Vikki’s Donation Story

April 23, 2012

Vikki Tulcus is an amazing advocate for organ and tissue donation. She has spent the last 10 years of her career building organ and tissue donation awareness and encouraging Illinois residents to register as lifesaving donors. Vikki’s journey within the field of donation became very personal in 2009 when she was diagnosed with a renal disease that will eventually require a kidney transplant.

Throughout April, Vikki is featured in Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White’s commercial to promote organ and tissue donation. Below, Vikki tells her story in both video and print. 

For the past 10 years, I have worked within the field of organ and tissue donation. My roles have, primarily, allowed me to work with donation recipients and donor families to promote organ and tissue donation throughout Illinois. I began my career with Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network where I gained valuable insight into donation and my eyes were opened to the overwhelming need for registered organ and tissue donors.

In 2007, I joined the Illinois Secretary of State Organ/Tissue Donor Program as the Community Outreach Coordinator for Chicago where I continue to work tirelessly to build organ and tissue donation awareness. My job responsibilities have me traveling the state and working closely with Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White to encourage Illinois residents to register as lifesaving organ and tissue donors.

My personal and professional lives became enmeshed on November 13, 2009, when I became extremely ill. I knew something was drastically wrong when breathing became difficult and I grew too weak to walk. I thought it was just an extreme asthma attack and went to the emergency room after my condition worsened. My situation was critical, and doctors worked to save my life. Within hours, I was diagnosed with Wegner’s Syndrome—a rare, autoimmune disease that is chronic and can be fatal. I was told that I was in renal failure and required immediate dialysis. 

Since that day, my life has changed dramatically. I continue to work full time for the Illinois Secretary of State and juggle the responsibilities of daily life. But, each night, I hook myself up to a machine that spends the next 10 hours doing the work that my kidneys no longer can do. My name has been added to the national transplant waiting list for a kidney. Each day, I hope for my lifesaving gift. Unfortunately, in Illinois, the average wait time for a kidney transplant is approximately seven years.  

As I wait for a new kidney, I find hope in the stories of recipients who are grateful for their second chance at life. When I search for a meaning for my illness, I am inspired by stories of heroes who have selflessly donated their organs and tissue to save others. Each day that I wait, I am hopeful that a donor will save my life.  

– Vikki Tulcus, Community Outreach Coordinator, Illinois Secretary of State’s Organ/Tissue Donor Program

Give Vikki and more than 5,000 Illinois residents a second chance at life by registering your decision to be an organ and tissue donor at DonateLifeIllinois.org! Learn more about Vikki and the Illinois Secretary of State’s Organ/Tissue Donor Program at LifeGoesOn.com.


Donate Life Minnestoa Commercial

February 19, 2010

Earlier this week, our Midwest neighbors to the way north recently put together this great campaign to promote organ/tissue donation that we wanted to share with everyone. Be sure to hop over to their blog, the Source, to find out more about the actors in the commercial. Great job MN!

-Scott

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New Illinois Organ Donation Commercial

April 6, 2009

Last week, Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White’s office launched their 2009 commercial touting the importance of organ and tissue donation. Check it out below!

-Scott


Saving Lives – Big Ten Style

December 12, 2008

Friday has come at last! For those of us who have had a long week, today I share with you little something for your visual pleasure. Have a great weekend!

-Joslyn

Donate Life America, a national movement for organ/tissue donor registries, has partnered with the Big Ten universities to launch a new commercial. The commercial has run on the Big Ten cable channel throughout this year’s football season.

Check out the commercial:

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Organ Donor Ads Getting Too Edgy?

December 8, 2008

Earlier this year, Steve over at Revive Hope and myself both posted about a controversial Scotish ad that is intended to promote organ donation and encourage others to register. Last week, the television spot was posted to YouTube (I had previously only seen the print version) which adds additional context to the “shock and awe” approach.

Here’s the spot:

Similarly, a Belgium ad agency recently won an award for putting this sexy twist on the issue as part of an awareness campaign known as “Reborn to Be Alive.” Keep in mind that the ad was designed for Belgian’s leading men’s magazine.

Do these approaches to organ donation advertising cross the line or should we be taking a lesson here in the U.S. and move toward an edgier approach?

Cast your vote!

-Scott

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5 Million Morgans?!

November 13, 2008

I first want to take a moment to thank everyone who stops by to read our posts.

We passed 3,000 channel views for our YouTube channel this week and have recorded over 50,000 views from our various video posts. That’s not by chance. That’s the result of all of us working together as a collective community, emailing around links, sharing our videos in blog posts, posting bulletins on MySpace, notes on Facebook and topics on discussion boards. So, thank you, thank you, thank you!

The more we work together as a collective voice, the more impact and influence we have in reaching out and touching others – reminding them of the crucial importance of organ and tissue donation and the drastic impact they can have on the lives of others as registered donors.

To tie back to the title of today’s post…

As we finish up the 2008 Campus Challenge this week, we thought it might be fun to remind everyone of our larger campaign goal that is going on – namely, registering 5 million Illinois residents as lifesaving organ donors by April 30, 2009. Currently, over 3.8 million Illinois residents have joined the state’s new first-person consent registry. We’ve got a ways to go, but with your continued help, we can get there!

We pulled together another fun video with our campaign mascot, Morgan D’ Organ, to remind us of our goal. For those of you that don’t immediately recognize the context of the video below, this video may help pull it into perspective.

Ahhh Morgan, you never cease to amaze me.

Onward to 5 million!!!

-Scott

Link to video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4845m2a6OY

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