Ed Schaefer of Aquebogue, a heart transplant recipient in 2016, with his donor's daughter on her 4th birthday. Courtesy photo.

Thursday, Oct. 8 is Organ Donor Enrollment Day. Several Riverhead residents have had heart transplants including myself. Little Ruby was less than a year old when she received her new heart. A longtime Riverhead resident received a liver transplant and another a kidney. A Riverhead High School graduate is now waiting for a double lung transplant.

New York State is last on the list for organ donors. We can change that. Usually I would be at colleges and hospitals volunteering with LiveOnNY registering potential organ donors but COVID-19 has put that on hold. I have met hundreds of transplant recipients and many donor families including my own.

Registering to be an organ donor does not affect your life but does change someone else’s. Talk to your family about organ donation and consider being someone’s hero.

Thank you for allowing me this space as organ donation can affect you just as easy as it affected several Riverhead residents. Sign up today. ❤❤❤❤ Register at DonateLife.ny.gov.

Ed Schaefer

Editor’s note: Ed Schaefer is a heart transplant recipient who has become a dedicated advocate of organ donation. Read his story here: “Friends are made from the heart.”

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