Thursday, May 19, 2005

Five Months On...Nearly Half Way There...

Folks - It's five months today that I was blessed with the life-saving gift of my liver transplant. I celebrated by taking a day of rest after a 7-mile walk on Wednesday through local glorious greenery. Won't be resting long, though, as the effort to help others in the liver-disease/transplant community continues. I'll be back training tomorrow for the upcoming fund-raising walks.

I learned today, too, that in just 16 days since the announcement of my participating in the American Liver Foundation's fund-raising walks next month, we've amassed donations equal to 48% of my $3,000 target.

That ranks as the third-biggest among all participants.

In a nice touch, the Liver Walk organizers called to thank me (really all of you) for the generous donations - from around the world. And with weeks to go before the June 5 Manhattan walk and June 12 Liberty State Park (Jersey City) walk - the target is in sight! To the many who have given so generously - thank you so much. To those who are waiting - what are you waiting for? Thanks for spreading the word and for helping to fight this disease.

Donations can be made on line via credit card in any currency at

I was heartened Wednesday, too, by an email from NJ State Sen. Joseph Vitale, in support of my suggestion of changes in legislation aimed at increasing organ donations. In a nutshell, pending legislation allows only for someone who been a living organ donor to get a break on state taxes for out-of-pocket expenses related to this amazing gift. I pointed out, however, many potential donors often must come forward before a suitable living donor can be found. And all these people should be allowed the same tax break for the expenses they incur. The situation is especially true regarding liver transplants in NJ because there aren't any hospitals in the state doing living donor transplants, therefore hefty travel expenses are incurred regularly. The senator also directed his staff to pursue my suggestion to have NJ State Police hand out organ donation information with each citation they write. These small, easy changes can make THE difference in someone's life...

Speaking of life...more welcome news Wednesday came with word of the arrival of little Charles Benjamin, the first child of wonderful friends and neighbors, Marlene and Bill. Welcome to a wonderful place!



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