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November 28, 2013 - Image 63

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2013-11-28

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

"It's helpful and very healing to meet the
recipients. I feel like out lives are intertwined."

- Alicia Stillman

"When you're sitting in the ICU
for a month, you have a lot of time to
think," Guy Mulligan said. "The big-
gest thing on my mind was that my
boys would not have a father."
It was an emotional meeting
between the two families. Emily's
father, Michael, sister, Karly, 21, and
brother, Zach, 17, were also there.
They looked at photo albums togeth-
er, shared stories and exchanged hugs
through laughter and tears — and
Alicia Stillman got to hear her daugh-
ter's strong, healthy heart still beating.
"I laid my head on [Guy's] chest
and I could feel Emily's heart in
there," she said. "Her heart was here
in her own house where she lived. It's
a surreal experience and never a path
we ever thought we'd be on."
The meeting also came with a sur-
prise; a new life has resulted from the
transplant. Amy Mulligan took off
her coat to reveal she's pregnant. She's
due to deliver the couple's third child,
another boy, in January.
"I'm just so thankful to them for
donating," Amy Mulligan said, also
wiping away tears. "The boys are so
thrilled; they're very close to their
dad and we're so lucky to be having
another baby. That wouldn't be hap-
pening."
The Stillmans gave Guy a glass
heart from Emily's bedroom that says
"love" and "blessed." They received a
heartfelt thank-you letter from Guy's
parents, Diane and Tom Mulligan.
In part, it reads: "When we share
Guy's story with others, our tears are
those of both joy and sorrow. We pray
every day for your peace, and we are
humbled by your unselfish choice ...
[Emily's] gift is like a precious stone
that was dropped into a pond, send-
ing ripples of hope, life and joy to all
who Guy touches and those who he
will touch in the future. There are no
proper words to express what we feel
for you and your family. We only hope
that some small measure of peace will
come to you when remembering what
your beautiful Emily means to so
many others"
The Stillmans also have met Joseph
Steposki of Wyoming, Mich., and
Randy Schumacher of Ubly, Mich.,
the recipients of Emily's lung and kid-
ney. Alicia Stillman says connecting
with the families and learning about
all the lives that were changed does
give her solace.
"There's a bigger picture here she
says. "It's helpful and very healing

to meet the recipients. I feel like our
lives are intertwined."

Emily's Voice
A few days after meeting Guy and
his family, Stillman spoke to a group
of social workers, nurses, chaplains
and others at Temple Israel in West
Bloomfield during the ninth annual
"Bringing Organ Donation Awareness
to our Faith Communities" seminar.
The interfaith day of education and
awareness also was open to the pub-
lic. Stillman told the crowd she's using
Emily's voice to inform people about
bacterial meningitis, the importance
of vaccines and organ donation. The
family is creating the Emily Stillman
Foundation to encourage others to
give the gift of life.
"Organ donation is something we
never talked about, but it's something
everybody should talk about and it's
important:' she said. "In our darkest
moment, I feel like we made a deci-
sion that changed not just five lives
but many lives, many times over and
for generations to come."
According to the Gift of Life
website, there are currently more
than 3,100 Michigan patients wait-
ing for organ transplants and close
to 120,000 nationwide. Anyone can
become a donor despite age or medi-
cal conditions as long as the organs
are deemed healthy. It's also possible
to become a living donor of a kidney
or part of a lung or liver. All a person
has to do is sign up at a Secretary of
State branch office or through Gift of
Life.
"Everyone should be an organ
donor:' Alicia Stillman said. "There's
no reason not to be. You don't need
your organs when you go. It's about
the bigger picture; that's Emily's mes-
sage. I'm going to talk to one person
at a time, and maybe one vaccination
at a time, and I'm going to make the
world a better place." ❑

For more information about
organ donation or to sign up
to become a donor, go to www.
giftoflifemichigan.org or call
(800) 482-4881. For more about
meningitis, go to www.nmaus.
org or call (866) 366-3662.
Donations to the Emily Stillman
Fund can be made at Temple Shir
Shalom, 3999 Walnut Lake Road,
West Bloomfield, 48232.

St. Joe's

Lung Cancer Program Offers
the Latest Diagnostics, Treatment

By Jack Weiner
President and CEO
St. Joseph Mercy
Oaklantholl

Lung cancer is the most common
cause of cancer death in men and
women combined, but recent treatment
breakthroughs provide ways to earlier
diagnose and better treat the disease.
St. Joseph Mercy Oakland's Lung Cancer
Program offers the latest in diagnostics,
treatment and clinical trials.

Here's why you should seek out St. Joe's for lung cancer diagnosis and treatment.
We offer:
• A quicker path to diagnosis and treatment with twice monthly multidisciplinary
Lung Tumor Board meetings attended by a team that includes nationally recognized
experts in Radiation Oncology and Thoracic Surgery, along with specialists in
Pulmonary Medicine, Medical Oncology, Pathology, Radiology and others. Working
together, the team develops a personalized cancer treatment plan for each patient
designed to deliver the best outcomes.
• A lung cancer nurse navigator who facilitates care for each patient. She provides
patient education, coordinates appointments and provides additional emotional and
resource support throughout each patient's treatment journey.
• Our nationally recognized specialists are Thoracic Surgeon M. Salik Jahania,
MD, and a team of 21st Century Oncology radiation oncologists led by Larry Kestin,
MD, who have dedicated SJMO-affiliated lung cancer practices and are skilled and
experienced in the latest cutting-edge diagnostic and treatment technology.

• Superdimension Navigational Bronchoscopy System, Endobronchial Ultrasound
(EBUS) and Low-Dose Lung CT screening for the latest in detection, diagnosis and
staging, along with da Vinci° robotic-assisted surgery.
• A Surgical Pavilion with modern surgical suites that offers the most up-to-date

technological advances in the area.

• Access to nearly 150 clinical trials through our Community Clinical Oncology

Program (CCOP), the same trials accessed by the Mayo Clinic. This means patients
can receive cutting-edge treatment while remaining right in our community.
• Access to educational information in our Cancer Resource and Support Center,
which will open in April within the Alice Gustafson Center on the hospital campus.
• A Cancer Center that offers an environment of patient comfort and dignity in both
the physician office and the infusion center.
For more information on St. Joe's Lung Cancer Program, call Patti Moore, Lung Nurse
Navigator, at 248-858-3471.
When you're looking for the latest, comprehensive and compassionate lung
cancer care, come to St. Joseph Mercy Oakland, where our clinical outcomes speak
for themselves.

Dis cov erRemarkable

ADVERTISMENT

18411

November 28 • 2013

63

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