When Jen Feldman of Portland, Oregon, discovered she needed a kidney transplant and she first reached out to her family and friends, hoping they might qualify as organ donors.
Feldman, though, didn’t give up. She sent a letter to fellow members of her synagogue, Congregation Beth Israel in Portland. Perhaps a kind-hearted acquaintance would consider her need.
Feldman’s faith in the generosity of strangers was rewarded when Jonathan Cohen offered to donate a kidney. “No, I didn’t know much about kidney donation at all,” Cohen told KATU news. But, he felt convicted to help Feldman. “It’s gonna be me,” Cohen thought after contacting Feldman.
Cohen, in fact, turned out to be the only donor qualified to help Feldman.
After a successful transplant, he reflected on the opportunity to sacrifice for another person. “Who doesn’t like being the hero in the movies or whatnot,” he said. “So to be able to be that in real life I thought was a pretty cool opportunity.”
Feldman considers her survival a miracle. “I wake up every morning and think about, and go to bed every night and think about, that someone gave me a living organ to put in my body to save my life.”
Working in the medical field is certainly stressful and reducing the strain of saving lives is much needed by doctors, nurses, and other such workers. Most will turn to the average stress relievers such as exercise and reading; however, a certain group of doctors joins together once a month to blow off steam in in a much more nonconventional way: through a band called the Providence Hospital Stage Band.
The band formed in the 1960’s and has remained strong in Portland, Oregon for over half a century. Larry Morrell, the music director of the band, said in an interview with Oregon Live: “They [the players] all started playing music in high school. Maybe they were in a rock group or the school band. At a certain point, they had to get serious about making a living. They knew music wasn’t the way. They were drawn to medicine and went to college and then to medical school. They never lost their love of music.”
Dr. Mark Loveless, a guitarist in the band, is a testament to how the band has brought doctors together to diffuse the stress while enjoying a much-loved hobby. Loveless was part of a team working on HIV research. “Early in your career, you quickly find out you can’t do it all alone,” he stated. “In our HIV research, I was part of a great team. When we did something good for a patient, the team celebrated. I feel the same way when I don’t make mistakes in the bad. I’ve done my part.”
The band has a variety of gigs around the Portland area, including a dance party for disabled adults and a prom for dental students. The Providence Hospital Stage Band will be performing on December 2nd at the Oregon Convention Center in the Providence Festival of Trees.
The smell of burning timber woke Guy Fieri in his Santa Rosa, California home earlier this month. “The smoke was really bad,” the Food Network chef told local radio station KQED. “We had to evacuate at two in the morning, and we grabbed what we could, taking pictures off the wall as fast as we could. Jumped in the truck, loaded in the dogs, and away we went.”
While Fieri’s home escaped the wildfires unscathed, other Santa Rosa residents were less fortunate. So, Fieri decided to help them in the way he knew best: by preparing and serving delicious meals. The chef and his staff cooked barbecue chicken, coleslaw and bean salad in a mobile wood-fired oven and smoker, which they parked outside of town. Nearly 4,000 evacuees and volunteers lined up to sample Fieri’s cuisine on the first day.
Fieri plans to continue operating his mobile kitchen, so he can keep serving 5,000 meals daily to fellow victims and personnel. A fundraiser in partnership with the Salvation Army is financing his efforts. To donate, click here.
Veteran hiker Nathan Mitchell has walked trails in Peru, Panama, and all over the Pacific Northwest. So, when Mitchell ventured into the Mt. Hood wilderness for a solo hike, his family expected him to return safely. The weather, however, had other plans: wind and rain forced Mitchell to seek shelter and attempt a retreat to his car. Ultimately, he was forced to spend the night on a ridge above the Salmon River drainage.
When Mitchell woke, he couldn’t find the trail. “Mt Hood is a jungle,” the hiker’s father explained. “Once you get in there you can get disoriented because everything looks the same.” For the next five days, Mitchell battled trench foot and fatigue while he waited for help to arrive.
It did arrive, in a big way. Over 100 volunteers joined Mitchell’s friends and family to comb the area around his vehicle. Becky, Mitchell’s sister, described the moment when rescuers finally located her missing brother: “We just ran as fast as we could,” she said. “We slid down the ravine. It really was a beautiful moment.”
In the wake of his ordeal, Mitchell displayed the resilience which carried him through four long, cold nights. “He walked out himself,” Becky explained. “He didn’t want to be carried.” Mitchell’s parents, meanwhile, felt joy and gratitude for the support they received while waiting for news about their son. His mother, Gay, summed up the family’s feelings about the reunion with Mitchell: “It truly is an amazing miracle.”
On May 26th, two people were killed and one man was wounded while protecting two women who were being verbally assaulted by a man on the MAX in Portland. Now, the brave actions of Ricky Best, Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche, and Micah Fletcher will be honored by the city of Portland.
Now, several months later, TriMet announced on Thursday plans to create two tributes to the two victims: one permanent memorial and one temporary. The tributes, according to TriMet spokeswoman Robert Altstadt, will also honor the women verbally assaulted.
The first tribute will be a “large commemorative plaque” will be located at the Hollywood Transit Center in downtown Portland and is being designed by John Larsen. It will be 4 feet by 6 feet and made of porcelain enamel on steel. The plaque will include images of the memorial created by friends, families, and strangers after the initial attack.
The temporary work of art will represent the messages that covered the walls of the transit center after the attack, and the artist will include some of the original messages.
The art will be installed in the transit center around May 2018.
Jack Schumacher is an eighth-grade student at Straub Middle School in Salem, Oregon and facing a difficult challenge compared to most students his age: bone cancer. He is currently at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland, Oregon, fighting hard to recover.
However, he’s not alone in his fight against cancer. The middle school had a pep rally for Jack on Friday morning to support him.
In an interview with Koin6, The Principal, Laura Perez, explained, ” When we found out that Jack had cancer, leadership kids wanted to do something more, so they started selling boo grams.”
In the end, the kids raised over $1,000 for Jack’s treatment, and Jack’s friend, Brayden, who had also been diagnosed with cancer two years earlier, was able to present the check. Even though Jack could not be physically present at the rally and had to FaceTime in, several of his family members were there to accept the check, and his entire family was very moved by the show of support.
Jack’s grandmother, Pam Tucker, stated in the interview, “I’m so overwhelmed with what these kids did for Jack.”
Principal Perez was very proud of the leadership students that took the initiative to raise the money. “This is what we want kids to be learning, is how to care for one another.”