In Memory of Francis Gritzmacher


Remember how we were using every way we could think of to help COTA and raise money for Frank's transplant?
How we were using Amazon Smile when we ordered things? I haven't stopped. I just checked today after I ordered something, to see how much I've generated.
It's not a lot, but it has added up over time. I'm going to keep doing it. It costs me nothing and is kind of an ongoing way to honor Frank.
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Posted on 24 Apr 2021 by Al Gritzmacher
Well, we missed out on doing a virtual get-together for the Anniversary of Frank's passing. Some of us were interested, but I just couldn't get behind putting it all together. It was just too sad an occasion and I wasn't up to it. So we all observed it in our own, solitary ways, quietly. That seems fitting too.

I hesitate to say anything and jinx it by bringing it up, but maybe, just maybe, an end to the COVID quarantine is coming. Many people have by now received their vaccinations. I hope you have been able to find yours and will be getting it soon, if not already done. It's not complete protection, but every person that gets it brings us all closer to living in a society with herd immunity. We'll all probably be getting booster shots every year just like the FLU vaccine, so it will become a way of life.

So, let's watch the announcements from the government about when and how public assemblies will be allowed to happen again. It's been loosening up gradually now for a while and it won't be long until we can hold a proper memorial gathering for Frank. Think about how you'd like to see it happen and how you can help make it happen. My high school is talking about holding our 50th Reunion too. I think a lot of celebrations will be happening this summer and that may make facilities be in short supply. We'll need to be flexible and work around that.

But, start thinking about it! Let me know your thoughts...
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Posted on 16 Apr 2021 by Al Gritzmacher
It feels like forever in many ways. In others, it was yesterday. But the anniversary of Frank's passing is just a month away.

It also feels like we should do something to observe the occasion, but I don't know what. We've been waiting patiently for this pandemic crisis to pass and the end of that doesn't seem much nearer, either.

So, I'm putting this out there to his friends, how can we do something for the date virtually, while under the pandemic lockdown? Any idas? Does anyone want to start something? I'm open for suggestions and willing to help. Let me know...

Comments: 0
Posted on 23 Jan 2021 by Al Gritzmacher
Today marks the anniversary of Frank's Lung Transplant. On this day in 2014, in Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City, he got the gift that gave him an extra life. He went from almost certainly dying within months, to living a nearly normal life for a number of years. To be able to travel, do things he never was capable of, visit friends all over the country, and make up for time spent under the cruel weight of CF. It also began the ritual of the periodic trips to NYC with him for clinic visits. I spent time with him on those trips that I would have missed otherwise and it was wonderful. I got to really know my son as an adult, a man, and we had great adventures along the way. It was mostly really special.

All this would not have been possible without organ transplants being a thing. I'd like to take this opportunity to ask everyone reading this to support organ donation and be an organ donor if you aren't already. You can sign up to give the gift of life online at or by visiting your MyDMV account in NY when you renew your drivers license.

We don't know who to thank for Frank's new lungs, but someone gave some thought before they met their own end and gave us a gift that was beyond any expectation. We can do the same thing for someone, possibly many someones, and pass the favor on. It would be a great way to remember Frank.
Comments: 0
Posted on 17 Dec 2020 by Al Gritzmacher

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