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Health sciences faculty, staff, students honor bequeathal program participants

by Julie Heflin, Health Sciences Communications and Marketing last modified Apr 08, 2010 04:53 PM

It may seem an unusual way for a person to help train future health care professionals and further educational and research efforts, but the nearly 200 people who bequeath their bodies to the University of Louisville each year are doing just that.

Health sciences faculty, staff, students honor bequeathal program participants

Patricipants light candles to honor donors.

At the same time, they are leaving a legacy that could improve the welfare of patients for years to come.

"Donating to the program reflects an extraordinary commitment to life and the well being of others," said Fred Roisen, professor and chair of UofL's Department of Anatomical Sciences and Neurobiology. "It's the most generous contribution a human can make."

UofL's audiology, dental, graduate and medical students, faculty and staff had a service April 8 at the Kornhauser Health Sciences Library auditorium to thank people for their contributions to health care education.

Called A Celebration of Life, the program included student musical performances, personal reflections and a candle-lighting ceremony. Students presented flowers to family members of those who have donated a loved one's body.

Susan Sheridan and Lynda Lee Sadowski were among them. They lost their 87-year-old mother about two years ago, and knew from an early age that she wanted to give her body to UofL for scientific purposes.

"In this material age, I don't think there is a more selfless act," Sheridan said. "This special service is a way to celebrate the lives of these dear departed."

About 5,000 people are registered in the UofL Bequeathal Program.

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