TV enters a new technological age

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on TV enters a new technological age
Mar 292006
Authors: Martha McKay The Record Hackensack N.J.

HACKENSACK, N.J. – It used to be a question of brand: Sony? Zenith? Panasonic?

And size: 20-inch? 27? And if you were really flush and wanted to impress your neighbors, a 32-inch color set.

But walk into any electronics store these days and prepare to be overwhelmed.

We’re talking flat-screen, wide-screen, flat-panel, rear-projection, high-definition, micro-display, 40-inch LCD, 65-inch plasma and the list goes on.

The choices are dizzying and soon will become even more so.

Earlier this year, Congress set a deadline of Feb. 17, 2009, for broadcasters to turn off over-the-air analog TV signals. Instead of the magnetic waves used for decades, TV stations will switch to an all-digital broadcast.

Most of us with cable or satellite subscriptions aren’t likely to be affected by this change, but millions of Americans who get their TV signal over the air using an antenna with an older-model TV will need to buy an analog-to-digital converter box – or buy a new digital TV – in order to watch television.

Some details of the switchover have yet to be determined. Congress set aside a $1.5 billion subsidy to help people with older-model TVs purchase the converter boxes (two $40 vouchers will be available to pay for the boxes). But it’s not clear exactly how much the boxes will cost and whether they will work perfectly with older sets.

By this time next year, every new TV set sold must contain a built-in digital tuner, eliminating the need to buy a converter box.

Some TV retailers estimate you’ll be hard-pressed to find an old-fashioned analog-tube TV on the shelf by then. They’re already scarce.

6th Avenue Electronics in Paramus sells a handful. Harvey Electronics had one left a week ago, and amid all the flat panels, the bulky tube looked like a dinosaur.

One thing is certain: Anyone in the market for a new TV these days needs time and good information to figure out what to buy.

“You have a lot more choices today,” said Gordon Friend, manager of Harvey Electronics’ Paramus store.

The government mandate to change to all-digital broadcasting, plus advances that have created new and better displays, have driven manufacturers to introduce many new types of television sets with new technologies. The most recent entries include technologies such as LCoS (Liquid Crystal on Silicon) and DLP (Digital Light Processing).

So buying a TV can be almost as complicated – and as expensive – as buying a new car. At the higher end, TVs and audio systems can cost upwards of $20,000, more than some new cars. And a high-end room-sized home theater can run well into six figures.

 Posted by at 6:00 pm

Our View

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on Our View
Mar 292006
Authors: Collegian Editorial Staff

Most Americans don’t need to worry about feeding a family with only $25 a month, changing homes as often as seasons to follow the crops – the only way for them to make money.

But this is a reality for many migrant farm workers who travel to the United States in search of a better life. They work hard under poor conditions and very rarely receive recognition or respect for their contributions to American society.

Cesar Chavez, like many others, understood the plight of these workers and fought to improve their conditions.

But Chavez’s work extends past that. As a civil rights leader, he will always be remembered as someone working to unite different cultures and bring about positive change.

His teachings are even more apparent today.

With recent legislation on immigration reform stirring controversy in our government, it’s now more important than ever to remember Chavez’s legacy.

Putting the legality of the matter aside, migrant and immigrant workers have enhanced our country without getting much in return.

Chavez will be honored Friday with events at CSU and throughout the country. We urge students to take the initiative to attend these events with an open mind.

 Posted by at 6:00 pm

We are all polygamists

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on We are all polygamists
Mar 292006
Authors: Kate Dzintars

Are polygamists really sex fiends hiding under a veil of religion, or are they just living an alternative but acceptable lifestyle?

HBO’s new series about a fictional family of polygamists debuted March 12. Bill Paxton stars in “Big Love” as Bill Henrickson, a man juggling three wives, seven children, a growing business and an old-school father-in-law.

The New York Times gathered five women who currently are or once were in a polygamist relationship to watch “Big Love” and gain their perspectives on it. The women worried that the show Hollywood-izes polygamy and may undermine the dangers of it by ignoring issues of domestic abuse and pedophilia.

