Mother raises awareness of donating organs

Posted May 02, 2010, at 6:59 p.m.

Sometimes, all you can do is ask people to think.

For Lisa Dillen of Greenbush, that seems like a very good idea right now because it is all she can do to help her son.

Dillen wants readers to think about becoming an organ donor: Specifically, becoming a kidney donor.

Her son, 25-year-old Garry Godfrey of Passadumkeag, has Alport syndrome and is in end-stage renal failure.

While starting dialysis on March 10 enabled Garry to “move up on the transplant list” from the regional list to the national list through the Transplant Program at Maine Medical Center in Portland, Dillen told me, that may not be enough to help save his life.

“I am just trying to get the word out about organ donation,” Dillen said.

“I want people to be aware you can be an organ donor and still lead a normal life.”

Dillen is very worried about Garry, who has dialysis four hours a day, three days a week, and “is having a difficult time” with the process.

Alport syndrome is a genetic disorder and “I am a carrier,” Dillen explained, adding she has lost a brother to the disease, and another brother has the disease as does Garry’s younger brother, Mark, whose twin, Michael, died of Alport’s when he was 11.

According to the Alport syndrome website, the inherited disease affects about one in 5,000 people.

Dillen’s hope is that a donor will come forward so Garry and Hailey Godfrey and their 2-year-old son can live “a normal life again.”

For more information, call Dillen at 827-7928.

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Eastern Maine Medical Center health educator Lynn DeGrenier reports Basic Life Support courses for Healthcare Providers are being offered now through August.

The two-night classes are Tuesdays and Wednesdays, May 4-5; June 1-2; July 6-7 and Aug. 3-4, in Conference Room 2D at EMMC on State Street in Bangor.

According to DeGrenier’s release, among the many things attendees at these classes will learn will be “the signs and symptoms of a heart attack” and “how to activate the Emergency Medical System.”

To register, or receive more information, call 973-7089.

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Executive Director Mary Marin Lyon reports Literacy Volunteers of Bangor needs English language tutors, and that training is 6-9 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays, May 5 through May 26, at United Technologies Center, 200 Hogan Road, Bangor.

The fee for the 20-hour course is $30; scholarships are available; and previous teaching experience, foreign language skills and an education degree are not required.

You can register by calling LV-Bangor, 947-8451, at www.lvbangor.org or by e-mailing marylyon@lvbangor.org.

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Open auditions for the Bangor Area Children’s Choir, under the leadership of artistic director Steve Weston, are 4-5 p.m. Thursday, May 6, at Redeemer Lutheran Church on Essex Street in Bangor.

BACC is a two-choir organization, with the Treble Choir a training choir for singers ages 9-16 and the Youth Chorale for singers ages 12-18.

Liz Grandmaison wrote all young singers need to bring to the audition is “your voice,” and all you should expect to do is “to sing with a large group of singers” so Weston “can hear what your voice is/can do” among other singers.

Weston also will listen to singers in smaller groups.

For more information, call Weston at 992-7472 or Grandmaison at 947-2894.

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Casey Cote reports the New Renaissance Singers will entertain at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 5, at Acadia Assisted Living and Memory Care Community, 932 Ohio St., Bangor.

The event is free and open to the public.

Guests are asked to bring a canned food item to be donated to a local food pantry.

Refreshments will be served.

Joni Averill, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor 04402; javerill@bangordailynews.com; 990-8288.

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