Welcome to our site!
The Transplant Foundation of New England is a non-profit organization that focuses on supporting the unique needs of transplant patients and their families. Founded by John Morelli, a transplant recipient himself, the foundation is set to aggressively meet a true need in the market. In years past, transplant patients and their families were left to find their way financially and in all other ways through the process. There are support services available but those entities are truly limited in the scope of services that they provide and are not entirely focused on this area of need. This will all change with the addition of the Transplant Foundation to the landscape, as the organization will focus all of their efforts on providing resources and an unprecedented level of support to candidates and their families.
Cristyn Alfano, of Braintree MA, is a brave, beautiful, and boundless twenty eight year old woman who is fighting for her life and for the chance to actually live rather than just existing in a seemingly endless series of medical procedures. She is an enlightened spirit trapped in a failing body. Cristyn’s family is “Calling All Angels” To help them keep her smiling and comfortable while waiting on a miracle.
Due to a rare kidney disorder, Cristyn has been going blind since birth, having never had clear view of the world around her or of those of us that love her. Most disturbing is that she’s never had a clear view of her beautiful self. At the young age of twenty eight, she has survived complete renal failure, two and a half years on dialysis as a teen, a kidney transplant at age 14, cancer & diabetes brought on by transplant medications, comas, to many surgeries to list, eye injections, two major eye surgeries, multiple hospitalizations, countless invasive medical procedures, gallbladder removal, tumor removal and donor organ failure. By February 2013 Cristyn once again wound up in end stage renal failure and underwent surgery to prepare her for returning to dialysis. She spends three days a week hooked up to a machine that cleans her blood and keeps her alive. She recently lost her battle to retain the tiny bit of vision available to her and is now completely blind, seeing only light and a few shadows from just one eye. But what she lacks in eye-sight, she makes up for with insight. She is an enlightened soul with a determination to survive long enough to get a chance to really “Live” for a change rather than just existing to be shuffled from one medical appointment to the next.
The night of Cristyn’s first transplant, July 7th of 2000, there was a gorgeous double rainbow. We decided that one was for Cristyn and the other for her donor. We know for sure that someone is watching over her and has provided her with enough “Soul-Shine” to remain positive and hopeful as her body continues to disappoint her. I remember how ecstatic we all were the night of her transplant, including her wonderful doctor who literally shed tears of joy with us. His first words to us when he came out of the operating room were, “She made it! She is pink and pretty, and precious.” And that she was. She awoke with rosy cheeks, energy, a healthy apatite, and a teen age attitude (yikes); we weren’t quite sure what to do with the latter, so we just enjoyed the normalcy of it all. In spite of taking thirteen medications, eight times per day and weekly visits to the transplant clinic, Cristyn squeezed in two months of semi- normal life before her world crashed down around her again; Cancer came calling! She announced that she would survive to drive us crazy and that she has on many occasion, as we’ve watched her grow from a cranky teen into a lovely young woman, all with great joy on her beautiful face as she watched us slip into insanity!
At twenty eight Cristyn’s wings are definitely tattered from the turbulence of her journey, but her heart remains more generous and more empathetic than that of most people I’ve ever encountered. Her idea of a great day is to provide random acts of kindness to complete strangers, and to bring something delicious to her health care workers. Her sense of humor is amazing and infectious. When I’m tired she says “Oh just relax. I’ll drive home”. I remind her that the registry of motor vehicles frowns upon driving while blind and that ZZ-Top has written a song about being arrested while doing so. Our lesson in loss is that laughter, lunacy, and the ability to find light in the darkness has been the key to this family’s survival. Our daughter is our Hero and so unbelievable normal in light of how fragmented her life has become.
This brave young woman has managed to remain strong where others would have crumbled. She’s told people time and again that this all happened to her so it wouldn’t happen to some other kid that couldn’t take it. Although this world is just a shadow to her without definition, her soul and her attitude are quite defined. She’s addicted to the “Pink” store, Dunkin Donuts coffee, mix 104.1 music, Steven Tyler, Charlie Hunnam, Adele, Ellen Degenerous, and voice texting. She has the ability to laugh at herself and to put others at ease about her condition. She also has the humanness to rage about her condition at times, hate the world for a day, but then bounce right back and do what needs to be done. She knows she’s in a race against time, and running it in the dark, but her wings, as tattered as they may be, are still holding her up; twenty eight and still standing after all these years!
Any help that the Angels among us wish to provide will be used to meet Cristyn’s extraordinary needs and to keep the 12 year old car that I use to get her to and from all medical appointments running while we continue to hope for a miracle. Thank you for any and all assistance and most importantly, please keep the prayers coming her way.Warmly, Caryn Alfano
Support needed for 47-year-old diabetic, Michael Crosby
Story written by Michael Crosby
Michael Crosby is a 47-year-old single parent living in Framingham Massachusetts. He was diagnosed with diabetes on his 14th birthday. In his twenties he had been diagnosed with kidney, nerve and heart disease. At age 32 he was then diagnosed with diabetic neuropathy.More info
Support needed for 25-year-old liver recipient, Michelle Labbe’
Story written by Diana V. Weisner
Michelle is a 25-year-old woman who lives in Somerville, MA. She moved up to Massachusetts from Virginia to pursue grad school at Emerson College. After graduating in May 2011, she found a job as an online editor and continued to build her career in publishing and writing.More info
News & events
January 31, 2013
After five months of waiting for a heart transplant, Francis Buckley underwent successful surgery on January 31, 2013.More info
June 29, 2012
This marks the second time in the past 20 years that the MGH has performed a heart and liver transplant, also the second operation of its kind ever done in New England.More info
June 11, 2012
John and Stacey Morelli, who live in Braintree, are creating a foundation to help other transplant families after John was given a new heart and liver earlier this year.More info
February 17, 2012
John and Stacey Morelli have had many meals together in the 15 years they’ve been married.More info
September 26, 2011
Friends of John Morelli will host a fundraiser for the Morelli family on Nov. 25 at Florian Hall in Dorchester.More info