Obviously, any abusive relationship should end, but if people are open, honest and respectful, a polygamist set-up could work.

The stereotype of a polygamist that comes to my mind is a religious and commanding bearded man with a household of obedient, soft-spoken wives living in a baby factory. But that is all it is – a stereotype.

Speaking on MSNBC’s “The Situation with Tucker Carlson” in February, Elizabeth Joseph, a woman who shares her husband with seven other wives, said this arrangement is “the ultimate feminist lifestyle”. She said she and the other wives liked to keep their husband on his toes and gang up on him in good fun.

She was able to have a large family and a career at the same time because she and the other wives shared responsibilities of housework and child rearing. If it takes a village to raise a child, you might as well have the whole thing under one roof, right?

In a way, we are all polygamists or at least polyamorous. Think about how many relationships you have had in your life and how many you have now. I’m betting it is more than one.

People are multi-faceted. Every individual human being is a unique combination of traits. We need multiple relationships to fulfill our different needs and wants.

If I want to go have a rowdy good time in the mountains, I rely on my roommate Andrew. If I want to have a serious talk, I call my mom. Different needs, different people.

Really, what is the difference between polygamy and serial monogamy? The driving forces behind them are the same. When one person isn’t working out, move on to the next one. Polygamists only have relationship ADD; they just move back and forth between partners faster than monogamists do.

So, is polygamy an outdated religious practice, an outlet for sex fiends or an acceptable way of life? Who knows? To each his own. Humans just need to find what works best for them and respect their loved ones – however many that may be.

Kate Dzintars is the associate managing editor for design at the Collegian. She can be reached at

 Posted by at 6:00 pm

Habeas Before the High Court

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on Habeas Before the High Court
Mar 292006
Authors: Meg Burd

As the Supreme Court hears the case of Salim Ahmed Hamdan, currently a detainee held by U.S. forces at Guantanamo Bay and accused of being Osama bin Laden’s chauffeur, many questions about the procedures, ethics and indeed purpose of the prison located off the shore of American soil are rightly being called into question.

A landmark case, Hamden v. Rumsfeld is being recognized as the most significant challenge to presidential war powers since World War II.

“The case was filed by detainee Salim Ahmed Hamdan two years ago, asserting that President George W. Bush’s order creating military commissions to try men he has designated as “enemy combatants” violates the Constitution, military code and international law of war,” reports Tom Brune in a Newsday article.

“More than three dozen briefs have been filed on Hamdan’s side, largely arguing that the military tribunals established by the White House to try the detainees are illegal,” notes Tony Mauro in a story in the New York Law Journal.

Even the justices of the Supreme Court appear concerned over the issue of the detainees’ apparent lack of rights. “Several of the justices appeared troubled by the administration’s position that international laws including the Geneva Convention do not apply to the Guantanamo prisoners,” notes James Vicini in a Reuters report that immediately followed the first day of hearings.

Indeed, perhaps one of the most difficult questions surrounding the entire situation at Guantanamo, and one that an angry Justice David Souter reportedly brought up during the Supreme Court hearings this week, is the question of habeas corpus.

After 9/11, the administration argued that the rights of the Geneva Convention need not apply to those they “scooped up” in places such as Afghanistan, Pakistan and other areas because, they argued, the Geneva Convention rules (which govern the way POWs are treated, offering them a “competent tribunal” swiftly after their capture to ensure that they really were enemy combatants, and assuring them rights such as freedom from torture, release at the end of the war, and the right to send letters home) did not apply to such prisoners because the prisoners were not from a uniformed army or another combatant country.

“In 2004, the Supreme Court stepped in,” notes Jack Hitt in a recent story during “This American Life” on NPR. “It said if prisoners aren’t going to be covered by the Geneva Conventions, that’s fine. But they couldn’t be allowed to fall into a legal black hole… They had to be given some way to challenge their detainment. It’s one of the oldest rights in western civilization, known as habeas corpus.”

With its first recorded use in 1305 (although it could formally date back as far as the 12th century) the “Great Writ” of habeas corpus basically allows prisoners to challenge why they are detained. An issue in the Revolutionary War here in America, it originally demanded of the king to explain why he had jailed someone. This was to prevent those in power from simply detaining anyone they pleased secretly or without purpose.

