Yesterday I attended this event, like I did three years ago when my book, Partners 4 Life was just released. This year marked the 10th anniversary of this event hosted by Terence Hale and held in Central Park, in the heart of NYC. I had a special reason to attend this year, as Travis Murphy, the oldest son of my Donor now moved his family from DC, and lives in Harlem just north of Central Park. He attended along with his wife Mandy, and their two wonderful children Ingrid and Walter, all I had met before. A special bonus was his brother Tane, who came all the way from Wichita to join us for this event. (Oh and also attend a Yankee game, which happens to be his favorite baseball team, and a real surprise, be a special guest with his big brother at the NBA draft held Thursday!)
Travis now works for the NBA and is involved in all kinds of cool things like the work the NBA is doing around the world developing players and their social and other skills. I framed a jersey that Travis gave me and it generated a $1000 for PF research, through the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation. That was just part of the incredible money raised by this event, which totaled well over $100,000. I had a Partners 4 Life, team supported by many and we exceeded our targeted goal, and I reached out to meet many attendees.
Two old friends were there too and that was Dr. Naftali Kaminski, and Tricia Black (much younger and prettier too), both formerly of the Simmons Center at UPMC. It was great seeing them, and having the chance to introduce my Donor family to them and many in attendance. Neither had ever had that experience before and for lungs it is quite unique, and I am blessed in so many ways. That relationship is explained in the book.
We all did the walk including Travis and Mandy’s two very well behaved dogs, “Loretta” and “Barbara”. Because of Travis’s and Mandy’s work at the State Dept, their dogs have a pedigree that is International in scope, having come from Ecuador, lived in Corte d’Ivoire, Washington, DC and now think they and the kids have the greatest playground: Central Park. Very cool!
Tane and I had not met before that day, and it was a great chance to chat and reminisce about their dear Mother, Judy, also from Kansas and my Donor 8 years ago in April. Travis wrote a chapter about her passions for, life, family, sports and nursing, and ironically organ donation and transplants. A cerebral hemorrhage cut her life short at 51, but her lungs gave me a second chance at life and her passion for transplants lives on in me. I am sure it showed yesterday.
What started out as a very wet rainy day, stopped and cleared and the day was beautiful all around like the smiles on the Murphys.
Hey Jude! Thanks. Keep The Faith.