30 Stories in 30 Days: Answered Prayers

April 16, 2013
The D'Agostino Family

The D’Agostino Family

The prayers of an entire community were answered on October 24, 2011, when Julie D’Agostino had her successful double-lung transplant surgery. On the one-year anniversary, family and friends gathered for a special rosary of thanksgiving at Visitation Church in Elmhurst, Ill., where hundreds of the faithful had gathered to pray for Julie many times during her life-threatening ordeal with cystic fibrosis, a progressive disease that clogs the lungs with mucus, makes it difficult to breath and causes lung infections.

Julie is alive today because a selfless donor said "Yes" to donation.

Julie is alive today because a selfless donor said “Yes” to donation.

“My daughter was prayed to good health,” said Mary D’Agostino. “She didn’t have a lot of life left in her. Those lungs were brought to her by prayer.” Julie had been on the transplant waiting list for two years. When her health took a dire turn, a donor came to her rescue. “We were celebrating, but another family had lost their loved one,” Mary said.

The D’Agostino family knows nothing about the donor who changed Julie’s life, but Julie and her family are so grateful that they have chosen to give back by advocating for organ and tissue donation. Today, they are all Advocates for Hope volunteers with Gift of Hope.

In addition to the family’s efforts to make people aware of the opportunities for organ and tissue donation, Julie’s neighbor, Giancarlo Iannotta, has made a movie, “Miracle on South Street: The Julie D Story.” His project began when he filmed Julie’s homecoming after her transplant surgery. He posted the two-minute segment on Facebook and was amazed at the interest.

This inspired him to tell Julie’s story by creating a 40-minute documentary that has been broadcast on WTTW Channel 11 in Chicago and on Comcast On Demand. It also has been featured at the York Theatre in Elmhurst and is now available on DVD.

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/32631619″>MIRACLE ON SOUTH STREET: The Julie D Story (Trailer)</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/giannotta”>Giancarlo Iannotta</a> on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

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More Than Just a Climb…

February 25, 2010

This Sunday, some of our favorite supporters and organ donation advocates from the Revive Hope crew are going to get a little exercise climbing all the way to the top of the infamous John Hancock building here in Chicago. For Steve Ferkau and Melissa Simon, the annual Hustle Up the Hancock event is far more than an early Sunday morning workout – it’s a tribute to the individual’s that helped save their lives through the power of organ donation.

Last week, I shared Melissa’s post detailing her anticipation around meeting her donor family. Yesterday, Melissa also shared some insight into just how important the Hustle event will be this year with her donor family there to cheer her on.

Melissa Simon with Steve's Climbing Crew - Kari's Klimbers

We wish Steve, Melissa and all the climbers the best of luck this week!

-Scott

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