This miracle is 100% Jersey: Total stranger gives up kidney for my friend
You could say this is a 'Christmas miracle,' but it happened in November.
Actually, it started last June, when my oldest and dearest friend, North Hudson Fire Captain Robbo Pisani, with whom I grew up with in Union City, needed a kidney so badly that he was spending 9 hours a night at home on dialysis.
"It was a tough experience," Rob said. "But you get used to it. ... I was like skin and bones."
Rob's a very fun-loving, active guy who would do and has done so much for so many. To see the change in him, both physically and mentally, was heartbreaking.
Melissa Kohlman is the secretary of the Math and Computer Science Department at Seton Hall University. She has been married to her husband, Bill, for almost 20 years. They have two daughters, Matigan and Alli, who are both freshmen at Villanova and West Orange High School, respectfully. Luckily for Rob, Melissa just so happened to be listening to my show the night when Rob was on.
"Everyone calling in was saying they were a recipient of a kidney," Melissa said. "And I wanted to call to let people know what it was like to be a possible donor."
The surgery was performed Wednesday, Nov. 7 at St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, and Rob called us right after. Melissa also called and explained her reasoning for giving a man she had never met before the ultimate gift. Both came to our studios Monday night. "To me it was the right thing to do," Melissa said.
"There are so many people in New Jersey in need of kidneys," Marie Morgievich of St. Barnabas told us when she called in Monday. "Melissa is an angel among us for sure. ... She was very willing and open."
With so many people willing to donate their organs after they die, imagine the thrill giving the gift of a better life and experiencing that reward while you're still alive. Melissa and Rob now share a bond. Those interested in donating can contact the Living Donor Institute at St. Barnabas and fill out its Living Donor Referral Form.
Now you would never think in a million years that a guy could go on the radio, ask for a kidney and get one, If that's the case, then you don't know New Jersey and New Jersey 101.5.
We can't thank Melissa enough both for giving Rob a kidney, and for giving me the greatest moment in my career.
More from New Jersey 101.5: