Heart(wo)man Award

Written on: May 30, 2017

That VIP in the center of the photo is Sister Joan Marie McCann, who has been a volunteer for Gift of Life Family House since 2012. A transplant recipient herself, she provides transportation around Philadelphia to patients and their families who are staying at the Family House. This may not sound like a big deal until you think about the stress of driving around a strange city, with a person who is critically ill, or trying to get to the hospital where your loved one is anxiously awaiting a transplant, and having to negotiate strange streets, find parking, and maintain a cheerful disposition while visiting your loved one. Sister Joan Marie has eased this burden for the past five years while logging over 6,000 miles providing for over 1600 guests!

During the recent Christmas holiday, Sister Joan recruited a few Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart to be Home Cook Heroes and provide a meal for the families staying at the Gift of Life Family House. Her interest in the Gift of Life Program and Family House is never-ending.

Recently, she was honored at the annual volunteer luncheon for being such a faithful volunteer and making a huge difference in the lives of so many. Sister Pierrette Remillard had been invited to go along as Sister Joan’s guest and as the announcer read the qualities of the recipient of the award, Sister Pierrette began thinking to herself, “This sounds like my friend.” Sure enough, Sister Joan Marie was the person they were talking about.

The annual Heartman Award is given to a volunteer who is active in both the Gift of Life Family House and as an Organ and Tissue Donation advocate. Sister Joan Marie has generously lent her time to both efforts.

Not just an ordinary driver, Sister Joan Marie is a great listener and is also able to share her own story of being a transplant recipient. She is a tireless advocate of organ and tissue donation and encourages everyone she meets to join her in this endeavor- mostly her own Congregation!

Sister Joan Marie, we are proud of the ministry you provide to so many in the name of St. Marguerite. You bring her compassionate presence to people who desperately need to know that there truly are angels living among us! Thank you for being such an angel.


To learn more about how you can volunteer with Gift of Life Family House click here.

To learn more about organ and tissue donation and how to become a donor, click here.

9 thoughts on “Heart(wo)man Award

  1. Kellie McCann Dolan says:

    Wow! So proud of you aunt Joan! They are all very lucky to have you,as they well know with this awesome award! Always knew how special you are but thrilled others appreciate and realize it too! All my love❣️Kellie




  3. Alma Troiano says:

    Congratulations on receiving this well-deserved award for their reasons and for all the other things you do!!

    Blessings on you!

  4. Sr. Donna M Lord says:

    Dear Joan,

    How nice to hear about your ministry to people at such a crucial time in their lives. You are continuing your ministry of health care , and using your own experience to help others through their time of need. Thanks for the loving care you give.


  5. anne says:

    Dearr Joan All the St Marys girls and nuns would never have realized we had a celebrity among us You don’t look a day older than high school So Proud of your tireless work Who would have thought after learning to drive without stalling on Cheltenham Ave that you would be driving a Van Hope to see you at Will Penn lunch Lovee Anne

    1. Sister Kay Purser, GNSH says:

      Congratulations on this well deserved reward. You do so much for many people, especially the people at Gift of Life. Thank you for ministering to these people at this critical time in their lives. You are an inspiration to many.
      Sister Kay Purser

  6. Ann Neale says:

    Joan, this is wonderful work. Congratulations on your well-deserved award!

  7. greynun says:

    Congratulations! This is a well deserved award!
    Thanks for being a compassionate person at difficult
    times for patients and their families.

  8. Sister Dawn Gear, GNSH says:

    Dear Joan, Congratulations on such a wonderful job you do for so many people. I hope to do something like this after Leadership and I have some time to share with people in need. I’m so proud of you and all you do to further the work of Marguerite. Love and prayers, Dawn

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