Henry Ford Health System creates two Thanksgiving initiatives

click to enlarge Henry Ford Health System creates two Thanksgiving initiatives
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Stay home: Two simple words that could save tens of thousands of lives in the state of Michigan.

Henry Ford Health System, which has been an active part of treating coronavirus cases in Michigan, has created two Thanksgiving initiatives to encourage metro Detroiters to do just that.

Volunteers from Game On Cancer and the Henry Ford Cancer Institute’s Division of Supportive Oncology Services will deliver family-style meals to 101 cancer patient households across Southeast Michigan and in the Jackson area.

The meals, prepared by Continental Services/Forte Belanger, include Michigan salad, brioche roll, honey-glazed turkey breast with cranberry aioli, homemade stuffing, mashed sweet potatoes with cinnamon butter and frizzled onions, steamed green beans with garlic butter, and an assortment of individual pies and tarts for dessert.

To bring joy and make the holiday feel special, in addition to the meals, the recipients will receive a beautiful floral arrangement for their holiday table created by local floral artist, Laura Daluga of Department of Floristry in Detroit.

Because cancer patients have compromised immune systems, it is especially important to help keep them safe during the pandemic. With this in mind, volunteers delivering the food will utilize a touchless drop off method to protect the health and safety of the patients.

The meals will be delivered with the support of volunteers from Game On Cancer and the Henry Ford Cancer Institute’s Division of Supportive Oncology Services shipping out of ArtBlock, 1411 Holden St, Detroit.

A Zoom meeting between Mark Dybis, 51, of Grosse Pointe Woods and his brother-in-law, Dave Galbenski, who donated 65% of his liver to his in-law, will also be a part of Henry Ford Health System’s public Thanksgiving celebrations.

Galbenski and his wife, Lynn, dropped off a gift basket in advance on the Dybis’ porch Nov. 20.

A year ago, the two men were recovering from surgery just before Thanksgiving.

Galbenski continued running and trying to stay in shape. But in late 2018, the situation turned dire. Galbenski’s wife, Lynn, sent out an email to all family and friends about Galbenski’s situation, including the contact number for the transplant coordinator he was working with at Henry Ford Health System.

Through it all, the Dybises didn’t let the Galbenski know they were being considered, in case it didn’t work out. But that changed when Dybis announced that the donation would take place in November 2019 – and he would be the donor.

The procedures took about six hours in total at Henry Ford Hospital. World-renowned liver transplant surgeon Dr. Marwan Abouljoud of Grosse Pointe Park, head of the Henry Ford Transplant Institute and current president of the American Society of Transplant Surgeons, removed 65% of Dybis’ liver through a 4-inch incision in his abdomen. Henry Ford Associate Director of Transplantation, Dr. Atsushi Yoshida of Grosse Pointe Woods, then transplanted the organ to Galbenski in a nearby operating room.

In the wake the anniversary, Henry Ford Heath System is encouraging more Michiganders to register for organ donation. For more information on living donation, please visit henryford.com/livingdonation. To sign the Michigan Organ Donor Registry, visit organdonor.gov.

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