Alum teams up with the Faculty of Health for Organ Donor Awareness Day
Eric Celentano (BSc '79) shared his personal story to inspire people to become organ donors
Eric Celentano (BSc '79) shared his personal story to inspire people to become organ donorsBy Staff Office of Advancement
On Thursday October 26, the Faculty of Health celebrated Organ Donation Awareness day with a pop-up event that shared inspirational information for campus community members. The event was led by Alumni Council member and donor ambassador for the Trillium Gift of Life Network, Eric Celentano (BSc '79), in partnership with the Faculty of Health.
Eric shared his personal journey as a double lung transplant recipient, and what it meant to receive the gift of life from generous organ donors. Eric and the School of Anatomy were also joined by members of the Respiratory Therapy team from Conestoga College to provide invaluable training for students, health professionals and members of the community interested in becoming advocates for life-saving organs. Instructional staff from the School of Anatomy were present to help answer questions related to the difference between organ donation and whole body donation.
During an x-ray for tendonitis, Eric Celentano (BSc '79) was diagnosed with an incurable rare fibrosis that was progressively hardening his lungs like cement, and would eventually kill him. The only way to save his life was to undergo the major operation of a double-lung transplant. In 2018, Eric was given this chance, thanks to an organ donor and their family, and created long-lasting friendships along the way.
The University of Waterloo acknowledges that much of our work takes place on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. Our main campus is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land granted to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River. Our active work toward reconciliation takes place across our campuses through research, learning, teaching, and community building, and is co-ordinated within the Office of Indigenous Relations.