University of Pennsylvania Health System

Lung Transplant Update | Penn Medicine

Friday, May 15, 2015

Update on the 20th Anniversary DASH for Organ Donor Awareness

Thanks to Team Penn Medicine, and the 12,000 people who participated in the 2015 DASH for Organ Donor Awareness. The event was an incredible success.

We’re waiting on the final numbers but the preliminary reports are indicating that the 2015 Dash raised $563, 380! Congratulations to Team Penn Medicine for being more than 175 people strong and raising more than $10,000.00.

As with every event, there are things that go well and opportunities to improve. We’d love to learn what you thought about the event day and what ideas you may have for what Team Penn Medicine can do next year to improve your experience at the Dash.

It would be really helpful if you could take a five-question survey, which should only take three minutes to complete. At the end of the survey you'll have a chance to volunteer for a new Team Penn Medicine Planning Committee, so you can be part of the process to make the Dash a little better next year.

We’ll summarize the survey results and post them to the blog the first week of June. Please take the survey before it closes at 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 31.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Philadelphia’s Hope for a Cure PHA Gala: Supporting Pulmonary Hypertension Research, Education and Advocacy

For many people, today is set aside to recognize Mexico’s rich culture and heritage and celebrate its victory at the battle of Pueblo. But for people battling pulmonary hypertension, May 5 is also important because it’s World Pulmonary Hypertension Day – a day dedicated to help promote awareness and education about this progressive, chronic and debilitating disease.

To celebrate World Pulmonary Hypertension Day, we wanted to share some upcoming opportunities you have to help raise awareness:

1. You can donate a gift to the Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA), a non-profit organization committed to finding ways to prevent and cure pulmonary hypertension. The PHA provides hope for patients through support, education, research, advocacy and awareness.

2. Next month, the organization is hosting the Hope for a Cure Gala in Philadelphia. Proceeds from this biennial event go directly to support PHA’s research, advocacy and support. 

The gala is taking place on June 20 from 6:30 to 11:30 pm at the Springfield Country Club in Springfield, Pennsylvania.  A limited number of tickets are still available. To purchase tickets, please visit “Philadelphia’s Hope for a Cure” website

3. Lastly, there will be a silent auction during the gala, which you can donate to even if you are not attending.

“Any ideas for silent auction items are good ones!” says event coordinator, Colleen Connor. “When you donate to ‘Philadelphia’s Hope for a Cure’ silent auction, you are not only helping advance research, but you are giving the tremendous gift of support and hope to all patients with pulmonary hypertension.”

Here’s a list of the type of items that have been successful in raising funds at past silent auctions:
  • Restaurant gift cards or certificates
  • Experiences such as a spa day, concert or local tourist attractions 
  • Tours of unique places such as a television station or other interesting places that the general public would not have access to
  • Sports tickets or memorabilia, golf related items 
  • Hotel stays
  • Jewelry 
  • Wine and any other delectable treats 
  • Artwork
  • Trips or vacation homes
  • Services
  • Electronics
  • Children's prizes for little guests
The deadline for a donation to be listed in the “Philadelphia’s Hope for a Cure” program is May 14. The donations themselves must be received by June 5. 

For more information or to donate an item, please contact Colleen Connor at 610-429-0118 or

Thank you and happy World Pulmonary Hypertension Day!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

How to Reduce Sugar in Your Diet

Following transplant surgery, you need to be extra careful with your diet and follow the nutrition guidelines provided by your Transplant dietitian and medical team. In general, nutrition recommendations after transplant include a well-balanced, portion and carbohydrate-controlled diet. Carbohydrate-controlled, in particular, means watching your sugar intake...

While always sweet and delicious, consuming large amounts of added sugar can be more than a dental issue. Sugars in their natural form, like those found in fruits and vegetables, are embraced by our body and are broken down appropriately; however, the addition of refined sugar in processed foods has been clearly linked with health complications.

Following a solid nutrition plan and reducing the amount of refined sugar your consume is one way you can work to optimize how well your transplanted organ functions. To help, we have listed a few alternatives to sugar that you can use in your food and drinks that are healthier, yet just as sweet.

Unsweetened Applesauce

For healthier baking, swap out the sugar for applesauce, which contains more nutrients, as well as fiber, and fewer calories for every cup. Just replace the sugar with equal parts applesauce and you're well on your way to a healthier, sweet snack. Remember, for every cup of applesauce used, reduce the amount of liquid in the recipe by one-fourth cup.


Housed in every baking cabinet, vanilla extract can enhance the flavor without the refined sugar. Even though it can't be used as a 1:1 ratio, it still can reduce the amount of added sugar while keeping the same amount of flavor. A perfect, healthy twist for your favorite cookie! Try cutting a few tablespoons of sugar and using half of a teaspoon of vanilla instead.

Yogurt or Greek Yogurt

Yogurt can provide a good sweet option, as some have relatively low sugar. Nutritionists Tiffany Donahue, RD, LDN, and Katie Stratton, RD, LDN, suggest adding a little powdered cocoa or a sprinkling of cinnamon to plain Greek yogurt for a fun snack.

Reminder: Remember that honey, maple syrup and dried fruit are natural but concentrated sugars, which should be avoided or limited to small quantities. Raw honey should be avoided completely.

Monday, March 2, 2015

March Support Group: Speaker from Gift of Life

Photo credit: Gift of Life Donor Program
Date: Monday, March 9, 2015
Time: 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
Location: Smilow Center for Translational Research
Conference Room 09-146 AB
3400 Civic Center Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Please enter via the Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine.

Topic: Speaker from Gift of Life Donor Procurement Organization

Please join us on Monday, March 9 as we welcome Lara Morettirom Gift of Life Family Support Services, the federally designated donor procurement organization in the Philadelphia region. 

During the support group meeting, Lara will share the numerous resources that Gift of Life provides to donor families and recipients and how to tap into them. For instance, if you would like to write a letter to the family who donated their loved one's organs to you, the Gift of Life Family Services team offers guidance, support and different options for doing so depending on your comfort level. She will explain why you may wish to write a letter and the process for writing and delivering it. 

Lara will also give detailed information about the annual Donor Dash for Tissue and Organ Donation. This year the Dash is taking place on Sunday, April 19 at front of the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum. It is the single most important event for raising awareness and funding education that GOL provides to the community in the tri-state region. Aside from it being a remarkably fun day where thousands of people come to share the message of donation, the Dash highlights the generosity of donation and showcases the grateful recipients and their families.

If you have questions about the meeting, please contact Chris at 215-662-4575 or

We look forward to seeing you on Monday!