Hispanic Heritage Month Profile: Ed Galarza

Gift of Life Donor Program

Pennsauken, NJ resident, Ed Galarza, is not the type of man to complain or let illness and pain get the best of him. Born in Puerto Rico and raised in the Bronx, NY, Ed has worked hard throughout his life. Even when he was diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver, Ed kept pushing on and continued his work in construction.

“I had symptoms before I was diagnosed with cirrhosis – my stomach kept getting larger, I had jaundice and excessive pain, but I had to work and push through it.” said Ed. As he progressively became more and more ill, working through the pain became more difficult.

He was listed on the organ transplant waitlist when he was diagnosed with cirrhosis, but his future was unclear. Currently, 22 people die each day in the U.S. while waiting for an organ transplant, so Ed had no certainty about if and when he would receive a life-saving liver transplant. “I was worried for my family and didn’t know what was going to happen.” he said. Continue reading