June 14, 2024

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PRESS RELEASE: State Representative Arciero, State Legislature Recognizes Organ Donation Awareness Month

4 min read

WESTFORD – The following press release was shared by the office of Rep. James Arciero for publication.

It was an emotional day in Room 437 at the Massachusetts State House.

Each spring, the Massachusetts State House recognizes the month of April as Organ Donation Awareness  Month, sponsored and organized by the New England Donor Services (NEDS).

This year, as part of the poignant event which impacts so many lives and families across Massachusetts,  State Representative James Arciero was pleased to reconnect with a friend and fellow Westford  Academy graduate, Mandra Biscornet, and her husband, Brad Biscornet.

This year’s program included four heart transplant recipients, one of them being Brad, a firefighter in the Town of Tyngsboro who received a donor heart in 2007.

“Since I was born, I have been told by doctors that I was on borrowed time due to a cardiac condition,”  said Brad, at the jubilant, crowded State House event sponsored by NEDS. “Fortunately, with the  expertise of my doctors, many heart procedures, and a variety of medication, I survived my childhood  and early adulthood. I never had an expectation of having a child or planning on retirement due to the  limited time I was given. In 2007, my cardiac condition deteriorated significantly.

“The only way to stay on this great ride of life was a heart transplant,” he added with a smile.

Doctors told Brad and their family that modern medicine could not help his heart and ailing condition 15  years ago.

That reality has since changed because of organization like NEDS. Brad has lived a full life — experiencing  precious moments alongside his family.

“After a lifetime of cardiac issues, his only option was a heart transplant. We hoped and prayed that a  donor hear would come in time, but also said our goodbyes just in case,” Mandra said. “Through the  precious gift of a donor family, a heart did come. Since then, Brad has lived a life we did not think was  possible. He has run numerous Spartan Obstacle course races, is Captain in our town’s fire department,  and most importantly, is a father to a precocious 12-year-old boy.

Our family exists because of a donor family. And we are forever grateful,” Mandra added. Since his successful procedure, Brad and Mandra have been active supporters of NEDS.

New England Donor Services coordinates organ and tissue donation in Connecticut, Maine,  Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, the eastern counties of Vermont and Bermuda.

Through its federally designated organ procurement organization, New England Organ Bank (NEOB), and  its centralized tissue donation services operation, NEDS serves thousands of donor families each year  who have generously made the choice to donate for others.

“I have worked closely with NEDS and my personal friend Matt Boger, who is their State Relations  Manager, on increasing awareness of the importance of being an organ donor,” State Representative  Arciero said. “It was a wonderful surprise to actually meet a former classmate who was directly  impacted by the essential work that they do. I urge everyone to consider this option and to discuss this  very personal matter with their families in making this serious decision.”

Operating one of the 56 Organ Procurement Organizations (OPOs) that make up the nation’s donation  system, NEDS works with nearly 200 hospitals and serves 14 million people in our region, screening  nearly 50,000 potential donor referrals annually.

Working sensitively with the donor families, NEDS staff leads donation authorization discussions,  maintains medical support of potential donors, coordinates recovery surgeries, allocates organs  according to the national transplant waiting list and directs transport of organs to transplant centers and  tissues to processors.

NEOB was established in 1968 as the first independent OPO in the country, founded by Nobel Laureate  Dr. Joseph Murray who performed the first successful organ transplant at Boston’s Peter Bent Brigham  Hospital in 1954. Dr. Murray was the uncle of State Representative Brian W. Murray of Milford, who  spoke about his uncle’s efforts and the challenges he faced in the implementation of organ donation.  NEDS was formed in 2017 as an affiliation of two OPOs, LifeChoice Donor Services and New England  Organ Bank, which merged in 2021.

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