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Alum Working for Organ Donations

In 2007, Washington and Lee alumnus Michael Kirshbaum was dying. He suffered from an auto-immune disease of the bile ducts called Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis that had poisoned his liver for 13 years. Then, on June 19, 2007, he received a liver transplant that saved his life. Now, Michael, a member of the Class of 1971, wants to be sure that others recognize the importance of organ donations. Consequently, he and his wife, Regina, are spending much of their non-work time not only raising awareness of organ donation but also raising funds for the research organization at Columbia and New York Presbyterian Hospital, which is focused on abdominal organ transplantation technologies. (Michael’s transplant was from a donated cadaver organ at New York-Presbyterian.) Michael and Regina have connected the fund raising efforts to their business — a series of five stores and Web site called Agabhumi the Best of Bali, which features a variety of products created by artisans from the island of Bali, Indonesia. (Read how the business got started.) As part of the business, a group of jewelry pieces called “Donate Life for the circle of Life” has been created and 30 percent of proceeds from sale of those items goes to the research center at Columbia-Cornell Medical Center.  You can read a story from the Connecticut Post about Michael’s business here1.