On March 19th, 2020 our group lost another honored member when Steve Gradijan passed away.
- On May 8th, 2015, my brother, Steve, was told they had viable lungs for his double lung transplant. It had only been 10 days earlier that he had been Life Flighted from Endicott, NY to Hospital at University of Pennsylvania (HUP), and run through a gamut of tests to get him on the transplant list. My mom, brother and I cried with joy that he would have a 2nd chance at life. He was critically ill by that time, and probably would have only had a week or two left without the transplant. On that day, our lives changed forever. Steve’s life was never quite the same again. He struggled with knowing that someone had to die for him to live, but he believed he was given a second chance because he had a greater purpose on this earth. His ability to make people smile and laugh, gave him a tremendous amount of joy, and that is what he wanted to do with his new life! He was a unique character, who marched to the beat of a different drum, but he was always true to himself! One black, one red Converse sneaker; an alter ego by the name of Zoot Boy Slim; the ability to retain tremendous amounts of trivia and other information, and always a sense of humor!
Many people saw Steve’s humorous side, and he hoped that his humor would lift them when they were down, brighten a dark day or somehow ease any fears they might have. Steve fought a difficult fight this past year, surrendering peacefully in the hospital on March 19th, 2020. He is breathing easier, along with his father, who also passed from pulmonary fibrosis. He will never be forgotten and forever missed. – Written by Steve’s sister Susan Gradijan Kinney
There isn’t a better way to remember our lost group member then to memorialize them in the Legacy Garden at The GOL Family House and to help those in need who are going through their own transplant journeys. I’ve started the fundraiser off with $50 and am running this collection for approximately one month to give everyone who would like to contribute time to do so. The collection will end on Monday, May 11th, 2020.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Paver Stone Program, it provides 3 choices of paver stones to be purchased, engraved on and placed in the Legacy Garden at the Gift of Life Family House. The 6 x 6 inch paver stone is $500 and allows 4 lines of 9 characters each line, the 6 x 12 inch paver is $1000 and allows 4 lines, 23 characters each line and the 12 x 12 inch paver is $1500 and allows 6 lines, 23 characters each line. If you would like to check out the Paver Stone Program here is the Link. https://www.giftoflifefamilyhouse.org/bridge-give/legacy-garden-paver-program/
Any who would rather donate with a personal check may do so by making your check payable to "Gift of Life Family House" 401 Callowhill Street, Philadelphia, PA 19125. Please include a note stating that you want your donation to go to the Patients & Caregivers HUP Lung Transplant Support Group Steve Gradijan Paver Fundraiser. All donations are tax deductible. All money collected over the paver purchase price will be donated directly to The Family House in Steve’s memory. Any, who have any questions, concerns or difficulties with anything, including using the GoFundMe link, please don’t hesitate to private message Dave Shenberger on Facebook Messenger. I’d be happy to answer any questions.