Such a writ has been instrumental in our own justice system. In a 1969 Supreme Court case, the court found that it was “the fundamental instrument for safeguarding individual freedom against arbitrary and lawless state action.”

However, situations in Guantanamo, as reported by many sources (and questioned by the justices this week) appear in violation of this age-old right. Indeed, in examples provided during the NPR story “Habeas Shmabeas,” Hitt discusses the so-called “Combatant Status Review Tribunal” in which “the tribunal assumes all the evidence against the detainee is correct,” as Hitt states, and records show that judges cannot or will not back up or in some cases even present evidence against those facing the tribunal. Indeed, in such cases, prisoners are not even allowed an outside lawyer, as the NPR story reported.

A case like that of Murat Kumaz, a Turkish citizen raised in Germany, as outlined by Hitt in the NPR story, seems to illustrate perfectly the need for both a proper hearing in which habeas corpus is properly and thoroughly granted, as well as a need for a larger reassessment of the entire Guantanamo situation.

Kumaz, as Hitt reports, was declared an enemy combatant, even though his Pentagon file has no evidence against him in it, and official memos state that, “there is no evidence linking him to the Taliban.” Indeed, the only so-called “evidence” against him is that he had a friend who was supposed to have been a suicide bomber in Turkey in 2003.

However, considering that Kumaz was detained in 2001, it seems odd that this would be the reason for picking him up in the first place. Besides the fact that he was picked up on supposed evidence that did not occur until two years after his detainment, the biggest shocker is perhaps that his friend, the supposed bomber, never even was a bomber and is in fact alive and well in Germany today.

While it cannot be argued that actual terrorists must not be stopped (“If they’re al-Qaeda, detainment is perfectly justified. No one disputes that,” notes Hitt), it is important that the Supreme Court question the current methods and means of detainment and ensure that the situation at Guantanamo is truly useful and not just caught in a “legal black hole.” Questions must, and should, be asked when rights so intrinsic to our legal system as habeas corpus are on the line.

Meg Burd is a graduate anthropology student. Her column runs every Thursday in the Collegian.

 Posted by at 6:00 pm

An interview of epic proportions

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on An interview of epic proportions
Mar 292006
Authors: Johnathan Kastner

I tracked down Associated Students of CSU presidential and vice presidential candidates Jessica Lynn and Brett Dobinsky, and Jason Green and Sadie Conrad to get their opinions on important subjects in a rare, non-imaginary interview.

1. Recently, this campus has been sharply divided into two opposing parties, so there’s a question that’s on everyone’s minds. On which side do you fall – ninjas or pirates?

Jason: “Ninjas.”

Sadie: “Pirates.”

Jess: “Ninjas have catlike speed, stealth, and they hide in the darkness of night. Pirates just steal stuff. I’ll go with Ninjas.”

John’s Commentary – Jason and Sadie are clearly trying to pitch to both sides, a ruse that ninja honor or pirate pride will not tolerate. Jess is showing strong leadership on this divisive issue, but has alienated the pirate vote with her harsh words. Let’s hope she doesn’t end up walking the plank, politically.

2. Your opponent had fancy cheerleaders dancing on the plaza and/or free subs and ramen. How do you plan to gimmick your way to the top?

Jason: “We plan to have Top Secret Treats matching our theme.”

Jess: “We wanted to feed the students and have been handing out Ramen with catchy sayings.”

John’s Commentary: Those catchy sayings were, “Put the ‘Beef’ back in CSU” and, “Don’t ‘Chicken’ out – Ram the vote,” on packages of beef and chicken Ramen. As a vegetarian and hater of puns, I have to give this one to Jason. “Top Secret Treats” sounds like something that would double as a snack/blowtorch for James Bond.

3. There is some concern among students about ASCSU’s ability to handle university-wide emergencies. I’m going to list some emergencies and you just fire back with some effective solutions.

A. University-wide teacher strike.

Sadie: “Vacation.”

