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Mr. Bill Figel, Owner of Figel Public Relations, Chicago, Illinois
May 2, 2012

Bill Figel and his brothers and sisters suffered the loss of their father and mother within a few weeks in the fall of 2011. Dr. Michael Dauzvardis, an AGA board member and director of the anatomy program at Loyola’s Stritch School of Medicine assisted the family in the process of donation of both of Mr. Figel’s parents, who lived in Peoria.

“My dad was a life-long learner. He worked as a computer programmer for IBM. He always wanted to help young people and encourage their studies. He embraced the notion of using his body to help them. Dad was a big supporter of Maywood. Loyola doctors treated my allergies when I was a kid so we had an attachment there. Loyola was important. Dad was in great health but then he had an aneurism that led to massive stroke when he was in his 50’s. Many of his doctors were amazed at his 30-year tenure of relatively good health, despite his debilitating stroke that paralyzed his entire right side.”

In thinking about the process of donation, Mr. Figel said that having a plan is important, so preparations are in place when the time comes. “The whole family was pleased with the donation going to Loyola. Everyone was convinced that it was what Dad would have wanted. Family should discuss this months in advance, or as a concept, years in advance.”

Mr. Figel pointed to the role of the AGA in clarifying the donation process. “The AGA let me think out loud about the process. I had a hypothetical discussion with the association years in advance. Then I talked to a funeral director who walked me through the transportation process.” When their mother passed away only a few months later, the family members understood the value of donation through the AGA.

In retrospect, Mr. Figel offers valuable insights: “Don’t leave anything unsaid as you articulate your plan for donation. Let everyone, every family member have a say about it. If everyone speaks up it reduces the turbulence at the end. The AGA answers these questions for you and your family and allows you to talk it out. When it came time to deliver my dad’s eulogy, everyone saw the poetry of donation.” Bill Figel’s dad looked to the future, to helping medical students become the best possible physicians. Mr. Figel and his brothers and sisters saw the importance and the eloquence of helping their dad make a lasting donation to help shape aspiring doctors for decades into the future.

 

 

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