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Myra Rubenstein Weis Health Resource Center

The Myra Rubenstein Weis Health Resource Center is dedicated to supporting the health education needs of the community. An annual benefit funds the Resource Center as well as the Living in the Future (LIFE) Cancer Survivorship Program, including sponsorship of the Myra Rubenstein Weis Cancer Survivorship Seminars.

Located at Highland Park Hospital, the Resource Center is a private place to obtain information when making healthcare decisions.

Visitors are welcome to stop by to browse our collection and enjoy our relaxing environment between appointments or during other idle time in the hospital.

Our personal, confidential assistance is available free of charge to help you find the health information you need. Our hours are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information or to request services, call the Resource Center Coordinator at 847.480.2727 or email mrwresource@northshore.org.


In the Spotlight: Donate Life

Organ procurement organizations, transplant centers, national donation organizations and other organizations sponsor special awareness events and donor recognition ceremonies to promote donation awareness and registration. National Donate Life Month was established in 2003. Every day in April, people across the U.S. make a special effort to celebrate the tremendous generosity of those who have saved lives by becoming organ, tissue, marrow, and blood donors and to encourage more Americans to follow their fine example.  One organ donor can save up to 8 lives; one eye and tissue donor can enhance the lives of as many as 50 people; more than 28,000 lives are saved every year by organ donors!

  • 22 people will die each day waiting for an organ
  • 121,385 people are waiting for an organ

 

What Can Be Donated

Organs

The organs of the body   that can be transplanted at the current time are kidneys, heart, lungs, liver, pancreas and the intestines. Kidney/pancreas transplants, heart/lung transplants and other combined organ transplants also are performed. Organs cannot be stored and must be used within hours of removing them from the donor's body. Most donated organs are from people who have died, but a living individual can donate a kidney, part of the pancreas, part of a lung, part of the liver or part of the intestine.

Tissue

Corneas, the middle ear, skin, heart valves, bone, veins, cartilage, tendons and ligaments can be stored in tissue banks and used to restore sight, cover burns, repair hearts, replace veins and mend-damaged connective tissue and cartilage in recipients.

Stem Cells

Healthy adults between the ages of 18-60 can donate blood stem cells. In order for a blood stem cell transplant to be successful, the patient and the blood stem cell donor must have a closely matched tissue type or human leukocyte antigen (HLA). Since tissue types are inherited, patients are more likely to find a matched donor within their own racial and ethnic group. There are three sources of blood stem cells that healthy volunteers can donate:

Marrow

This soft tissue is found in the interior cavities of bones. It is a major site of blood cell production and is removed to obtain stem cells.

Peripheral blood stem cells

The same types of stem cells found in marrow   can be pushed out into a donor's bloodstream after the donor receives daily injections of a medication called filgrastim. This medication increases the   number of stem cells circulating in the blood and provides a source of donor stem cells that can be collected in a way that is similar to blood donation.

Cord blood stem cells

The umbilical cord that connected a newborn to the mother during pregnancy contains blood that has been shown to contain high levels of blood stem cells. Cord blood can be collected and stored in   large freezers for a long period of time and, therefore, offers another source of stem cells available for transplanting into patients.

Blood and Platelets

Blood and platelets are formed by the body, go through a life cycle, and are continuously replaced throughout life. This means that you can donate blood and platelets more than once. It is safe to   donate blood every 56 days and platelets every four weeks.

Blood is stored in a blood bank according to type (A, B, AB or O) and Rh factor (positive or   negative). Blood can be used whole, or separated into packed red cells, plasma and platelets, all of which have different lifesaving uses. It takes only about 10 minutes to collect a unit (one pint) of blood, although the testing and screening process means that you will be at the donation center close to an hour.

Platelets are tiny cell fragments that circulate throughout the blood and aid in blood clotting.   Platelets can be donated without donating blood. When a specific patient needs platelets, but does not need blood, a matching donor is found and platelets are separated from the rest of the blood which is returned to the donor. The donor's body will replace the missing platelets within a few hours.

To learn more about a variety of different health topics, please browse our health encyclopedia.