Jason: “We would have total control. Also more time to study.”

Brett: “If the teachers are missing, they’re obviously holed up in the Ramskeller.”

B. R-O-U-S. Rodents of unusual size, native to the fire swamp, from the movie “Princess Bride.”

Jess: “Obviously, cancel school immediately. Then we need some barricades of marshmallow cr/me to keep them in the school. Then I think we need the ray gun from ‘Honey I Shrunk the Kids.'”

Brett: “Or that green goo that made the Ninja Turtles get so big, except make them small again, down to the size of normal rats.”

Sadie: “We’d try to find some majors on campus that could handle a ROUS. Animal science, food science, that sort of thing.”

John’s Commentary: For making a wall of marshmallow, Jess wins. For somehow connecting animal science, food science and giant rodents, Sadie loses my lunch.

C. Finally, there’s one danger that’s of grave concern to the student body and brains – zombie infestation. If your opponent was bitten by a zombie, would you have the courage to do what needed to be done?

Jason – “We’d of course first look for a non-violent solution.”

Sadie – “I don’t watch zombie movies because I’m afraid of them.”

Brett – “I’d do what had to be done.”

John’s Commentary: Jason and Sadie show mercy and compassion, admirable to humans, but delicious to zombies. Brett is the clear victor here, and a true leader for CSU against the undead.

Voting is April 3, 4 and 5 on RamWeb. Free food is on the Plaza until then.

Johnathan Kastner is a senior English major. His column runs every Thursday in the opinion section. He can’t believe he actually did an interview.

 Posted by at 6:00 pm

Busted Pipe Wreaks Havoc on Campus

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on Busted Pipe Wreaks Havoc on Campus
Mar 292006
Authors: Collegian Staff

A busted steam pipe flooded underground tunnels with boiling water Thursday morning, leaving every campus building west of the Lory Student Center without heat or hot water.

University maintenance officials said they may be pumping out thousands of gallons of water throughout the night, and had no estimates as to when the work might be done.

All of the water must be drained from the subterranean tunnels before workers can diagnose and fix the leak.

“Facilities is going to have to keep digging until they find it,” said Earlie Thomas, director of CSU’s environmental health services. “There’s 6 miles of piping underneath! our campus. It could be anywhere.”

Meanwhile, murky, boiling water bubbled up through manholes and cracks in the ground throughout campus, billowing foul-smelling steam into the wind. While nearly all dorms were without hot water, campus officials cut off all water to Allison Hall. Residents were told they could only flush their toilets once

before the water flow resumes, Thomas said.

Food services across campus weren’t spared – without hot water, dishes can’t be washed and some foods can’t be warmed. As of 3 p.m., restaurants in Lory Student Center remained open.

 Posted by at 6:00 pm

Relatively small turnout for ASCSU debate disappoints candidates

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on Relatively small turnout for ASCSU debate disappoints candidates
Mar 292006
Authors: Elena Ulyanova

The relaxed vibe of this year’s Associated Students of CSU election was evident by the atmosphere and low turnout at the election debate last night.

In an interview with the Collegian two days ago, Jason Huitt, election manager, said that he expected about 100 people in attendance, however only about 60 people were present.

“I would like to see a higher turnout and more students engaged in electing the person who will represent them,” said Jason Green, presidential candidate.

Jessica Dyrdahl, presidential candidate, also said that should would have liked more people to come and participate.

“I believe that they care, but the effort to make a difference wasn’t there,” Dyrdahl said.

Giving an outsider’s perspective, Fort Collins community member Tiffany Miller was shocked by the lack of interest taken by the CSU student body for their own student government.

“Where was the student body?” Miller asked. “Even though I’m not a student here, I could tell that the people here were either affiliated with the campaign or hold positions in office.”

Courtney Healy, ASCSU president said that this year the election process has been more tame than in the past. Sadie Conrad, vice presidential candidate had a similar view.

“Last year it was pretty cut throat. I think it is nice to see people who are friendly and aren’t attacking the other side,” Conrad said.

Brett Dobinsky, vice presidential candidate also hoped that more students would have come and thought that a debate is more educational about the campaign than a pamphlet.

