Everyday Heroes

Would you give your boss a kidney?

Importance of kidney donors and how you can make difference.

In April 2014, I experienced serious kidney failure and for a year battled, without success, to the point where I was at the end of the road. My options were winding down and I was within days of a not so good ending.

I needed a miracle!

Anita Alfonsi, a senior account executive who reported to me, had made a personal decision to be "our miracle." I can still vividly remember the day UPMC Starzl unit called to let me know that I had a kidney donor. We did not know "who" but later that day, Anita came to me to inform me she was going to be "our miracle."

Even more dramatic, was the fact that she pushed aggressively for the transplant to take place immediately after being approved without ever realizing how important the "immediate" part was going to be for me.

My wife and I were very blessed to have Anita in our life. It would be impossible to say how important this selfless act was to us, and it is my hope that Anita will become an "inspirational hero" to others by her actions. She became a hero by giving us a life we would never have had.

If you are wondering if being a kidney donor can really make a difference, it can!

If you have ever considered doing it, I can only tell you, you will be an instant "hero" to that person and anyone who comes in contact with that person. Anita did this for us, and will always be "our hero".

Over 100,000 people in the United States need a kidney, but only 17,000 will receive one. You can make a difference and be a "hero." If you would like more information, I would like to suggest that you contact one of the following sources, they can help you with the process. UPMC Starzl Transplant Clinic:1-877-640-6746, National Kidney Foundation: 800-261-4115, or www.kidney.org, CORE: 412-963-3550, Allegheny Health: 412-359-4441, PA License Gift of Life program: 215-557-8090.

Written by Rick Vaccarelli, blessed by Anita Alfonsi and her generous gift 4/15/15

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