Real Life Stories

Lynda Zendek

New Kensington, PA


Wife of a donor

Popping the Other Question
I still remember the conversation. When my husband Steve and I first started dating, he asked if I was an organ and tissue donor. I wasn’t, and he said, “Why not? It’s one of the best things you can do.” So I registered — he was very convincing.

After college, we got married. We enjoyed biking, walking the dog — we were very active. One day we got invited to the Pittsburgh Pirates FanFest — Steve was a huge sports fan and he was thrilled. We were out on the field, running around, throwing a baseball. But Steve had a heart condition we never knew about, and he collapsed there on the field and passed away.

Helping Others Continue Their Dreams
Sometime after, I got a letter from a gentleman who received tendons from Steve, which helped him regain his mobility and play tennis again. I knew Steve would be so touched to be able to help another athlete like that.

It’s been therapeutic to know Steve’s helped so many people.

Another letter came. And another, and another.

I learned my husband’s cornea was donated, as well as some tissue, tendons and a femur bone. Each letter was so special to me, and I answered every one. I really appreciated hearing how happy they were to receive life, and sight, and to be able to be active again. Until then I didn’t realize how many tissues could be donated -- not just the major organs.

I’m so proud of Steve for being a tissue donor. It’s been therapeutic for me to know he’s helped so many different people, to know that there’s a part of him living somewhere in somebody — they’re active again, they can see again, they can do the things they love to do again.

All because of Steve.


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