Joanne Crocker lives in Vandergrift, Pennsylvania, with her husband of 23 years, Russ. The mother of eight children and grandmother of four enjoys spending time with her family and loved ones, but in 2019 she didn’t think that time was guaranteed.
After a long stretch in the hospital, Joanne received devastating news. Her doctor informed her that without a new liver, she only had three weeks left to live.
Following her prognosis, Joanne jumped into action to make sure everything was ready: She called her husband, met with her attorney to settle her will and began planning her own funeral. She said she was “not giving up, just taking care of business – as I always have.”
Thanks to a generous donor hero and their family, Joanne’s plans stayed as plans. On Aug. 16, 2019, Joanne received a life-saving liver transplant that her family described as a miracle.
Soon after her transplant, Joanne felt complete gratitude to be given this second chance at life. She reached out to her donor’s family, thanked her medical staff and felt blessed to be surrounded by her friends and family.
“The little things really are the big things,” she said.
With her new liver, she has been able to officiate her father’s celebration of life ceremony and welcome her newest grandson to the family. Joanne is also a proud volunteer at CORE and at the hospital as a pre-liver transplant liaison.
In a letter to her donor’s family, Joanne wrote, “I am so grateful for my donor’s most precious gift ever. My promise to you is that I will never take one moment of my life for granted.”
During Liver Awareness Month, we salute Joanne who serves as a proud volunteer at CORE and at the hospital as a pre-liver transplant liaison.