Immunology Testing & Research

The laboratory is LifeLink's "matchmaker," connecting deceased and living donors with potential recipients to create safe and long-lived organ transplants. The Transplantation Immunology Laboratory provides ABO blood grouping, infectious disease testing, tissue typing, transplant antibody detection and identification, cross matching and research on a 24-hour daily basis. The laboratory and staff within are recognized as national and international leaders in transplantation, and receive regular invitations to share their exceptional methods to the benefit of the entire field.

By monitoring post-transplant immune responses, the Lab can predict rejection episodes by noting changes in immune activity well before clinical signs occur. Measuring the immune status of patients versus their organ transplants and determining the type of rejection that may occur allows for the most appropriate treatment to reverse rejection episodes.

Locally developed testing methods identify positive or negative crossmatch reactions as being true or false. False negative reactions identify patients at risk for a transplant. Knowledge of false positive reactions, about 20% of all crossmatches, has allowed successful transplantation of over 400 patients who otherwise would not have been transplanted.

More than 1,000 patients and live donors are tested each year, along with 300 deceased organ donors, resulting in more than one organ a day within the nine transplant programs at the three hospitals served.

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Public Education
Sherrell Gay

LifeLink's Public Affairs department uses numerous channels to connect with our communities. These include partnerships with the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles as well as Tax Collector offices in Florida and the Division of Driver Services in Georgia, as well as college-based programs, high school outreach and collaborations with professional companies. We also maintain a presence on Facebook and YouTube.

After Sherrell Gay (pictured left) received a heart transplant, she took up the cause of public education through the Workplace Partnership for Life Program, which assists businesses in sharing information with their employees about organ donation.

Each outlet serves as a stepping stone to reaching our goal of spreading the word about organ and tissue donation and encouraging people to sign up on their state registries. Our staff also organizes events aimed at honoring donor families and those who gave the gift of life and directs the creation of many artistic representations of organ donation, such as the donor family quilt. The Public Affairs department is responsible for coordinating volunteer efforts and welcomes the opportunity to work with media on real life stories and facts about organ donation.

LifeLink Legacy Fund

The LifeLink Legacy Fund is a 501(c)3 organization originally established in 1990 as the Endowment for Giving. Its mission over the last twenty years has been to support the Foundation's efforts in organ and tissue donation and transplantation. The Legacy Fund has focused its efforts on pre- and post-transplant patients in need of financial assistance. Through the generosity of sponsors, the Legacy Fund has provided over $1.3 million in support to transplant patients. The Legacy Fund also supports scientific endeavors to enhance transplantation therapies. Our mission is to continue to provide hope for those in need of transplant therapy.

Click here to learn more about LifeLink Legacy Fund's Philanthropic Support.

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Organ Recovery

Organ and tissue donors save and change the lives of transplant recipients and many donor families receive a sense of fulfillment and comfort as a result of their loved ones' gifts. LifeLink's organ recovery organizations serve as a crucial link between these individuals. We work with more than 250 hospitals and ten transplant centers while serving a total population of over 16 million people throughout Florida, Georgia, areas in South Carolina, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. On call 24 hours a day, our professional staff collaborates with medical professionals, other agencies (such as medical examiners and law enforcement) and the public to save lives through organ donation and transplantation.

For more information about the miracle of transplantation − made possible through the generosity of organ donors and their families − please click here.