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Lawyer gives up kidney so a friend’s dad can live

first_img‘It shows to the community the kind of lawyers we have in The Florida Bar’ Jan Pudlow Senior Editor St. Louis Cardinals short-stop David Eckstein is a clutch hitter who often keeps his team in the running.And his dad, 60-year-old Whitey Eckstein is back in the game of life after a Florida lawyer gave him her kidney.That Florida lawyer is 32-year-old Lori Vaughan, senior counsel in Foley & Lardner’s Tampa office, specializing in business reorganization.When she learned she would be a compatible kidney donor for Eckstein, and went through the six months of extensive tests, Vaughan’s generous donation has totally reorganized Whitey Eckstein’s life.Before, his painful routine involved three or four hours of hemodialysis three times a week. Too much fluid in his body caused congestive heart failure more than once, including a month before the August 19 surgery.Now Whitey Eckstein, of Sanford, is living life fully — cheering on son David from the stands.He calls Vaughan the hero who gave him back his life.“Every time I see him, he gives me a big hug,” said Vaughan, who became friends with Whitey’s other children, Ken and Christine Eckstein, while they were all in law school at the University of Florida.“I got a call from Patricia, his wife, telling me, ‘Lori, I have to thank you. He is out living his life.”Kidney transplants are nothing new in the Eckstein family. Ken, Christine, and another sister, Susan, all had kidney transplants. Susan’s donor was her mother. Christine and Ken received kidneys from cadavers, and Ken jokes he was a 21-year-old with a 50-year-old’s kidney when his wait for a kidney ended 14 years ago.“It’s a senior citizen now. If I can get benefits, I’m all for it,” Ken jokes.But his father’s desperate need for a kidney was no laughing matter. Without a new kidney, he was going to die.“I became extremely close to Whitey and Patricia. They treat me like one of their own children, and they are like a second family to me,” Vaughan said. “I always knew Ken and his two sisters had to have transplants. I knew what the family had gone through.”Everyone who had volunteered to donate a kidney to Whitey was unable to donate for one reason or another. So Vaughn told Ken and Christine she was the same blood type as their father and she would be willing to go through the six-month screening and testing process.“After I found out I was compatible, you think to yourself, ‘If it’s a go, will I go through with it?’ It wasn’t a difficult decision. Surgery is the worst part. Afterwards your remaining kidney compensates for the other kidney. You can lead a normal life. I thought to myself, ‘It’s very little discomfort for me to go through to help Whitey live,’” Vaughan said.It helped to have an understanding boss, Foley & Lardner partner Mark Wolfson, who is chair of The Florida Bar’s Business Law Section.“Lori is such a quality person, and I don’t say that about everybody,” Wolfson said. “It shows to the community the kind of lawyers we have in The Florida Bar.. . . You want to do everything you can in your power to make her life easier and make her situation better. It was the most unselfish act you could do, to donate an organ to someone who is not even in your family.”What Wolfson agreed to do to make Vaughan’s life easier was subtract on an annualized basis the billable hours requirement and allow her to work from home until she got her strength back.“Lori is so good at what she does, she will make it up quickly and probably won’t even need some of that time because of her work ethic,” Wolfson said.Vaughan feels great now and wants to share her story to encourage others to sign an organ donation form and realize the great gifts you can give, even after your death.And there’s another message tucked in her story.“When you hear the lawyer jokes, most people are kidding. But there is sometimes this attitude that lawyers don’t have a heart,” Vaughan said. “Yes, we are humans just like everyone else. We are not perfect, but we try our best.” Lawyer gives up kidney so a friend’s dad can live Lawyer gives up kidney so a friend’s dad can livecenter_img November 15, 2005 Senior Editor Regular Newslast_img read more

