Eighth Anniversary @ 17 Dec 2022
Frank got his new lungs Dec. 17, 2014 eight years ago today. My calendar reminded me of that fact. It seems long ago in some ways and still, it seems like just yesterday.

It was the beginning of a whirlwind of trips back and forth to New York City and NY Presbyterian Hospital. One other thing reminded me of that time, the seasonal flood of letters and emails from charitable groups reaching out for donations. One in particular came today: COTA.

Back when Frank's need for a transplant was imminent, a group of his friends united and formed Team Frank. They had found out about the Children's Organ Transplant Association and the work they do helping families manage the task of dealing with the expenses incurred with a transplant. I'm grateful that they included me in the group. A finer bunch of people just isn't possible.

In the course of getting approval for COTA support, Team Frank had to do some fundraising and demonstrate a commitment to the project. They did so with a series of fundraising events and raised a substantial amount of money for the cause.

COTA subsidized at least 29 trips to NYC. They made an impossible situation, working with a hospital 450 miles away, possible. Not easy, but possible. When we had to travel to NY Presby, they covered expenses that otherwise would have exceeded my ability to pay out-of-pocket. Their system took care of all the fundraising tax questions and issues and oversaw the financial aspect, leaving us to manage the rest. Made the impossible possible. Not easy, but possible.

One of the happiest times I remember was the "Frankquet" a fund-raiser banquet and basket raffle the group put together. It was planned before the transplant, but like most transplants that come when least expected, happened just after. In fact, enough after that Frank was released and made it home in time to attend.

Just as crucial was the transportation to the hospital for the transplant. Frank had been working on the paperwork to apply for a flight through Wings Flights of Hope. But the call for the transplant came before he could submit it.
When Albert had his transplant, we were flown to Pittsburgh by a group called Angel Flight. They were no longer operating, but the pilot had given me his business card. Joe DeMarco, the pilot, was now the central figure in Wings Flights. So we called him. He was a little surprised that we had his number and was actually in the air on the way from New York to Rochester. He called us back once he landed and made arrangements to meet us in Buffalo. I don't know what plans he had that night, but after a long day with a flight to NYC and back, he still dropped everything and made time for Frank. I'm eternally grateful.

Anyway, as we remember this anniversary - Frank's Lungiversary - and since we are in the season of giving, if you are inclined, please remember these two organizations that made Frank's transplant journey possible. COTA and Wings Flights of Hope. Their information is on the Memorials page.
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