Thursday, June 23, 2005

Front Page News!

The local weekly - the Echoes-Sentinel - ran the Liver Walk
story on page 1 with a color photo (taken by Nancy) of Alex
and I cutting the ribbon at the Liberty State Park event. Story
was beaten out for prime, above-the-fold placement by
"Successful Italian eatery finds home in Gillette." I guess we
know where the editor is having lunch!

The item below is pretty much as I wrote it a couple of weeks ago -
except for edited-in errors, including the date of the event and the web
address for information on how to become an organ donor. (That address is:

Interesting, my story has become so well known locally that 'Bird' seems to be
now acceptable in headlines, instead of the previous - anthropoligical sounding -'Millington Man.'

...Latest fund-raising tally $5,120....

Bird raises funds with his son at 5K Liver Walk

LONG HILL TWP. - David Bird of Long Hill Road,
Millington, who received a life-saving liver
transplant just before Christmas, cut the ribbon to
start and to walk in the 5K Liver Walk fund-raising
event on June 5, at Liberty State Park in Jersey City.

Bird, with help from his son, Alex, raised the most
funds for the American Liver Association’s three New
York area events.

‘’About 70 generous people donated over $5,000 to my
drive to help the American Liver Foundation find a
cure for this disease which strikes one out of 10
Americans,’’ Bird said.

‘’We smashed my ambitious target of raising $3,000 and
I’m proud to say that about one-third of the money I
raised came from folks with ties to the Long Hill
community that has already given so much support to us
since I became ill.’’

Overall, the three New York area events raised about
$70,000 for research into fighting liver disease.

‘’It was hot walking on Sunday morning, but inspiring
to be looking out over the Statue of Liberty and Ellis
Island, which are great symbols of hope and new
starts,’’ said Bird, adding his mother and her family
emigrated to the United States from Ireland, through
Ellis Island, when she was just 3 years-old.

Bird, who lives with wife Nancy, and children
Alexander, 7, and Natasha, 4, suffered from an unknown
form of hepatitis last July. He received a life-saving
liver transplant at New York University Medical Center
in New York on Dec. 19, 2004.

Bird, who is walking extensively throughout the
community to regain his strength, expects to be given
medical clearance to return to his job as senior
energy correspondent at Dow Jones Newswires in Jersey
City later this summer.

‘’Like all transplant recipients, I’ll be on some
daily medications for the rest of my life. But that’s
a small price to pay. I’m feeling great,’’ said Bird.

‘’When I got my transplant, I told my doctors that I
was going to work my hardest to reshape the world for
people with liver disease just the way the disease had
reshaped my liver. Liver Walk is just the beginning of
my dedication to this cause and to promoting the need
for organ donation. I’m well aware how lucky I was to
get my transplant,’’ said Bird.

‘’Right now, there are some 18,000 people awaiting
liver transplants across the country and nearly 90,000
are on the waiting list for all organ transplants.
Many will die while awaiting the needed organ. The
best way to help now is to register as an organ donor
and hopefully, with continued research into the
disease, even more lives can be saved,’’ said Bird.

Information on how to become an organ donor can be
found on the World Wide Web at


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