A Shining Example of Organ Donation Advocacy

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In his second year as a Green Ribbon Champion, meteorologist Bryan Busby emphasizes awareness and education

WESTWOOD, Kan. (June 12, 2019) — During his first year as a Green Ribbon Champion for organ and tissue donation in 2018, people around Kansas City began seeing Bryan Busby as something other than the Chief Meteorologist for KMBC-9 News.

Viewers noticed his Green Ribbon pin as he forecasted the weather and tracked storms. They stopped him at restaurants and coffee shops to talk about their own associations with organ donation. Others watched him get emotional when he spoke personally about his grandmother, who taught him to do his part to help others.

Portrait of Bryan Busby, Green Ribbon Champion

Bryan Busby, Green Ribbon Champion, at the KMBC-9 News studio

Now in his second year as a vocal advocate for organ and tissue donation, Bryan is proud to again be one of the faces of Midwest Transplant Network’s Green Ribbon Campaign.

“It’s a wonderful thing to use my voice and my reach to work for the greater good and help dispel misconceptions about organ donation,” Bryan said. “And people get to see another side of me that’s human and real – which I hope will help them feel more in touch with Midwest Transplant Network’s mission and want to get involved.”

One of the most meaningful events for Bryan as a Green Ribbon Champion occurred at the third annual Legacy Walk at Berkley Riverfront Park in May. There, two families who were connected through organ donation and a heart transplant sought each other out and met for the first time. The mother of the donor and the mother of the recipient hugged, cried and then walked together as an “extended family.”

Now, as he starts his second year with the Green Ribbon Campaign, Bryan wants to continue sharing knowledge and information about organ and tissue donation – especially for those who don’t realize that it’s possible to be an organ donor and/or a living donor.

“I’m going to keep wearing my pin for as long as I can,” he said. “That’s the first step to raising awareness and getting the conversation started about organ donation. And it reminds me of how precious health is.”

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Anyone can give hope and share life by joining the donor registry, regardless of age or medical history. The process typically takes under a minute and can be completed online at ShareLifeMidwest.com, or in person at the DMV when obtaining or renewing a driver’s license or ID card. For many, it’s a simple way to make a powerful difference. A single donor can save up to eight lives and improve as many as 75 more.

Last year was a record year for organ donation in the community served by Midwest Transplant Network, the organ procurement organization that works in Kansas and western Missouri. A total of 818 organ transplants were facilitated to save the lives of grateful recipients.

Equally important is the number of people registered as organ donors – the first step in giving hope and sharing life for nearly 2,500 Kansans and Missourians on the waiting list for an organ transplant. The wait can sometimes take years unless a living donor becomes available sooner.

“Last year, we received nearly 171,000 new and renewed registrations for organ, eye and tissue donation,” said Jan Finn, president and CEO of Midwest Transplant Network. “Bryan was instrumental in helping us achieve those goals last year, and we are excited for his continued support and eager to keep the momentum strong in 2019.”

With the continued involvement of those who lend their voices to support Midwest Transplant Network’s mission – from hospital partners and DMVs to donor families and transplant recipients, volunteers, ambassadors and of course, Green Ribbon Champions –  Finn is confident that 2019 will be another outstanding year.

About Midwest Transplant Network

Midwest Transplant Network (MTN) has been connecting lives through organ donation since 1973. As the federally designated not-for-profit organ procurement organization (OPO) for Kansas and the western two-thirds of Missouri, MTN provides services, which include organ procurement and surgical tissue and eye recovery, laboratory testing and 24-hour rapid response for referrals from hospital partners. Midwest Transplant Network ranks in the top 10% in the country among OPOs, which reflects the organization’s quality, professionalism and excellence in partnerships throughout the region. For more information, visit mwtn.org.