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Jersey City Teacher Celebrates Life with Community Fundraiser



In a tribute to her life-changing experience, LaVise McCray, a Jersey City special education teacher and kidney transplant recipient, has launched a virtual fundraiser to support Hackensack University Medical Center’s Organ Transplantation Division during National Donate Life Month.

After battling end-stage renal disease and surviving multiple health setbacks including surgeries, internal bleeding, sepsis, and COVID-19, McCray’s life took a hopeful turn in March 2023 with a kidney transplant from a deceased donor. This transplant marked the end of her grueling seven-year journey with dialysis, giving her a new lease on life.

“This time last year I was dying, and now I’m alive…I’ve been given this miracle and I want to pay it forward,” McCray expressed. Her initiative not only aims to raise funds but also to heighten awareness about the significance of organ donations.

April marks National Donate Life Month, dedicated to encouraging organ, eye, and tissue donation. It’s a time to honor both deceased and living donors who have saved lives through their contributions.

Beyond her fundraiser, McCray actively volunteers with NJ Sharing Network and serves as a mentor for dialysis patients, illustrating her commitment to supporting others facing similar challenges. She credits her faith, family, friends, and medical team for her recovery and newfound strength.

McCray’s story is not just one of medical success; it’s about community, resilience, and giving back.

As National Donate Life Month continues, McCray hopes her story will inspire others to consider the life-affirming act of donation. Her message is clear: “I want to help someone get the same opportunities I was given.”