Written on: December 1, 2014
On October 24th 2014 S. Joan Marie McCann, a volunteer at Gift of Life Family House was honored along with Gift of Life Donor Program families, doctors, staff, affiliates and volunteers at the 40th Anniversary Dinner – “A Celebration of Life”.
The Gift of Life Program grew from the work of two surgeons who initiated the Delaware Valley Society of Transplant Program as a regional organ donation and transplant network, one of the first of its kind in the nation.
“Today, the Gift of Life Program in its 40 years is the nation’s most active and well respected program coordinating organ and tissue transplants. Given a second chance at life, as I (Sr. Joan) was would not have been possible without the countless families who make the selfless decision, with the help of special advocates/coordinators to donate organs and tissues each year” said Sister Joan.
Having received a kidney November 17, 2011, she would pass by the Gift of Life Family House traveling back and forth to Jefferson Hospital for appointments. One day she asked one of the doctors about the house. The doctor explained its purpose and suggested Sister Joan stop in and visit which she did in September, 2012. Asked to be a volunteer, Sister Joan learned there was a need for drivers to transport people to appointments and pickup families who are visiting their loved ones at the Transplant Center Hospitals in the Philadelphia area. After much thought and prayer Sister Joan agreed to volunteer to give back for her own miracle. From that day in September to the present she drives families and listens to their stories both happy and sad. Sister Joan remarked, ” As a Grey Nun of the Sacred Heart and a recipient myself, I feel I have something to give assuring families of hope through my prayers and the prayers and support of the Grey Nuns.”
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