“Students need to feel like they are they are a part of CSU,” Dobinsky said.

However, Dobinsky said they were comfortable and confident with their stances and that overall they showed themselves very well.

Dobinsky’s teammate Dyrdahl thought many good points and questions were brought up in the debate and she said this showed that people care about improvements or changes in the representation of the student body.

Dyrdahl and Dobinsky stressed that they would like to get out there and talk to the students to gain a more general student’s perspective thorough plaza side chats.

Differences between candidate teams heated, however, when the topic of marijuana legalization came into focus when a member of the audience called for a state of action from ASCSU rather than relying on the issue to resolve itself.

When asked if they were going to endorse the petitions for marijuana legalization at the state level, Dyrdahl stated that they would do a closer examination to find out if that is what the students want, and if it was they would endorse an issue that was important to the students.

Green agreed to create a plan of action to endorse this issue. Conrad added that the university shouldn’t add additional punishment for such acts and that she has had many requests for action to be taken on this issue.

“Hopefully students will be able to really look into the issues and what we can bring to the student body rather than politics,” Green said.

 Posted by at 6:00 pm

Organs needed by many

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on Organs needed by many
Mar 292006
Authors: Kristen Majors

Right now there are 1,644 people in Colorado waiting to receive an organ donation. Of those people, 166 are between the ages of 18 and 34. Because there are not enough organs to go around, many of these peoples’ lives will be shortened.

CSU student members of the Public Relations Student Society of America believe this problem needs to be addressed. They are participating in a National Organ Donor Awareness Competition (NODAC), a competition they won last year.

To promote their cause, they organized a 5K run/walk that took place last Saturday and a pancake breakfast and carnival that will take place in the Plaza today. There is also a concert featuring Tyler Ward, lead singer of Set Forth, in the Ramskeller tonight.

“Especially now that we’re young we don’t expect to be dying any time soon, so there’s a lot of us that don’t feel like we need to be organ donors yet,” said Chelsea Guetz, Publicity Team Lead of NODAC and a senior technical journalism major. “That’s just not the case.”

Jennifer Bailey, director of communication for the Colorado Organ Donor Alliance, said 62 percent of people who renewed their licenses in Colorado in 2005 said “yes” to organ donation. That’s a majority, but still far fewer than the 85 percent that said “yes” to organ donation last year in Wyoming.

“When you say ‘yes’ on your license, or you sign up on the Donor Registry, you are electing to save lives by donating your organs and tissues at the time of your death,” Bailey said.

Talking to family is also an important step in organ donation. Living family members make the ultimate decision of whether or not a person’s organs will be donated after death, even if that person has registered as an organ donor.

Organs that are taken from a donor’s body are the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, pancreas and small bowel. Recoverable tissues include bones, tendons, corneas, veins, valves and skin. One person’s organs can help save up to 100 lives.

“Donation does not typically delay or interfere with funeral plans,” Bailey said. “An open casket and viewing can still be possible.”

Kidneys are currently the most in-demand organs; 918 of the 1,644 people waiting for organ transplants in Colorado are in need of a kidney.

Meaghan Mulcahy, a freshman business administration major and registered organ donor, can relate closely with the need for a kidney. Her 35-year-old cousin received a transplant in October.

“He’s been a diabetic since he was a teenager,” Mulcahy said. “His kidneys failed about four years ago. He was on dialysis for four years and, this past Halloween, he got a kidney transplant.”

Mulcahy said that during dialysis, her cousin was usually tired and run-down, but has been much better since the transplant.

“We have all this medical technology and we can do things to help people, so we might as well do it,” Mulcahy said.

Despite the fact that many patients are in dire need of organs, some people are just not comfortable with the idea of donating their bodies after they die.

“It freaks me out a little bit,” said Robby Senser, a freshman math major. “The thought that when I die they would cut me open and take my organs is just creepy to me. I just like to think of me as one whole piece. I don’t want to be spread out all over.”

Senser is not currently registered as an organ donor, but does believe his point of view could change over the course of his life, especially if he meets someone who is in need of an organ.

