April 19, 2011 |
When Francisco "Paco" Rodriguez died of head injuries in a 2009 bout at the Blue Horizon, his wife Sonia signed an authorization form that permitted seven of his organs to be used for transplants. Ultimately, that courageous stroke of a pen by a grieving widow saved the lives of five people. With the help the Philadelphia-based Gift of Life Donor Program, Sonia wrote four of the recipients a letter (the fifth had been a family member). In it, she described the abiding love Paco had for her and their baby daughter and said she hoped one day they could meet.
December 1, 2010 |
Blessed by Paco: Five survivors cherish gifts of life from boxer DEATH WAS NEAR. They told her that. Chances were it could be weeks - perhaps longer but not significantly unless she had a lung transplant. For years, Ashley Owens had known that she would not live to be 30 or even 25, that cystic fibrosis would sweep her away one day before she would have a chance to have a career or a wedding or children. It was a given she had come to accept. But now that she was coughing up blood and was in what her doctors called the "the end stages," the sudden finality of her circumstances terrified her. All of it seemed to be happening too soon.
December 17, 2009 |
Brian McTear is haunted by the time he almost met his best friend, the person he came to call his "soul mate," Bobby Wolter. It happened in the meat section of the Thriftway in Fishtown, up on Aramingo. Brian never uttered a word to Bobby about that day, but he finally wrote a confessional on his blog in August: I knew it was you, because you were dressed in the same clothes as your Myspace photo at the time . . . and you had on an Urban Outfitters shirt (. . . which I figure only an Urban Outfitters employee would be caught dead in, right?
December 4, 2009 |
Samantha Marie Grosse, 22, of Lansdale, a senior at the University of Florida, died Monday at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center in Philadelphia after an 18-year battle with cystic fibrosis. Miss Grosse was at the center for treatment when she was found unconscious overnight in the bathroom inside her room, said her father, Jeffrey C. Grosse. Autopsy results were withheld pending laboratory tests, said Jeff Moran, spokesman for the Philadelphia Medical Examiner's Office. Spokeswoman Kim Guenther said that under hospital policy, any "unexpected death" is handled by the medical examiner.
July 19, 2008 |
The comedian Kenneth Keith Kallenbach died of complications from cystic fibrosis, according to an autopsy report released yesterday by the Delaware County medical examiner. Kallenbach, 39, was best known as a member of the "Wack Pack" on Howard Stern's radio show. He suffered from the inherited disease and died April 24 at Riddle Memorial Hospital after being transferred from the George W. Hill Correctional Facility in Thornbury, where he had been held since mid-March. After an autopsy in April, the medical examiner said further investigation was needed to determine the cause of death.
February 19, 2006 |
For sixth grader Tommy Geromichalos, St. Cyril's School in East Lansdowne has become a second home. "I've been here since kindergarten. All my friends are here, and the teachers are great," he said. So when the 12-year-old heard the Catholic school might have to close, he put in a "special emergency wish" to the Make-A-Wish Foundation to keep his school open. Tommy has cystic fibrosis, a life-threatening illness, so he was eligible for a wish, said Dennis Heron, executive director of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Philadelphia and Southeastern Pennsylvania.
March 4, 2005 |
In August, five months after a double lung transplant spared her from end-stage cystic fibrosis, Shana Reif was back in the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, deeply depressed about her hair. The 29-year-old Bensalem resident was recovering from the latest in an unending series of unusual, life-threatening complications of the transplant and her disease. A lattice of raw, red scars crisscrossed her skin from the neck to the pubic bone. Steroids bloated her face. Morphine dulled her pain.
February 6, 2005 |
Chris Notte, a 17-year-old Holy Cross junior, is arguably the best wrestler in New Jersey at 125 pounds. And, on any given match day, his family members, sometimes numbering more than a dozen, make up as vociferous a rooting section an athlete could want. Yet Notte not only wrestles for those relatives who are there but three very special ones who are not. And knowing that, Notte's goal is clear: he is determined to win a state championship for his aunt, Veronica Notte, and two uncles, Michael Notte and George Notte, all of whom passed away at relatively young ages in the last two years.
August 13, 2004 |
Last Friday evening, Sharon Love decided to give her daughter a gift: Love would stay with her at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania all through what was sure to be an anxious, sleepless night. Just 10 days earlier, Shana Reif, 29, had undergone major chest surgery to treat a chronic sternal wound infection, a complication of her lung transplant in March. She was scheduled for abdominal surgery the next day to relieve a bowel obstruction, a complication of her cystic fibrosis and medications.
May 9, 2004 |
They have been best buddies since kindergarten. And in that year, Charlie Clarke and Matthew Smart, both 7, have traveled some rocky roads together. Soon after the two settled into a comfortable friendship and discovered that they had a lot in common - baseball, basketball, hockey and soccer - Charlie was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. The disease has rocked Charlie's foundation and put him on a daily regimen that many young boys might find intolerable. But he has adapted with the help of family and friends, especially Matthew, who wants to ease his best friend's pain and help find a quick cure for the disease.