Lung transplant recipient, veteran radio voice Ralph Howard and Broadway's Julie Halston join Oct. 6 campaign to boost NY organ donor numbers

New York Daily News | Heidi Evans

(L-R) Julie Halston, her husband Ralph Howard, and New York Presbyterian Hospital's Dr. Joshua Sonett, who performed the lung transplant surgery for Howard.

The news was dire for radio reporter Ralph Howard: He had just one year to live.

Howard, a velvet-voiced presence on satellite radio with Howard Stern News and veteran of all-news 1010 WINS-AM, could barely breathe, as pulmonary fibrosis ravaged his lungs.

But he was one of the lucky ones.

The 74-year-old broadcaster dodged the grim reaper with a life-saving lung transplant at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, a miracle made possible only because another person's death gave Howard the ultimate gift: Life.

Now, Howard and his wife, comedic Broadway actress Julie Halston, are celebrating the fifth anniversary of Howard's transplant. And they’re joining an unprecedented campaign to convince fellow New Yorkers to enroll as an organ donor on Tuesday so that thousands more — young and old — can be saved.

“We will be devoted to this cause for the rest of our lives,” said Halston, whose annual “Broadway Belts” fundraiser has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation and organ donor awareness. Continue reading