In observance of Valentine's Day and National Donor Day (February 14), members of Care to Knit, a Long Island-based organization that provides hand knit and crocheted items to those in shelters, hospitals, and nursing homes, in partnership with Sean’s Gift, an organ donor advocacy program named for 24-year-old Iraq War veteran and organ donor Sean Lapersonerie, met at Northport Veterans Affairs Medical Center to present dozens of beautifully handmade blankets to representatives of the New York Organ Donor Network for the families of organ donors. The presentation ceremony began at 11 a.m. in the Medical Center’s A1-5 conference room in Building 200.
After serving his country in Operation Iraqi Freedom, veteran Sean Lapersonerie was struck by a car on New Year’s Eve 2011 and died. Sean’s mother, Marie, honored his wishes to become an organ donor. Prior to the surgery, a friend gave Marie a handmade blanket to cover Sean. Comforted by that gesture, Marie was inspired to start Sean’s Gift so other families of organ donors could comforted by handmade blankets and the messages of support and love that accompany them.
Care to Knit began as a grass roots attempt to attract knitters and crocheters interested in donating their handmade items to people in need. After a meeting at Northport VA Medical Center, the groups agreed to partner with the New York Organ Donor Network and Northport VA in raising awareness of the importance of organ donation.
According to the New York Organ Donor Network, over 110,000 Americans are in need of an organ transplant and thousands of children and adults with life-threatening blood diseases could be treated by a marrow, blood stem cell or cord blood transplant.
For more information, call (631)266-6074 or e-mail Joe.Sledge@VA.gov .