Personal Stories

Janine Brawer

Janine Brawer, age 17.
Janine Brawer
Lived In:
Staten Island
Kidneys, liver, pancreas, corneas, heart valves, bones and skin.
Date of Donation:
November 19, 2009
Just because I' m 17 doesn't mean I shouldn't be able to sign up to be an organ donor.

"Two years ago today, we were a typical family – mom Robin, dad Sandy, sons Jason and Seth, and daughter Janine.  All that changed with one phone call the next day."

Robin and Sandy Brawer share how their daughter, Janine, gave the gift of life.  Janine had been struck by a car while crossing the street leaving school. She was 17. She was taken to the trauma center at Staten Island hospital and on the third day, the family was told she was close to brain death. "That’s when I remembered an incident that had occurred just a few months before, in August", says her mom Robin.

"Janine had finally passed her road test, and was excited when her driver’s license arrived in the mail. She tore open the envelope, and a small card fell out.  When she read it, she became enraged. 'Just because I’m 17 doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be able to sign up to be an organ donor.' Flippantly, I answered that if she died, I would make sure her organs were donated. Little did I know that a mere three months later, I would honor that promise."

A Poem: Janine Brawer (Giver of Life)

At the the conclusion of the staff meeting, Robin read a poem that was submitted by Jerry Mannino, a school aide at Tottenville High School:

Who is Janine Brawer, one boy said to me
I don’t know her, but she gave me her kidney

Who is Janine Brawer, one girl asked a man
I don’t know her, but she gave me her abdominal gland

Who is Janine Brawer, is she a girl who rarely cries
The reason I ask is, I have her beautiful eyes

Who is Janine Brawer, a Tottenville girl…a legend
I am able to move around, because I have her tendons

Who is Janine Brawer; she’s a person who’s a giver
A mother will raise her child, because she has Janine’s liver

Who is Janine Brawer, an angel asked God
He said I know her well my friend," and then he gave a nod
"A child of mine she went to school, and didn’t know that day
That she would be able to help some lives, but in a different way
The choices that were made by her, and followed by parents kind
To share with others parts of her, to help for all mankind

Who is Janine Brawer, a boy said to me
I told him to look around, she’s everywhere to be
I’m sorry I can’t find her, sir, I do not know her face
That’s because you’re looking wrong, so try another place
Here let me help you lad, I’ll show you where to start
You may not see her right away, she’s here inside our heart
She donated her organs on the day she died
So others can live on now, with her glory and her pride.

Then the boy said to me, I want to be a donor
So when I die, I can help, just like Janine Brawer.

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