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Organs for sale: a conversation in Vail

Daily Staff Report
Vail CO, Colorado

VAIL, Colorado ” The international market for organ transplant has been exploding with the developments in science. While the global “market” seems far away, its affects are palpable in a number of remarkable Colorado stories.

Aspen local and Olympic Snowboarding medalist, Chris Klug had a liver transplant in 2000, just a year and a half before he won the Bronze Medal at the Park City Olympics. Klug had a rare degenerative bile duct condition called Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC), which required a liver transplant. He described his life being “on hold” awaiting a donor. Finally, after being upgraded to the critical stage of PSC, a donor was found for Klug. His surgeon was Dr. Igal Kam.

Co-founder of the American Transplant Foundation based in Colorado, Steve Farber was looking to Turkey to find a kidney donor. When Dr. Kam described the mafia-like state of organ harvesting in Turkey, Farber was deterred by the ethical and safety standards of buying a kidney. Luckily, his eldest son, Gregg, donated his kidney to his father. Farber founded the American Transplant Foundation to tackle the tough policy issues that must be solved to eliminate the gap between the need for organs and their supply.

Marc Prisant is the Executive Vice President and CFO of the Steadman Hawkins Research Foundation. He donated a kidney to his older brother in August of 1996, and both Prisants are doing extremely well.

What is the status of organ donors and organ transplant science in our world today? Drs. Kam and Broelsh will examine this globally hot topic, providing an overview to transplant policy, including what is happening across the world today, what the long and short term effects of such policies are, and what changes are on the way and opening the dialogue about transplant issues. Dr. Broelsch is an international expert in liver transplants and performed the first living-donor liver transplant in 1989. He resides in Germany. Dr. Kam arrived at the University of Colorado in 1988 to rebuild their transplant program.

For more information about this event, call the Vail Symposium at 476-0954.


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