Second annual ‘Give Gala’ highlights financial needs of organ transplant recipients

Jenn Bruno (right) and Filomena Germano. The two co-founded the organization Ottawa Donors
Jenn Bruno has a scar the size of a hockey stick that runs all the way down the middle of her abdomen. “But … big deal” she says. “I have a good story to tell.”

The scar is leftover from a 2015 transplant operation that removed 75 per cent of her liver. Bruno’s donated organ saved the life of Tony Pasqua, the father of her best friend, Filomena. After doctors said a transplant was Pasqua’s best chance at survival, Bruno immediately volunteered. She ended up being a perfect match.

“She stepped up right away, which is an incredible thing,” says Filomena Germano.

Both women saw firsthand the toll the transplant took on Pasqua and his family. Aside from the physical aspects, financial costs created extra strain. Taking time off work was one thing, but frequent travel and accommodations in Toronto – where the transplant was done – added up to steep expenses that there was no coverage for, Germano says. Continue reading
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