Carthage gives back
By Mike Moore, Carthage College
The night before their parents’ 25th anniversary in April, Lindsay and Holly Muenchow ’16 drove home from Carthage to Roscoe, Ill., to surprise them with a gift. This gift couldn’t top the one Steve Muenchow had received from his wife, Amy, six years earlier: a kidney transplant. But it came close.
The present was a shadow box with a news article Lindsay had written for The Current, the Carthage student newspaper, about the sisters’ new campus organization. Inspired by their parents’ story, the fraternal twins created Live.Love.Donate to promote organ donation.
“How do you get a better anniversary present than that?” Mr. Muenchow said.
Lindsay, a marketing major, and Holly, a self-designed landscape studies major, hosted the group’s first awareness event Nov. 20 in the Todd Wehr Center. About 150 people attended, as speakers described the organ and tissue donation process and debunked some common myths.
The presenters also shared their personal connections to donation. Among them was Jes Norman ’08, who received a kidney from Krystin Smith ’08 through a kidney exchange program.
For the Muenchow sisters, organ donation always has been part of the landscape. Mr. Muenchow, who was the autoimmune disease vasculitis, underwent his first kidney transplant in 1991 — three years before they were born. Lindsay and Holly watched as the disease took its toll on their father’s energy level and forced him to spend three nights a week in dialysis treatments.
They appreciate the luck that Amy worked out as a matching donor. Because of that, today both parents are healthy.
Now the sister want to spread the message farther. Collecting signatures to start Live.Love.Donate showed them many students have misconceptions about donation.
“We never had the means or the opportunity to do anything for such a meaningful cause — until now,” Lindsay said. Raising awareness on campus was their first goal. Next, they hope to hold fundraising events.
“In a very short time, this thing’s gotten a lot of attention,” Mr. Muenchow said. “I’m really proud of them.”