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About Us

Chairperson: Susan Seidel, Donor Mom

On September 29, 2002, Sue's world changed when her youngest son, Brian, was killed in a motorcycle accident. Brian was 22 years old and a senior at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida. After being told that Brian did not survive his injuries, Sue was approached by a wonderful woman from TransLife Transplant Organization. This was the OPO--Organ Procurement Organization--in Orlando. The woman asked Sue if she would consider donating Brianís organs. Brian had already made that decision, so all Sue had to do was to give consent. Brian was able to give the Gift of Life to 9 individuals waiting for lifesaving transplants. He was able to donate his heart, lungs, kidneys, pancreas, liver and both corneas. His gifts have become his legacy. Searching for a way to move forward after losing Brian, Sue found the Coalition. The Coalition and the Gift of Life have given Sue the opportunity to become a part of a truly unique group of transplant recipients, other donor families and volunteers with the sole purpose of telling the stories of life and loss, simply to let the world know that transplantation works. Sue is proud to be the chairperson of such a wonderful group of dedicated and amazing people.

Secretary: Tiffany Wells

Tiffany is the sister of Kevin Geklinsky, a liver recipient, and is the Coalition's secretary. Tiffany has been with the Gift of Life since 2010. After her brother received his life-saving liver in May of 2010, she researched the Gift of Life to find out how she and Kevin could get involved and increase awareness about organ and tissue donation. Besides volunteering with the Coalition, Tiffany and her family volunteer at the Family House and participate in the Dash.

Don Baer: Heart Recipient

Don was diagnosed with a severe case of Crohnís disease in October, 1968. After many epsiodes with the problem, he finally had several surgeries in 1991. In 1995, Don was diagnosed with heart problems that were later diagnosed as Viral Cardiomyopathy. He was in and out of Hershey Medical Center between 1996 and 2000. In February 2000, he was told that they would not touch a transplant due to his Crohnís Disease. Later that month, he was admitted to Temple University Hospital for consultation. After much testing, he was placed on the transplant list for a heart transplant. On July 19, 2000, he received a new heart.

Jane Mengel: Co-Chair of Health Fairs, Kidney Recipient

Jane is 69 years old, with a very loving and caring husband of 47 years, 2 sons and 6 grandchildren. Jane's journey with kidney failure began with a visit to her gynecologist in April of 1992, and was directed to see her primary physician. He ran some tests and was sure Jane had a kidney problem. He referred me to Lehigh Valley Kidney Health of Nephrology--now known as Valley Kidney Specialists, PC. Her condition is called Glomerulgnephritis: an inflammation in the tissues of the kidney that destroys the kidney tissues. She was placed on dialysis treatment where you dialyze four times every day at home. On April 25, 1996, she received a kidney transplant from a deceased donor, and she was the 100th transplant performed at Lehigh Valley Hospital. It was Organ Donor Week, so Jane received much media attention. The Greater Lehigh Valley Coalition began in 1992 at Easton Hospital. The social worker asked Jane to join the coalition, and she is still a member of our coalition. Jane volunteers to do Health Fairs and volunteers in the Dialysis Unit at Easton Hospital. She has been doing this volunteer work for over 20 years.\

Don Ehnot: TGA Games Track Coach, Team Philadelphia

Don was born in Homestead, Pennsylvania. He caught rheumatic fever at a young age, but it wasn't noticed until he was diagnosed with severe aortic insufficiency. Since then, he got married, had three children and earned a Master's degree, and landed a job at Air Products in Trexlertown, Pennsylvania.

Don developed a nagging cough and finally saw a cardiologist who told him he needed immediate heart surgeruy. Before too long, he was diagnosed with cariomyopathy and was evaluated for a heart transplant. He was finally able to have a transplant in 1990. Don has been involved with the TGA Games ever since, and is now the track coach for Team Philadelphia. Don recevied the TGA 2012 Male Athlete of the Year. 23 years after his transplant, Don is still doing well.

Frederick Jerant: Annual Contests, Fashion Show Producer, Media Relations, Facebook

Fred's sister Joan gave him a kidney in 2003 after his own kidneys were failing due to Type 1 diabetes. Fred joined the coalition shortly thereafter.

Bill and Chris Hankee: Parents of a Donor

The Hankees are the parents of Krysta Hankee who, at the age of 22, collapsed in a gym in 2007 and died five days later. Krysta saved the lives of five strangers through organ donation.†The Hankees carry Krystaís story of hope and healing to local high schools and civic groups in hopes that more people will follow the lead of donors like Krysta and make a difference for others through life saving acts of compassion.

 

 

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