A Gift of Life, The Heart and Lung Transplant Support Group, Inc. was formed on August 21, 1992, by a small group of people who wanted to provide temporary financial assistance to Heart and Lung transplant recipients or individuals waiting for a heart or lung transplant. The corporation accepts tax deductible charitable contributions and engages in fundraising activities on behalf of patients in the Heart and Lung Transplant Program at New York Presbyterian Hospital for the purposes of offering temporary financial assistance to patients in the following areas that relate directly to the participation in the Heart and Lung Transplant program: medications, transportation, parking, relocation, medical bills, and temporary cost of living expenses. A Gift of Life also engages in educational and informational activities on behalf of the corporation to raise awareness of the importance of organ donation.

First there’s the wait….

Often an agonizingly long one, until a suitable heart or lung donor is found. But being on call and waiting by the phone is only the beginning for transplant patients and their families.

These individuals face staggering expenses – many of which are not covered by insurance – both before and after the operation. Emotionally drained and financially burdened, they often feel overwhelmed and alone.

A Gift of Life, Heart and Lung Transplant Support Group was founded by transplant recipients to address the needs of heart and lung transplant patients. This non-profit organization works with the patients of the New York Presbyterian Medical Center to help make the time before and after the operation a little easier for patients and their families.

Its board of directors includes heart and lung transplant recipients and family members. These people know through first-hand experience, the tremendous difference a dedicated group of caring individuals can make to patients and families waiting for- and recovering from- transplant surgery.

The Burdens

Some transplant patients must travel hundreds of miles from their homes just to be evaluated for a place on the transplant list. And once accepted into the transplant program it can still be many months, a year, or even longer until a suitable donor is found.

Patients who have received a transplanted organ and cannot receive follow-up medical care in their own communities must often be temporarily relocated near New York Presbyterian. Insurance only covers direct medical expenses-making the cost of hotels, transportation, and other daily expenses additional, unexpected burden.