Transplant patients, mentors share personal stories

By Carsten Ramcke, PFCC Peer Mentor

Donor panelWhen Megan Podschlne contacted Michigan Medicine’s HITS (Health Information Technology & Services) department she ended up on a much different path than she started.

“I was talking to HITS about developing an educational mobile app for our kidney transplant program and one of their representatives from the Documentation & Publishing department contacted me about creating a book of patient stories.”

Podschlne, a Project Manager in the Michigan Medicine Transplant Center, was immediately intrigued.  Not only had the HITS department been successful with three previous ‘personal stories’ publications, but with the kidney program being the largest organ transplant program at U of M, it seemed a natural fit.

“We thought it would have the greatest impact,” Podschlne recalls.  “We then started working with social workers, physicians, and nurses to identify patients who had an interesting story to tell.”

The reaction from patients was a positive one.  Since reaching out to candidates in December 2016 Megan has received nearly 20 stories from kidney transplant patients representing diversity in diagnosis, age, race and background. Several of the stories feature PFCC Advisors and Peer Mentors.

“Our authors seem to be very excited over the opportunity to share their story” Podschlne declares.  “We hope [the publication] will help patients, friends, and family members understand the process of transplantation by hearing from individual experiences.”

Podschlne continues to work with the Documentation & Publishing Department of HITS as the book enters the editing phase (even as she continues to develop the mobile app).  Her hope is to see the book published and available on Amazon for purchase in the Fall, providing another opportunity for patients and families to learn and understand the challenges and opportunities they face as they consider transplantation.

In addition to the book, the Transplant Center held a successful event May 7 featuring PFCC volunteers telling their stories, titled the Facts and Myths of Living Donation. Pictured here is participant and Living Donor Peer Mentor Brian Martindale with his kidney recipient.

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