Monday, February 22, 2010

The earth lost an Angel -God has received one.

Carole Latch Stites-Luka, 68, of Glenolden, died Feb. 19 at home.Born in Darby, she lived most of her life in Delaware County, but also lived in Fairfield, Calif. She was a 1960 graduate of Collingdale High School and attended the Philadelphia College of Art.Mrs. Stites-Luka was a crossing guard for Glenolden Borough for 22 years, retiring in October 2008. She also was also a service worker and flea market dealer. An artist and painter, her most notable accomplishment was as an illustrator for a children’s novel, “Lost in Redskirt Forest.”

She loved children, telling stories, books, movies, flea markets and dancing. Among her many hobbies and interests were crafts, jewelry and traveling. An active volunteer, she was a member of the Delaware County Artists Guild and the American Legion in Norwood. She was devoted to her family, especially her grandchildren.

She was the widow of Carl Stites Jr., who died in 1984 and the daughter of the late Howard R. Latch and Margaret Portman. Her brothers, Thomas and David Latch also predeceased her.Survivors: Husband, Daniel J. Luka; son, Carl Stites; daughter, Cynthia Stites; brothers, Howard and Gregory Latch; sisters, Dolores Rodino, Diane Mozier; five grandchildren; two great-grandchildren.

Service: Noon, Wednesday at St. Gabriel’s Church, Mohawk and Seminole Avenues, Norwood.
Visitation: 6-9 p.m. Tuesday at the James F. Knoetgen Funeral Home, 746 Kedron Ave., Morton.Burial: Edgewood Memorial Park, Concord.

Contributions: In lieu of flowers, to the National Foundation for Transplants, 5350 Poplar Ave., Suite 430, Memphis, TN 38119.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Carole's Passing

Very Sad news, thanks to all of you that have helped to make Carole's time on this earth just a little bit brighter.

My Mom passed away last night at 837pm in my & my stepfather's arms. Her battle with cancer & resulting cirrhosis is now over. I I want to thank each of you who were supportive during her time she battled this ugly disease. Your support & prayers have sustained us. She is suffering no more.~~Cindy
(carol's Daughter)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Thank you for spreading Awareness!

Carole and her family are dealing with their sadness in a very positive manner. Our prayers are with them during this difficult time.

One thing that was accomplished by Liver4carole was that we have provided awareness for transplants and how they can help save a life. I personally have, because of Carole, become an organ donor. I intend to be cremated when I die, so I asked myself why not take the few minutes that it takes and sign-up as a donor. Why? Because when I die a life could be saved! As far as my thoughts are concerned, what a wonderful gift to give to someone, when I'm gone. If one person reads this and donates their organs then so much will have been accomplished.

The funds that have been donated to Carole via will be utilized for her trip to Mayo and all of the testing, etc. that was provided for her during the evaluation process. Thank you to everyone who has donated or have passed the word about her in blogs and other social messaging systems. According to her daughter Carole was amazed at the outpouring of love shown by complete strangers to her. Personally, as the creator of Liver4carole, my belief in mankind has been renewed. One day, as I arrived at the office and checked my computer was a donation sent to my personal paypal for $100.00 to benefit I burst into tears my coworkers were concerned at what had upset me. They were, not tears of sadness, instead they were the most instense tears of joy that I have displayed in a long time! Who would suspect that random acts of kindness would be so great, so caring and so intense from people who do not know Carole, her daughter, or myself.

If you make a decision to donate your organs you can read about how to designate such:

The Shortage (Overview)
Each day, about 77 people receive organ transplants. However, 19 people die each day
waiting for transplants that can't take place because of the shortage of donated organs.

On a lighter note, we have winners in the "Spring to Action" contest! Congratulations go out to Wonderfullymade729 & Painter Mommy. Thanks for spreading awareness for Carole.

The world has proven to me, it's brightest light, love.

Susan Rosen

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Letter from Cindy

We received the news late last Friday my Mom has been turned down by Mayo for a liver transplant. The purpose of going there was for evaluation which is required pre-transplant. While there we received fluctuating reports that seemed promising to not. Then, the 'selection committee' comprising 14 doctors were going to meet last Weds to decide whether or not to proceed. Initially, she passed their strict MELD criteria; however, at this meeting, it was unanimously decided not to put her through this citing several factors. There was also great concern the necessary aggressive radiation would blow out her liver, instantly killing her, since her liver is so cirrhotic from the cancer. 4 people came forward who are the same blood type as her & were willing to be considered as living donors & undergo the evaluation process; but, still Mayo is saying no due to the fact she is stage 3 or 4 & just would not be able to bear the required radiation.

I have received constant requests to see how she is, what the status is, etc. It's been hard to keep up. I have admittedly held off replying because we just needed time to digest this & at times the so-called prolific me was at times incapable to even speak at all. Despite the fact I knew this was probably the reality & saw this forthcoming, it's like when you know something in the back of your mind but when you are finally told, you still need time to accept yielding to God's will. We also had to ensure all family received this news first as well contact National Foundation for Transplants who were the runs running her campaign as directed by Mayo. She will no longer be highlighted by them nor have a website.

