Nikki McKenna

Diagnosed with kidney disease at 14, Nikki spent more than 3 years on an organ donor list. With her kidney’s in complete failure, Nikki found a hero. Her father – a perfect match to become a living donor.

Today, Nikki is a gold medalist in the U.S. Transplant Games, a tireless ambassador for organ donation, and an active wife and daughter who intends on living her second chance at life to its fullest.

Antonela Kasic

At 15, Nel has waited her lifetime for an intestine transplant. As she waits, she still fills her time with dreams of attending Duquesne to become a pediatric nurse.

Every day she plugs herself in for 6 hours to feed and cleanse her system. And then she dances, appreciating a freedom of movement that is so precious and so fragile in her life. She knows there are more like her…waiting. One day, she hopes to be the one who helps them through.

SaMaya Martin

You’d never guess this bright-eyed five year-old was only 14 lbs when she was two. SaMaya spent years – almost from birth – waiting for an intestine transplant. Until the doctor told her mother to prepare to lose her child.

But then a miracle happened. A family made the difficult choice to turn their tragedy into a life-saving triumph for SaMaya. And today, the amazing, energetic, playful, intelligent little girl you see is a testament to what donation can mean.

Lynda Zendek

Steve loved sports, animals and Lynda. While dating in college, Steve told her he was an organ donor and she should be too. It was a typically thoughtful thing from the man who would become her husband.

When Steve died unexpectedly at 38, Lynda knew exactly what he wanted. She’s already heard from four recipients, including a tennis player who can play again. She says there’s no question – Steve would have loved that.

Nico Beachem

Nico has a new intestine, a new family, and a new chance at life. The 5-year old foster care child has waited since birth for a transplant. And for a family to adopt him. Now, after years of IVs, hospitalization and waiting, his future is bright.

CORE helped find an ideal match for his intestine. And his foster family, who has seen him through many difficult years, has recently completed the adoption process.

The Meerhoffs

When you look at the Meerhoff family, you see a love of life inspired by their daughter, Carly. She was only 21 when she died in her sleep, but her spirit of care and concern for others inspired her decision as a teenager to become a registered organ donor.

That early decision helped the Meerhoff’s through the most difficult time of their lives. And it’s still a source of inspiration knowing Carly’s legacy is touching lives.

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    Pennsylvania  |  West Virginia
  • Did You Know?

    More than 120,000 people are waiting for an organ in the United States.

    At least 18 die each day without receiving a transplant, including two from our region.

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