Students learn about the gift of life
By Jessica Novins For Newsday Publications-Newsday Media “This Week”
Ninth-grade health students at Massapequa High School-Ames Campus learned about the impact of organ donation firsthand when guest speakers from Long Island Transplant Recipients International Organization (LI TRIO) Bobby Seeback, a heart recipient and Jeffrey Fenn, a two-time kidney recipient discussed their incredible stories of sickness and second chances thanks to the generosity of organ donors.
Arranged by health education teacher Denise Baldinger, the presentations “bring to life the profound effects organ donation has on the lives of those in need,” she said. “Many students who may have found the topic hard to fathom now understand the value of donating and the impact it could have on another human being’s life.”
The organ recipients gave the students bracelets and book bags displaying the LI TRIO logo as a thank you for inviting them to their school.LI TRIO is a nonprofit, all-volunteer organization committed to improving the quality of lives touched by the miracle of transplantation through education, support, advocacy, and organ donation and transplantation awareness. The group meets on the second Wednesday of each month from September to June at 7:30 p.m. at 145 Community Drive in Great Neck.
“We always keep in mind that there are currently more than 121,072 people waiting for the Gift of Life; a life-saving transplant in the United States today,” explained Mike Sosna, LI TRIO’s director of advocacy, public policy and outreach. “More than 10,000 are on the waiting list in New York State alone.”
LI TRIO provides current information with respect to developments in organ and tissue donation, transplantation, medications, social issues and finances to transplant candidates, recipients, donors, and their families. They inform candidates about initiatives and protocols in the field of transplantation.
Marie Lapersonerie, a LI TRIO volunteer, got involved after her son, Sean, was killed in a car accident crossing the street on New Year’s Eve in 2011. He had enrolled in the New York State Donate Life Registry, allowing his organs to be used to save lives.
“That decision my son made helped me somehow feel ‘comfort’ in the wake of such an indescribable tragedy and somehow I found a way to function and give back every day by helping other families and those facing the death of a loved one and the issue of organ donation in order to save lives,” she explained.
For more information contact LI TRIO.
Long Island TRIO
PO Box 81
Garden City, NY 11530