Fire Captain got kidney thanks to 101.5, marries his sweetheart
It's one thing to get the gift of life from an organ donor, it's another thing to make the most of it. North Hudson Fire Captain Robbo Pisani asked for a kidney on my New Jersey 101.5 show after being confined to home dialysis and was granted that request by an angel named Melissa Kohlman, who happened to be listening. He went through all of that and now last Friday, he married his childhood sweetheart.
The surgery was performed on November 7th at St. Barnabas Medical Center. Now you could say, "and they lived happily ever after" but there's much more to the story. I'll let Rob tell it:
My name is Rob Pisani. I am one of Steve Trevelise oldest and dearest friends. He recently attended my wedding to the girl of my dreams. Here is a little synopsis of how this all came about.
On April 10th, a long time ago, I met the cutest girl in my life. Her name was Gerardine. Geri and I dated all through High School and went to each others proms. Life was good for both of us. We were truly in love. As life would have it and as we got older, my friends were all getting married. At that time I was not ready for marriage yet. I did not want to string Geri along, due to my misgivings, so I ended the relationship. What a mistake that was. As life would have it we both moved on and both got married to different spouses.
We both worked in the same town for over 24 years and never ran into each other. Spring forward to 2017. I am diagnosed in full kidney renal failure and had to start dialysis immediately. Around July of 2018, with no donor in sight and a 7 year waiting list to boot, I posted a letter on Facebook labeled, "MY BROTHERS IN BLUE."
Within that letter, I explained my dire situation to my firefighter brothers. As fate would have it, Geri came across the letter and immediately sent it to her sister Paulette, who also read it and told Gerardine that she needed to reach out to me if she could.
Geri contacted my mother, whom she had previously worked with, and asked if she could have my number so she could call me, in which she did. At this time I was already divorced for 7 years and she was also in a floundering marriage. We began dating and during that time I was able to find a donor named Melissa while telling my story on Steve's New Jersey 101.5 show.
From there the testing process began, and low and behold we were a match. The surgery took place November 7, 2018 at Saint Barnabas Hospital in Livingston, NJ. During my time in the hospital, Geri never left my side and was there every step of the way. She was there for my weekly doctor visits and whatever additional testing that was needed post op.
Fast forward to Christmas Day, I proposed marriage to Gerardine in which her father responded, "hallelujah it's about time." Now fast forward to May 3, 2019. As fate would have it, Geri and I are standing in City Hall with our families exchanging marital vows that Geri had written. It has been 43 years since the cutest girl that I have ever seen finally became my wife. It was a lifelong dream of ours and we finally are reunited now as husband and wife and they lived happily ever after.
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