vida que Rocío tanto necesitaba, y de no haber sido por un donante de organos, ellos no estarían aquí para dar las gracias y contar su historia. Rocío Muñoz developed kidney disease so severe that in just a few years she had 76 emergency room visits and 13 surgeries. Her only hope was a kidney transplant. One Christmas she received a call saying they had found a donor. She and her husband Gerardo Huerta went to the hospital full of hope and disbelief. Finally, a helicopter brought that second chance at life that Rocío needed, and if it hadn't been for an organ donor, they wouldn't be here to say thank you and share their story.
Oct 2022 - 29 min 38 sec
Beating the odds
A former bodybuilder, Phil Hanks is a grateful recipient of six transplanted organs. He has lived through cancer, hepatitis C, diabetes and kidney failure. Phil credits his faith, his wife, and his organ donors for this second chance at life. Listen to Phil's story, and his perspective on taking care of yourself and having hope, on Let’s Talk Hope.
Sep 2022 - 37 min 51 sec
Cadena de Favores (Paying it Forward) – En Español
Cuando Miguel López murió de un aneurisma cerebral a los 42 años, su esposa y sus dos hijas se enteraron de la oportunidad de donar órganos y tejidos y pensaron que no habría mejor manera de honrar la vida de Miguel y su generosidad. Escuche a Patty López compartir la historia de su padre en este episodio de Hablemos de la esperanza. After 42-year-old Miguel Lopez died from a brain aneurysm, his wife and two daughters learned about the opportunity for organ and tissue donation. They couldn't think of better way to honor Miguel's life and his giving nature. Listen to Patty Lopez share her father's story on this episode of Let's Talk Hope.
Sep 2022 - 26 min 30 sec
A New Heart Beats, Bringing New Hope
“I could feel my heart beating in my chest again.” After receiving a heart and kidney transplant, Harry now spreads hope to people facing health problems like he once did. Listen to Harry tell his story, and the advice he gives others about staying healthy.
Aug 2022 - 26 min 24 sec
Life-saving Donation Inspires Music and Healing
Paul Cardall was born with half of a heart and given only a year to live. Today, he is a transplant recipient and Dove Award-winning pianist known by audiences around the world. Paul began playing piano to heal himself, but the story of his heart transplant, his donor and the way he inspires others is as moving as the songs he writes.
Jul 2022 - 34 min 59 sec
Treasures Are Meant to be Shared
It was only a cough. When Pastor Joseph Kyles saw a doctor about his cough, he was shocked to learn that he would need a double lung transplant. He was fortunate. The call came in time with news that a lung donor was available to save his life. Today, Pastor Kyles’ donated lungs are like treasures that help him enrich the church and community he serves.
Jul 2022 - 35 min 21 sec
Wait a Minute: Tissue Donation?
After spinal surgery, John Kachanuk learned that donated tissue was the key to his new pain-free life. Now he’s on a mission to honor his donors and advocate for tissue donation. Hear John describe how, for him, tissue donation was not just life-enhancing—it’s been life-changing.
Jun 2022 - 20 min 03 sec
A Pride for Advocacy
Dr. Yvetta Hall was a giver, but had concerns about organ & tissue donation. When she passed away, her wife Shawna was asked to authorize donation on her behalf. Shawna talks about the decision she made, and why she’s become a passionate advocate for donation in minority communities.
Jun 2022 - 25 min 47 sec
A Small Life, A Big Legacy
After her baby Riley died at 3 months old, Autumn and her family chose organ donation to help heal others. What they didn’t expect was how much Riley’s life-giving legacy would heal them.
May 2022 - 25 min 46 sec
To Serve, Protect and Save Lives
Christine Ho received the call one day that any wife dreads: Her husband was in an accident. Hear what happens next as Chicago Police Officer Jonathan Ho ultimately saves lives, through the family’s experience with organ and tissue donation.
May 2022 - 20 min 22 sec
Paying Donation Forward
After Laurie Lee’s dad was saved by a liver transplant, she chose to donate her kidney to a stranger. She wanted to repay the gift that her family was given and set off a chain of donations that saved six people waiting for transplants. From Laurie’s perspective, it was a beautiful way to honor the organ donor who saved her father’s life.
Apr 2022 - 26 min 11 sec
Life Imitates Science
After Kimberly Johnson received a lifesaving transplant, she wrote a letter to her donor’s family. She heard back six months later What she learned about her donor amazed her. What they share goes far beyond the kidney Kimberly received. You hear people say that life imitates art. In this case, life imitates science—the science of donation.
Mar 2022 - 31 min 50 sec
On the waiting list (reshare)
In this reshare episode of Let's Talk Hope, Marion Shuck interviews donor-recipient Laura Barajas about life on the waiting list.
Mar 2022 - 13 min 48 sec
Hope is hope in any language (reshare)
Sometimes the difference between life and death hinges on knowing two things: how to get an organ or tissue transplant and how to pay for it. With language and cultural barriers, it's even more difficult. Two remarkable women are helping residents of our Latino communities navigate the barriers to get the care they need. These women, Catalina Ramos-Hernandez and Jennifer Aguilar, talk to host Marion Shuck about outreach in the Hispanic community and how the Illinois Transplant Fund helps them to literally save lives.