“(If I were waiting for an organ), I would think my viewpoint was selfish,” Senser said.

Kristen Majors can be reached at

 Posted by at 6:00 pm

The Next Generation: A.L. Hits Lory

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on The Next Generation: A.L. Hits Lory
Mar 292006
Authors: Aaron Schoonmaker

Born and raised in Compton, the oldest of seven, this athlete-turned-artist now resides at Colorado State and is making (sound) waves.

One look at senior Alphonso Williams, a.k.a. A.L., and you might not see anything more than a constant smile. But for the former CSU wide receiver, his concert in the Lory Student Center Theatre on April 1 opens the next chapter of a dream career in music, which is now becoming a reality.

“Sports, that was always my thing,” Williams said. “But I was always around and loved music.”

Getting much of his influence from the music of the 90s, Williams appreciates the styles of 2-PAC, Jay-Z, Snoop, Nas and Talib Kweli.

“That’s where it all started,” he said. “The first Kweli album, ‘Internal Reflection’ really made me want to write.”

But Williams is more versatile than a simple rapper. Claiming his poetry was meant for music, Williams offers something for everyone.

“I don’t want to be put in a box and labeled as just another rapper,” said Williams, who strives for a more diverse sound. “I have the street-type, to the club vibe, to the ‘girl’ vibe.”

So how did Williams end up in Colorado?

The eldest son of a mother who played basketball and a father who was an NFL wide receiver, Williams knew when he graduated from high school that he wanted to play ball. He was a three-time national champion wide receiver at Long Beach Poly High School in California, but test scores prevented Williams from being NCAA eligible and going to a major Division-I school.

But after a stint at L.A. Harbor College, Williams had a revelation at Compton Junior College.

“That was a wake-up call; it was my second chance,” Williams said. “I took 24 credits that one semester, raised my GPA from a 2.3 to a 2.9 and got my A.A. (associate of arts). Without that it would be tough.”

Feeling a sense of now-or-never for football, Williams drove from California to Fort Collins the week before the semester started. The impulse trip was done to take a math placement test so he could become a student and play as a Ram.

“College was important enough to me to drive from L.A. to take a test,” said Williams, who needed less than an hour to get word of his acceptance. “That was probably the best day in my life. I knew if I wanted something bad enough, I could get it.”

At the beginning of last season, transcript issues interfered with practice time for Williams, giving him a chance to create music. He would eventually see time on the field but quit at the end of the year to focus on his music. With the help of his management group, Raquel Henry and Richardo Jones, a demo was made, and a show booked.

“They handled making a show that I envisioned and made it a reality,” Williams said. “(This show) I want to present to everyone.”

Williams is riding the hump of success right now, but with four sisters and two brothers, all younger, he knows it’s not just the crowd that’s watching.

“I feel the pressure to do something great for all my siblings so they can look at me and say, ‘he made it,'” Williams said. “I realize I’m always doing music for people, music is a reflection of (the person).”

But the business world can be a backstabbing affair – a lesson of which Williams is aware.

“You never want people to shortchange you,” he said. “You have to be a little selfish. For me, it’s a lot on how I present myself.”

With demo in hand, he has been in talks with record labels and is hopeful of a signing day.

No doubt, Williams has arrived and is eager for the opportunity. One way to show support – throw a concert. “The Next Generation” will be going down this Saturday.

“This isn’t going to be a show, it’s going to be a concert,” Williams said. “This will be a $50 performance for $6. It’s real, this isn’t a DVD on stage with beer.”

Check him out:

What: The Next Generation

When: Saturday April 1, 7:00 pm

Where: Lory Student Center Theatre

Tickets: On sale at Lory Student Center Box Office for $5; $7 at the door

Check out: for more.

 Posted by at 6:00 pm

A new kidney, a new life, a new brother

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on A new kidney, a new life, a new brother
Mar 292006
Authors: MARGARET CANTY The Rocky Mountain Collegian

For most 18-year-old males, being confined to one’s room every night for nine hours, regardless of parties, events, trips or activities sounds like a nightmare.