Initially she was quite upset to get the news; however, her spirits are good. She stated she accepts this. Her treatment is now going to be taking chemo by pill form. The rest will be palliative. Just prior to Mayo's call, she had just bought luggage with wheels in hopeful anticipation she would return there as we were supposed to. When I asked her what she is going to do with that now, she smiled & said take a trip to the Grand Canyon because I always wanted to see it. She has a peace in knowing being finally turned down could have been the reality & states she is satisfied she went there to do all she can especially to get not only a 3rd but expert opinion. While she was there, she agreed to be part of a study that will hopefully pinpoint cholangiocarcinoma in the years to come since it is such a rare cancer. Mayo also told us they do NOT know how she got this. We were told life expectancy is 1 year, 2 tops with chemo. But, staying positive, who knows for I have seen people on the site I registered her on say they were diagnosed at some point but there are some there who have in their blogs they are now 6 yrs past the diagnosis, etc. It really is in God's hands & His will. She has acknowledged this.

Via National Foundation for Transplants, all current campaign & fundraising efforts will remain in place until they run their course which will cease on or approximately to the end of Feb. All funds that they have received were applied toward the transplant evaluation process [bills, prescriptions, expenses, etc.].

I can't thank you enough nor tell you how your display of love, support, care, friendship, encouraging words, notes, cards, & prayers that have been extended to my family, her, & me have meant the world to us & me personally. We are simple, modest, & private people, & it has not been easy to be thrust involuntarily into the public spotlight overnight like this; however, the continuous worldwide outpour has been astonishing. When we were at Mayo in between appointments or when she was not tired I would show her as much as I could all the messages of hope, prayers, emails, etc., bestowed to her on her Facebook, Myspace, & Twitter accounts that the Transplant Foundation said to set up. It's had us at times speechless & in tears. Thank you for touching us & for your kindness that has sustained us. It has meant the world.

There is good & reasons for all things & there definitely has been good to come out of this that has, I think, blessed all of us. I know I am personally more humbled & appreciative of all persons & life itself. People also have stepped forward saying they would now consider donating organs &/or have an expanded educated awareness of the importance of organ donation they never knew much about before. Things are not in vain & I have no doubt besides the child's life my mother once saved that through her life & this fluke rare cancer that others' lives will also be saved &/or improved.

Thank you so much for all you did. I am sending you this as a blanket message to everyone fully knowing what many have you have done &/or if I thought you also may have anonymously done something as well for which I have no way of knowing. I am extremely grateful, appreciative, forever touched, & changed for the better. If any of you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask. I am doing OK & strong but wanted to be able to collect myself so I could better come to terms with this news as it has been an emotional week; however, God is good, so are you, & I am happy He is good to have brought me the goodness in you. Thank you so much again.
Cindy Stites & family

Friday, February 13, 2009

Good news so far from Mayo!!

FANTASTIC Valentine's Day News so far for Carole!!

We received the news so far my Mom has passed all preliminary protocol stuff [heart, blood thinning, lungs, etc] SO FAR, There is nothing eliminating her right now from being a candidate. On Weds, the selection committee will decide once & for all as well as once they receive cytology biopsy results.

Her doctor will call her Thurs or Fri. If she is a candidate, she will be bumped to top of list due to the fact it is a tumor. Also, she will become a national figure because of the rare nature of the cancer!

We have our flight booked for Saturday, so we will be going home to await the results. Depending on what they reveal will determine how soon we return for her to begin aggressive radiation & chemo.

Thanks to everyone for their prayers, keep them coming!!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Liver Transplant Awareness Info!

Cindy and Carole attended a class in Mayo, which will provide insight about Liver Transplants:

"While at Mayo, they sent us to an organ transplant class, specifically re: the liver. We learned there is no age limit in a transplant candidate. A 90 yo man can get one. As long as the criteria are met. Criteria includes ensuring everything else is healthy to withstand such a major surgery. For a transplant, it is HEIGHT that determines suitability. If a person is 5'4" & the height of the available organ donor is also the same, that organ is considered. If a person is 6', the donor would also have to be 6', & so on. CHILDREN are more priority than anyone else. Also the severity of the illness is also top priority. The person must have less than 2 years to surivive. The wait-time for an organ is about 1 year. The liver weighs about 3 lbs & is the size of a football.

Mayo has a team of doctors, clergy, social workers, psychologists, etc., who meet every Weds for a selection conference where they decide on a weekly basis who is & not suitable for an organ transplant based on their criteria. It is not easy to get a transplant. Their goal is that the patient will be successfully thrive post-transplant. Mayo's 1st liver transplant was in 1985.

For more extremely interesting data, go to UNOS on the web that provdes data, UNOS sites for transplants [there are only 11 centers in the U.S.] as well as their donor awareness directives.

Mayo requires 8-10 hours once called for an organ to get from home to their site for transplantation.'"

Update about Carole

Just in from Cindy (Carole's daughter) Carole is getting more tests & procedures done, final tests tomorrow, returning home on Valentine's Day!

Thanks Cindy!