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The event in Voorhees was held to raise awareness about organ transplants and animal adoptions — an unusual combination aimed at finding more organ donors and homes for pets.
Sitting with her daughter, Debby Teresyn is playing with Stewy, who needs a home. Teresyn knows all about second chances having received a life-saving liver transplant.
“My donor was a dog trainer and he owned a doggy day care and this is why this is very touching for me to be here today,” said Teresyn. “I’m trying to give back a little bit for him, showing him that I’m doing something in his honor because I think he’d really appreciate this so.”
This event — part of the Power 2 Save initiative that raises awareness about transplants — was organized by the American Society of Transplantation along with the Animal Welfare Association to promote animal adoption.
“I think this event kind of goes hand-in-hand. Donors give us a second chance and when you adopt a dog you give that dog a second chance,” said kidney recipient Bill English.
English received a kidney transplant six weeks ago. Two of his dogs came from the Animal Welfare Association.
“It’s so rewarding having dogs and to adopt them and much more rewarding rescuing them,” said his wife, Laura English.
Bill and Laura English are filled with gratitude being able to save their dogs and for him being saved by a donor. His donor is now a friend who was found on Facebook.
“It hasn’t changed my life much, but I feel like my life would be changed if I hadn’t done it,” said organ donor Linda Hughes.
Hughes, a Burlington County freeholder, donated a kidney to a stranger and started a chain that’s provided seven kidney donations.
“Some people have said to me, ‘How could you do that?’ To me it was more of I don’t know how I could not do that,” said Hughes.
Hughes says she was moved to become a donor after seeing an appeal on Facebook.