Feb 2022 - 31 min 41 sec
The Tissue Decision (reshare)
Making the decision to donate a loved one’s organs is never easy, even when you work for an organ procurement organization. Shaun Martin, Director of Tissue Recovery at Gift of Hope Organ and Tissue Donor Network had to make that decision when his son Matthew passed away in 2020 at the age of 15. The Martin family decided to give the the life enhancing gift of tissue an area of donation that isn’t discussed often.
Feb 2022 - 28 min 33 sec
A Lasting Legacy (reshare)
Let's Talk Hope podcast host Marion Shuck was recently interviewed about her work with the organization by Monica Fox, podcast host of The Journey Continues. Through her work at Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network, Marion helped countless families make the powerful decision to donate their loved ones’ tissue and organs. When her husband of 33 years, Reggie, suddenly passed away, she found herself making that same powerful decision.
Feb 2022 - 38 min 07 sec
The Best Of
Let’s Talk Hope has put together a compilation of inspiring stories from our best podcast guests sharing their journey and connection to organ, eye and tissue donation.
Dec 2021 - 22 min 40 sec
Hope for the Holidays
The intersection between grief and the holidays can be difficult. Renata Krzyston, Supervisor, Donor Family Services shares how her family and other donor families can get through the holidays when a loved one is no longer here.
Dec 2021 - 28 min 38 sec
Bigger Than Her
Drug addiction and depression is a debilitating illness and often bigger than the person suffering. Let’s Talk Hope talks to Terri Roman, donor mom, about her daughter Julie and shares the struggles and triumph of her illness and how donation was able to rewrite the ending to Julie’s story.
Nov 2021 - 16 min 27 sec
A Decision of Faith
All major religions in the U.S. support donation and believe it to be the ultimate act of love and generous. For many people, faith plays and important role in the decision to register as an donor. Michael Zedek, Rabbi Emeritus of Emanuel Congregation shares how the Judaism religion intersects with organ and tissue donation.
Nov 2021 - 17 min 36 sec
Hope is hope in any language
Sometimes life and death decisions hinge upon knowing when and where to go to get life saving tissue or organ transplants and how to get help paying for them. With language and cultural barriers, it's even more difficult. Two remarkable women are helping to provide this service for many of our Latino communities in need. They are Catalina Ramos-Hernandez and Jennifer Aguillera. They talk to host Marion Shuck about how important community outreach is in the Hispanic community, and how the Illinois Transplant Fund helps them to literally save lives.
Oct 2021 - 31 min 13 sec
The strength of a father
Sometimes the gift of donation can come to a person through love and ironically get matched by blood. Anna Valencia, City Clerk of Chicago father Joe’s transplant journey gave her the strength to run for political office. She also talked about how marginalized communities are gaining access to vital city services through the City Key program.
Oct 2021 - 22 min 50 sec
The Tissue Decision
Sep 2021 - 27 min 40 sec
Exposing truths at the Black Women’s Expo
In the aftermath of George Floyd, minority communities, in particular the African American communities, continue to lack the societal resources to help them understand the inequities in the healthcare system. Dr. Dinee Simpson, transplant surgeon, Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Dr. Milda Saunder, internal medicine physician, University of Chicago Medicine expose the systematic issues that plague communities of color.
Sep 2021 - 32 min 43 sec
A Banner Day for Donors
Loving son, honor student, track and football star, cared for others and church youth group leader are words that describe Deveraux “2” Hubbard, Donor on a special street banner Downtown Peoria, Ill. Riverfront. Kristie Hubbard, donor mother talks about her son “2”, raising awareness about Factor V Leiden and how honored their family was to have him and other life-giving donors highlighted during National Minority Donor Awareness Month in August.
Aug 2021 - 30 min 48 sec
A Lasting Legacy
Jun 2021 - 34 min 18 sec
Diversity, equity, and inclusion is not new to the healthcare and social just systems. Dr. Donyale Padgett speaks to Let’s Talk Hope about why disparities exist in multiethnic communities and why it's important to learn the community needs and norms and work to eliminate these disparities.
Jun 2021 - 26 min 28 sec
On the waiting list
One of the most challenging parts of the donation process is the wait for a transplant. Laura Barajas reflects on receiving her brother’s kidney, and what her current wait is like. Also: Former United Network for Organ Sharing public relations director Lisa Schaffner explains how the national waiting list operates.
May 2021 - 25 min 33 sec
Young and in charge
Talking to kids about organ and tissue donation can be tough. When Marissa Marton’s son Andrew got his driver’s license at 16, he knew he wanted to be a donor. But he passed away before the family could talk about his decision. Marissa talks about the right age to have that conversation with your children. And we speak to Sara Miller, President and Founder of Student Organ Donation Advocates (SODA) and Samantha Newman, SODA Chapter Lead at the University of Illinois about the power that our youth can have on influencing the conversation about donation explain how they created the Student Organ Donation Advocates organization.
May 2021 - 23 min 55 sec
Who is Gift of Hope?
Gift of Hope’s new CEO, Dr. Harry Wilkins, III, discusses the basics of organ and tissue donation and shares his vision for the organization. We also talk with Heather Runyan, a donor wife, who shares the story of her husband Dan and how he was able to bring hope to more than 200 people by the gift of tissue donation.
Apr 2021 - 28 min 25 sec
Coming soon - The premier of Let's Talk Hope
Stay tuned for the launch on April 22nd!
Apr 2021 - 27 sec