KLP kicks off planned NOK1bn of seed capital investments

first_imgHe added that seed capital investments would also “complete” KLP’s investments.“We invest broadly and deeply all around the world, but up to now we have lacked investments in the starting phase of a company’s history,” he said.The pensions provider saw it as a social responsibility to contribute to new growth in Norwegian business life, Thornes said.The new fund is to manage a total of NOK500m. The European Investment Fund (EIF) has put in the largest stake of NOK155m, while SINTEF Venture has made a NOK110m investment.Other investors alongside KLP include charitable foundations Gjensidigestiftelsen and Sparebankstiftelsen.While the EIF invested in SINTEF’s previous venture fund, this latest allocation is its largest in Norway so far, the research group said.SINTEF said the new fund would promote the commercialisation of research and development results.It will invest in and develop small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) whose activities are based on technology originating from research at SINTEF and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology – both based in Trondheim. Kommunal Landspensjonskasse (KLP), Norway’s municipal pension fund, has taken its first step into venture capital with a NOK75m (€8m) stake in a new fund for Norwegian research businesses.KLP has also indicated that it plans to direct NOK1bn into seed capital over time.The NOK652bn pension provider has invested in the Venture V fund launched by Norwegian research group SINTEF.Sverre Thornes, KLP’s chief executive, said: “This is just a start for us. In the course of the next few years we see ourselves investing a billion kroner into seed capital funds linked to development in many places in the country.”last_img read more

Brazzoni: Badgers beginning to thrive with nothing to lose

first_imgAfter the Wisconsin men’s basketball team’s thrilling 77-76 victory over Michigan State last weekend, there was a familiar feel in the postgame press conference.After both Spartans head coach Tom Izzo and UW interim head coach Greg Gard answered questions in the postgame press conference, three Badger players strolled in with an air of confidence, happiness and pride that they hadn’t been able to show for the majority of this disappointing season.Nigel Hayes, Bronson Koenig and Ethan Happ — all of whom had just completed their most memorable performances of the season — sat behind the microphones with giant grins on their faces, realizing what they had just accomplished as they waited to be questioned.Happ was asked what his emotions were after hitting the game-winning layup and celebrating within a crowd of his teammates at half court.“Just pure joy, really,” Happ said.Pure joy. An emotion these Badgers had grown so used to last season after their historic run to the national championship game, but a feeling they have lacked in this 2015-16 season where they are off to just a 10-9 start.But now, that joy brings to light who these Badgers are, and it appears they are starting to figure that out as well. Last season, everyone was out to get the top-ranked Badgers, but this season, the tables have turned, and they are out to get everyone else.Expectations are now lower than they have ever been since Bo Ryan took over as head coach, and now, instead of accepting defeat and disappointment, they’re embracing their underdog status.This team is playing with nothing to lose.It started against one of the nation’s most talented teams in then-No. 3 Maryland Jan. 9. The Badgers hung with the Terrapins for nearly all 40 minutes until All-American guard Melo Trimble hit a game-winning three as the buzzer sounded. While moral victories don’t count for anything, the game showed the Badgers could compete.But just three days later, when the Badgers traveled to Northwestern, expectations dropped even lower again, as UW lost an ugly game to the Wildcats.No one believed in this team, as no one really had a reason to do so. They had lost three conference games in a row and four of their last five. It was the low point of an already poor start to the Big Ten season, and now, this team really had nothing to lose.Enter No. 4 Michigan State, a team led by one of the country’s best all-around players in Denzel Valentine, and a team that matches the Badgers’ size and overmatches their talent. But they were also a team with so much to prove after falling 76-59 to Iowa just three days prior.With nothing to lose, Wisconsin gave Michigan State, who had everything to lose, all they could handle, and in the end, more than they could handle. And those smiles, that confidence and that overall sense of joy came as a result.Men’s basketball: Happ’s game-winning layup pushes Wisconsin over No. 4 Michigan StateIt was another game for the Wisconsin men’s basketball team and another down-to-the-wire finish, and for the first time in Read…Now, with a road win at Penn State giving them two conference victories in a row and a 3-4 record in the Big Ten, the Badgers appear to be in a groove, and they’re looking to turn this season around, behind their nothing to lose mentality. This mentality puts all the pressure on their Big Ten opponents and leaves the Badgers at ease, knowing they have an opportunity to play spoiler.And those opportunities will not be few and far between as they hit the final stretch of the regular season. They still have games against Maryland, Iowa and Michigan State, all of which currently find themselves in the top 10 and will feel the pressure of defending their home courts against a now-dangerous Wisconsin team.With nothing to lose, it will allow preseason All-Big Ten players Koenig and Hayes to play to their best ability. It will allow for young players like Happ and freshman Alex Illikainen to develop in a year where they aren’t expected to contribute on a championship level.Simply put, expectations aren’t at the degree they were last season, and the team is starting to adapt to that and embrace who they are.Because while this year’s team may not have the talent or the resume of last year’s, the personality and culture of the program remains the same, and these Badgers are finding a way to enjoy themselves and look to be finding their stride at the perfect time.last_img read more