Make a Gift to Support Transplant and Organ and Tissue Donation Services: Why We Give

Let’s show what we can do together when you donate funds to support UW Health Transplant and UW Organ and Tissue Donation programs. The following individuals and families are working to make a difference for others. Join with them and help make a difference for thousands.


To support programs and services for patients, research or help promote organ and tissue donor education, make a gift through the University of Wisconsin Foundation.



Mark Fischer

Mark Fischer funded a professorship in Transplantation in gratitude for the life-saving work of the program

Mark Fischer lived a big life. A Boston-native, Mark was internationally renowned for his expertise in copyright law and intellectual property on the internet. As a longtime Red Sox fan, he could frequently be found taking in a game at Fenway Park. In Mark's experience, sharing his knowledge through writing and public speaking, and most certainly his Red Sox season tickets, were all gifts. Above all, his greatest gifts were the ones he received as a multiple organ transplant recipient, including kidney, liver and pancreas. To Mark, every day was a result of the gift of life.


It was deeply important to him to find a vehicle in which to express his gratitude to the providers and care team at the UW Health Transplant Program. In 2007, he generously funded the Mark A. Fischer Chair in Transplantation. "Mark wanted to ensure advancement in a program that had already proven itself," his wife, Marney Smyth Fischer, shared. "The physicians who treated him at UW Health were outstanding, and he wanted to ensure that they could do more to reach a great number of people. Mark knew he was profoundly fortunate to have found this program, and he wanted others to benefit in the same way." Although he passed away in February 2015, he was able to make a lasting impact. Giving hope is the legacy Mark chose to leave behind so that others might live as largely as he once did.


Donate to the Transplant Fund


Todd Stetzer

Thanks to a UW Health research trial, police lieutenant Todd Stetzer is back to a job he loves 

As a police lieutenant in Fitchburg, Wisconsin, Todd Stetzer needs to be at the top of his game every day. When he learned he needed a kidney transplant in 2013, his brother-in-law Michael Martin volunteered to donate a kidney to him.


While Todd was preparing for his transplant, he was told he would need to take multiple medications every day to ensure his new kidney would function for the rest of his life. His surgeon told him about a UW Health research trial that would eliminate many of these medications. Todd joined the trial, which was a success, and he is now back to protecting the community he loves.


Donate to the Hope, meet Gratitude Research Fund


The Ketterhagens

The Ketterhagen's honor their son and brother's life by helping other families in need of transplants

When Ben Ketterhagen was killed in a motorcycle accident in 2009, his parents and sisters felt that donating Ben’s organs would be the best way to continue his legacy. Family was very important to Ben, and they knew that he would have appreciated giving the gift of life to other families. Later, the Ketterhagens developed a close relationship with the woman who received one of Ben’s kidneys, and she now attends their family events and talks to them several times each month.

In 2010, the Ketterhagens participated in the Transplant Games of America and organized a golf outing to celebrate Ben’s memory. They chose to use proceeds from the outing to benefit UW Health transplant patients and their families by defraying the cost of accommodations, travel and other unexpected expenses.


“The recipients and their families are going through just as much as the donor families,” says Valerie Ketterhagen, Ben’s sister. “It’s important to help them get back on their feet.”


Donate to the Mike Armbrust Fund for Transplant Patients and Families


Michaela Layton

Michaela Layton is a young woman making a big difference in helping to raise awareness about the importance of organ, tissue and eye donation

At age 17, Michaela Layton was diagnosed with Wilson’s disease, a rare genetic disease that causes copper buildup in the liver. Typically a healthy, athletic young woman who rarely got sick, Michaela was quickly admitted to University Hospital to wait for her only hope, a liver transplant. Thankfully, she received her transplant, which quickly ignited her passion for sharing her gratitude for receiving a second chance at life. She contacted UW Organ and Tissue Donation to become an official volunteer. Our experts provided training on organ, tissue and eye donation and taught her advocacy skills.


Now one of the program’s busiest volunteers, Michaela spends her free time working at events, supporting the Dottie Donor Dot mascot program, promoting donation via social media and sharing her story at community outreach events. Her work has reached thousands of people, and contributed greatly toward increasing the number of registered donors.


Donate to the Organ and Tissue Donor Education Fund