PBS Documentary ‘Transplant: A Gift for Life’ Explores Stories, Science Behind Transplants

Released: 7-Nov-2012 9:30 AM EST
Source Newsroom: Mayo Clinic
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Newswise — ROCHESTER, Minn. -- Transplant: A Gift for Life -- a one-hour, Emmy Award-winning PBS documentary that includes Mayo Clinic transplant patients, their families, and doctors -- will be distributed to public television stations nationwide this month. On Nov. 8, more than 60 PBS stations will air the program simultaneously through the PBS World channel, and many other PBS stations will air the program at various times (check local listings) over the next three years.

Every day, 19 Americans die while waiting for an organ transplant. In Transplant: A Gift for Life, TPT National Productions and Minneapolis filmmaker Dennis “Denny” Mahoney explore the stories and science behind organ donation and transplantation. The program includes the compelling stories of Mayo Clinic patients Charles Lewensten, who receives a portion of his daughter Amy (Lewensten) Konsewicz’s liver; and Bob Koehs, a lung transplant recipient who reaches out to his deceased donor's family and unexpectedly helps them heal. With intimacy and honesty, this film tells moving stories of courage and love.

After his own liver transplant in 2008, Mahoney began working on the program, which quickly became his labor of love. He worked tirelessly on the documentary until his death from cancer last February. He was honored posthumously with a Midwest Regional Emmy Award for Best Topical Documentary in September.

The documentary profiles organ recipients and their donors, which include friends, family and strangers. Patients and specialists from the University of Minnesota are also featured. For more information, or to watch the program online, visit www.tpt.org/transplant.

Mayo Clinic, with campuses in Minnesota, Arizona and Florida, has one of the nation’s largest and most experienced transplant practices. More than 200 doctors in transplant medicine and surgery perform about 1,500 transplants a year. For more information, visit www.mayoclinic.org/transplant.

More than 110,000 Americans and their families are awaiting lifesaving organ transplants. For more information about donation and how to sign up as a donor, visit www.donatelife.net.

Transplant: A Gift for Life is a Dennis Mahoney Film produced in association with TPT National Productions. Major funding for Transplant: A Gift for Life is provided by the Carlson Family Foundation, the Curtis and Marjorie Nelson Family Foundation, Susan and Michael Kerr, Astellas, and The Persephone Fund of The Whitney Foundation. Additional funding is provided by Steven Wexler and Pamela Stewart, and Gus A. Chafoulias.

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