For Andrew Kippur, this was a reality.

Now a high school senior, Andrew had everything a normal young man needs, except for one thing: A working kidney.

“He couldn’t stay out late because he had to be hooked up to the machine every night,” said his sister Shelly Kippur, a senior biology major and speaker this weekend for the National Organ Donor Awareness Competition. “He was always tired and down.”

Andrew’s troubles didn’t start with his kidneys. He was born with bladder problems and was only six weeks old when he had his first surgery. However, a bladder infection moved to his kidneys and caused them to malfunction. Until he was able to receive kidneys from a donor, dialysis became a must.

“I went on peritoneal dialysis, which uses osmosis to clean the blood,” Andrew said. “I didn’t actually need it until I was 14, which was amazing to my doctors.”

Andrew had to come home every night and hook up to the equipment for nine hours while he slept.

“Your kidneys take out waste and create urine,” Shelly said. “The machine Andrew would hook up to would pump fluid through and do three to four fills per night. The last fill would stay in his body throughout the next day.”

Although Andrew’s dialysis confined him to his room and restricted him from any overnight activities. Shelly acknowledges that many on dialysis have it even worse.

“Some have to go into the hospital each time they do it, and then can’t do anything during the day,” she said. “At least Andrew got to sleep while he did it.”

Andrew’s illness was not only difficult for him – it was hard on the entire family.

“It was always a part of my life, since he was born,” Shelly said. “We were always at Children’s (Hospital). It made him a miserable child.”

Andrew’s mom, Linda Kippur, said having him on dialysis was frustrating.

“I got used to Andrew having no energy and falling asleep in class. He never felt very well,” she said. “He couldn’t go on many overnight trips and had limitations on what he could eat and drink.”

After two-and-a-half years of dialysis and 17 different surgeries, the call finally came that saved Andrew’s life.

“We got the call while Andrew was at school, and he got on a plane for Colorado that same afternoon,” Shelley said.

Andrew’s kidney was immediately flown from California in a simple cooler, and his transplant surgery took place that night.

“It was both exciting and scary,” Linda said. “We hoped for the best.”

Shelly said the surgery is normally fairly “easy” on the receiver, but Andrew’s was a little more complicated due to what his doctor nicknamed “the Andrew factor,” meaning that anything that has lower then a one percent chance of going wrong on Andrew, will.

“He had to have three more surgeries after his transplant, which is extremely uncommon,” she said.

However, the kidney was a “perfect match” for Andrew, and now, thanks to the donor, he is living free of dialysis.

“I can stay out all night. I can do anything I want to. I can even stay awake in class,” he said. “There’s a significant change in my attitude.”

The Kippurs know little about Andrew’s donor, except that he was 19 and male.

“They don’t want the two families connected for many reasons,” Shelley said. “It was a gift for Andrew, but someone else had to die.”

Andrew said throughout his struggles Shelly would support him by calling after every surgery and visiting him in the hospital.

“She was always there for me and always supportive,” he said.

Since his transplant, Andrew and his sister feel they have grown closer.

“I finally get to know Andrew, rather then sick Andrew,” she said. “He’s made me realize you can’t take life for granted.”

With so much more energy and ability, Andrew has big plans for the future, including college, which would have been extremely difficult while on dialysis.

“I want to go to UNC and maybe become a math teacher,” he said. “But I don’t like to plan too much. I like winging it.”

Shelly encourages students to participate in NODAC and become organ donors.

“We’re in our 20s and we feel invincible. We don’t really talk or think about donating our organs. NODAC clears up misconceptions and brings awareness,” she said.

Linda describes the NODAC events as a “positive experience.”

“Any awareness and public education is awesome and beneficial to everyone,” she said. “Andrew got a great kidney form a young donor. From newborns on, people need organs.”

Although she will never know anything more about her brother’s donor or his family, she said she is incredibly appreciative of them.

She said, “If I could talk to the donor’s family I would say ‘Thank you. I am sorry for what you lost. You saved Andrew’s life. You turned an awful situation into something great.'”

Margaret Canty can be reached at

 Posted by at 6:00 pm