A Transplant Recipient is Honored for his work to raise awareness of organ donation
Editor’s Note: The United Way of Rhode Island and NBC 10 have awarded the Jefferson Awards for Public Service to three Southern New Englanders whose volunteer work goes largely unnoticed by the general public. We profile the second of the three winners for 2010.
Steve Bruno, of Hope, R.I., willingly uses his personal story to change systems and lives and to inspire people. His overarching efforts have resulted in great strides in the area of organ donor awareness and recognition throughout New England.
Bruno has taken a leadership role to encourage the staffs of the AAA Southern New England and Rhode Island’s Division of Motor Vehicles to become more aware of the critical role they play in asking those renewing a license to be organ donors.
When he was in his 30s, Bruno was diagnosed with a fatal kidney condition and spent two years on dialysis until he received a kidney through an organ donation. He never forgot this ordeal, and he took up the call to become an advocate for organ donation in New England.
As president and the primary force for the Rhode Island Organ Donor Awareness Coalition, he volunteers as a speaker at schools, presents at regional conferences, organizes fundraisers, and holds monthly meetings to improve the lives of those living with organ donation.
If you ask individuals at the Organ Donation Awareness Coalition about Bruno, they will tell you that he has the energy of a dozen people.
Bruno, a master electrician who is making a difference in the field of organ donation, has taken lemons given to him at a young age and turned them into lemonade.