Friday, November 2, 2012
Harry Lucas, of Macomb Township, lost his daughter April to a brain hemorrhage this past November. Since that time, he’s been working to increase organ donor registration by educating others about what it means for both recipients and donors.
A Macomb Township resident is working with the Michigan Donor Family Council, an extension of Gift of Life, to educate others on the importance of organ donation. Harry Lucas has seen the effects of organ donation firsthand. His daughter, April, a 23-year-old Novi High School graduate and Central Michigan University graduate student, died after suffering a brain hemorrhage this past November. He said April’s donation gave the gift of life to four people. “One of the most important things for any family that’s suffered a loss like that is to continue the legacy of their loved ones,” Lucas said. “There’s such a need out there – people waiting on organ donation lists who will never get them. You can save lives.” As part of the Michigan Donor …
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
This is the Patton family's 11th stuffed animal drive held in memory of baby Erin. Collection bins will be available at Cobblestone Ridge Dentistry in Macomb Township and McKernan Chiropractic in Shelby Township through Oct. 2.
- VOLUNTEERS IN THE NEWS
- Jenny Whalen
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Joining the dozens of teddy bears, dinosaurs, rabbits and dogs, there is always one panda among the Patton family’s annual stuffed animal donations to Children's Hospital and St. John's. While all the toys are collected and donated in memory of baby Erin T. M. Patton, the panda holds a special place in the heart of Erin's parents, Clifford and Tammy Patton. “Every year my husband and I look specifically for panda bears,” said Tammy Patton, a Clinton Township resident. “When Erin was transported from St. John to Children’s, she was given a panda bear to ride with in the ambulance. Every year we look for at least one panda.” Tammy Patton was five-and-a-half months pregnant when she learned her baby had a heart defect. When Erin was born on …
Sunday, September 2, 2012
Macomb Township residents can make donations to Danielle Ziaja's "Clean Start" project at Fraser Optical locations in Shelby Township and Sterling Heights.
- VOLUNTEERS IN THE NEWS
- On Macomb Patch
Sunday, September 2, 2012
Friday, August 31, 2012
Here's how Danielle Ziaja is making a difference in Oakland and Macomb counties.
On the Friday before her senior year at Detroit Country Day was set to begin, Danielle Ziaja of Rochester Hills had a hair appointment, a senior photo shoot and some summer calculus homework to finish up. She is, in many ways, a typical 17-year-old. Except for the 1,300 crayons, 185 bars of soap and 3,282 tubes of toothpaste that were packed into the back of her parents' Yukon. On Friday morning, Danielle unloaded the crayons, soap and toothpaste, along with thousands of other personal care and school supply items, onto a cart bound for a warehouse at the Lighthouse of Oakland County. The shipment capped off a summer of similar donations across Oakland and Macomb counties — 31,026 items in all. "People who talk about being worried about …
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Danielle Maisano, 27, is currently stationed in the West African nation of Togo, where she is working with community members to replace broken water pumps that will provide clean water to more than 20,000 villagers.
The Togolese Republic isn’t a nation many can point out on a map, but it’s one where a Macomb Township woman is changing the lives of some 20,000 people, one water pump at a time. Peace Corps volunteer Danielle Maisano, 27, is currently stationed in the West African nation of Togo, where she is working with community members to replace broken water pumps in 23 villages. The new pumps will provide clean water to more than 20,000 villagers and help reduce illness and infant mortality rates. Maisano, who graduated from Wayne State University with a degree in journalism, has been working in Togo as a health volunteer since June 2011. “I applied for the Peace Corps right after I graduated from college,” Maisano said. “I wanted to do something …
Friday, June 8, 2012
Clarence Alexander has lost the ability to move his limbs, but has learned to use his voice to raise awareness of the still incurable ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease.
Clarence Alexander has known two great loves in his life–Mother Nature and Ruth. While Lou Gehrig’s disease cut short his time with the first, it has only strengthened his relationship with the second and inspired her resolve to find a cure. A Macomb Township resident, Alexander, 67, was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as Lou Gehrig's, in October 2007. A progressive and fatal disease that causes the muscles to weaken, affecting the ability to move, speak, swallow and breathe, ALS has no known cause or cure. Having lost the ability to move his limbs, the once avid outdoorsman is now confined to a wheelchair. But for both Alexander and his wife of 47 years, his story is not one to be pitied, but rather used…
Monday, June 4, 2012
Karri Sparkman hopes that by raising awareness of special needs wrestling, she'll be able to take the sport to the Special Olympics, where her son dreams of competing.
When Karri Sparkman couldn’t find a special needs wrestling program for her sons, she approached the Macomb Township Parks and Recreation Department to start one. A year later, the program is registering for its fourth session and Sparkman has a new ambition–take the sport to the Special Olympics. While Special Olympics offers more than 32 Olympic-style individual and team sports, wrestling is not one of them. “I think there is a niche for it, but think people are either afraid their children are going to get hurt or they’re afraid of the sport,” Sparkman said. “When I go to a wrestling event, I see so many kids with special needs that love the program–first and foremost my son Jesse. His dream is to get this into Special Olympics, so how …
Monday, May 21, 2012
Macomb Township resident Kathi Sitek created the first Pill Pouch to help her mother manage her multiple medications but has since transformed the idea into a family business.
Pick a pill, any pill. With eight medications to choose from, taking the right pill at the right time was often a game of chance for 86-year-old Stella Mazur. For her daughter and primary caregiver, Kathi Sitek, it was a problem in desperate need of a solution. Setting out to create a visual aid that would identify the many medications, Sitek taped and labeled samples of her mother’s pills to a flattened Kleenex box and inadvertently created the medication management system her family now markets as the Pill Pouch. “I was taking care of my mother and she had developed so many different conditions that she was on eight different medications,” Sitek, 59, said. “When we went to the doctor, we would have to take her pills in bags and the …
Sunday, May 13, 2012
With her children grown, this Macomb Township mom now puts her maternal instincts to use at the St. Peter Lutheran School nursery.
Being the mother of two and the caretaker of dozens at the St. Peter Lutheran School nursery, Vanessa Jones has learned through experience that there are two secrets to Motherhood–communication and hugs. Both must be practiced daily. “I just feel the community needs people that want to make their community a better place,” Jones said of her various forms of service. “The way the world is going right now, we need to take care of our children, of our schools. If we don’t take care of that, our kids won’t have much down the road.” Despite being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2006, Jones has continued her service at St. Peter. “Vanessa is a kind, loving Christian wife and mother,” said St. Peter Pastor Ken Wagener. “She serves our church…
Friday, April 13, 2012
Four-year-old Kaitlyn Garon has a rare and severe food allergy that requires her to be fed through a tube in her stomach. Her day-to-day life isn't easy, but you'd never know it by looking at her smile.
Editor's note: This story was originally posted on Macomb Patch on April 13. On April 16, it was chosen for Huffington Post's "Greatest Person of the Day" feature. We hope Kaitlyn's story spreads awareness and understanding of this rare condition and that her smile inspires those efforts to find a cure. It’s been said that the loss of one sense can strengthen another. When 4-year-old Kaitlyn Garon lost the ability to eat, it was her smile that got stronger. Diagnosed with a rare and severe food allergy at age 1, the Macomb Township girl has spent the last three years learning to adapt to life with Eosinophilic Esophagitis, an inflammatory condition in which large numbers of white blood cells fill the wall of the esophagus and attack …