Donor's gift enables Donna to continue serving Veterans and Donor Community
Life sometimes takes you on circuitous routes right back to where you belong. After working for Executive Leadership in Donor Services at MTF for 8 years and developing a deep compassion and respect for donor families and the power of organ and tissue donation, Donna and her husband were transferred to Maine. It was there that she found her calling working as a recreational therapist for a Veteran’s Home in Maine. In Donna’s presence, one always feels extraordinary energy, and inevitably there is laughter. In addition to entertaining her friends, family, co-workers and ‘her veterans’ with her wit, Donna loves to spend time helping others. What irony that her desire to help others led to Donna needing the gift of a donated tendon to get her back on her own two feet.
Hoping to become a volunteer for an organization that helps adults and children with disabilities experience outdoor activities, Donna decided to ramp up her ski skills with some private lessons. Unfortunately, right after the lesson, she took a tumble and injured her knee. Laughing, Donna adds that shortly after that, she fell down the stairs to the parking lot. So, while she would like her story to be based on a dramatic athletic injury, she admits it could very well be due to a clumsy trip down the stairs. Surgery soon followed, and Donna feels extreme gratitude to the donor and the donor family who provided the tendon that allowed her to get right back to her very full life, and back to helping others.
The outdoor adventure volunteer experience was out, but Donna believed she had found her true calling as a recreational therapist for seniors who served in the US Military. Known as a cruise director at heart, Donna lives life to the fullest providing fun, social experiences for older Veterans, dedicated to making every day count!
Who would guess that another job transfer would bring Donna back to MTF Biologics, again supporting Executive Leadership, this time for the overall organization. “I now see how everyone at MTF, the donor families and the surgeons all form the fabric of Saving and Healing Lives”
Donna has brought her enthusiasm for helping others by being a strong advocate and volunteer for Team Liberty, the Transplant Games team for the NJ Sharing Network, and actively participates on various Committees at MTF. She is also still engaged in helping Veterans, and seniors or others struggling with disability.
Donna wrote to her thank her donor family “Had it not been for your loved one’s generous decision to become a donor, I would not be able to do my job to improve the lives of our Veterans. When a resident thanks me for assisting them with something as simple as a walk outside, I always remember it is because of my donor. My donor allowed me the privilege of working with our Veterans, and now supporting the mission of the organizations who make it all happen”.