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Reynolds Memorial Hospital in Glen Dale Commemorates ‘Donate Life Month’ Recognized by WVU Medicine

WVU Medicine Reynolds Memorial Hospital’s Maintenance Technician, Art Henry, raised the CORE Donate Life flag outside the hospital in a ceremony on Tuesday afternoon.

During a National Donate Life Month event organized by the Center for Organ Recovery and Education and WVU Medicine Reynolds Memorial Hospital, an organ donor and recipient shared their life-changing story of how organ donation impacted them.

The flag-raising ceremony and presentation on Tuesday marked the second event held in April by CORE and WVU Medicine to raise awareness about the significance and advantages of organ donation.

Jennifer Brueck, who was diagnosed with stage 5 renal disease in September 2001, shared her experience of being on multiple kidney transplant lists for over 20 years, waiting for a life-saving opportunity. Instead of receiving a call, Brueck received a text from Marie Mascio, who had overheard her struggles while at the salon.

Moved by Brueck’s story, Mascio felt compelled to help and eventually discovered that she was a match. The emotional revelation led to Mascio offering to donate her kidney to Brueck, who was initially shocked by the stranger’s generosity. Brueck underwent a successful kidney transplant from Mascio on April 10 last year, and the two are approaching the one-year anniversary of this life-changing event.

Organ recipient Jennifer Brueck and kidney donor Marie Mascio shared their inspiring journey at the ceremony on Tuesday.

Following the transplant, Brueck’s life underwent significant positive changes as she no longer required dialysis and could lead a more active life. She expressed gratitude for the newfound energy and optimism, emphasizing how the transplant had not only given her a second chance at life but also brought two families together.

Despite the profound impact of organ donation on their lives, Mascio had not been a registered organ donor prior to the transplant. She dispelled myths surrounding organ donation and encouraged others to educate themselves on the process, highlighting the importance of becoming an organ donor.

Cheryl King, the CORE WV Community Outreach Coordinator, described organ donation as a final selfless act before departing from this world.

Tony Martinelli, the Chief Operating Officer of WVU Medicine Reynolds Memorial Hospital, expressed his enthusiasm for displaying the Donate Life Flag outside the hospital. He emphasized the hospital’s partnership with CORE to raise awareness and provide support for organ donation, acknowledging the incredible impact it has on individuals and communities.

The event concluded with Martinelli reflecting on the profound stories of generosity and the rewarding experience for clinicians and hospitals involved in the organ donation process.