In 1996, thirteen-year-old Justin Wise
became ill with Cardiomyopathy (enlarged heart).
was told he
needed a heart transplant.
was placed on the Organ Donor list and after nineteen days, he
received a new heart; most transplant patient's wait up to a year or may not ever receive the organ they are waiting for.
After having an organ transplant, life is very different for the recipients.
The patient is required to take multiple medications to help prevent rejection.
turned into an ambassador for transplantation, which gave us the idea for the foundation.
Justin's positive attitude about his
future and his
desire to help others.
Helped pave the way for the creation of the Justin Wise Foundation
worked with other pediatric pre and post transplant recipients he
did interviews with the press on organ donor awareness through local and national television.
went into Heart Rejection in January of 1999 two years after his
The doctors and staff struggled valiantly to save his
put up a gallant fight and lost his
battle on February 18, 1999.
The Mother of Justin Wise she
has focused her
energies bringing more awareness to the community about organ donation, looking for transplant families in need of financial aid or support and is responsible for daily operations of the foundation.
Grandmother of Justin Wise, Dona is retired and has been a board member since 2001.