Changing Lives Through Organ Donation
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News & Views

VIDEO: WROC-TV Pays Tribute to Organ Donor Michelle Coville, Her Family — and ALL Donors

March 3rd, 2016 by Nancy Ryan

As WROC-TV/News 8 Rochester anchor Maureen McGuire described it:

“It’s hard to believe it’s been three weeks already since Scott Hetsko returned to work. All of us at News 8 want to take a moment to say thank you to his heart donor and his heart donor’s family. We’re all too aware that because of a shortage of donors, too many people die waiting for life-saving transplants.”

McGuire was referring to WROC’s chief meteorologist Scott Hetsko, who received a heart transplant in September last year, after desperately waiting three months for a new heart while hospitalized at Strong Memorial Hospital’s Transplant Center.

McGuire and WROC are emphasizing the shortage of organ donors in the U.S., and particularly in New York State. They are recognizing donors and their families who make transplants possible—even though Hetsko’s donor remains anonymous.

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April 17 Rochester River Run/Walk 5K, in Support of Organ Transplants and Donation

February 26th, 2016 by Nancy Ryan

Rochester River Run

Run or walk with greater purpose!

The 15th annual Rochester River Run/Walk 5K, which promotes awareness and educates the public about organ donation while commemorating organ donors and recipients, is set to take place on April 17 at Genesee Valley Park.

A collaboration between UR Medicine’s Friends of Strong Memorial Hospital, the hospital’s transplant units, and Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network, the Rochester River Run/Walk 5K is a fundraiser that supports patients still waiting for a life-saving organ transplant, or transplant recipients already on the road to recovery and a second chance at life.

The morning also includes a moving tribute to organ donors, donor families and transplant recipients.

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RADIO INTERVIEW: Scott Hetsko and FLDRN’s Rob Kochik on WXXI-AM’s “Connections”

February 18th, 2016 by Nancy Ryan

Connections with Evan Dawson

Scott Hetsko, the popular WROC-TV/News 8 Rochester chief meteorologist, who returned to work on February 7 after receiving a new heart in September last year, was interviewed today by Evan Dawson on Rochester’s National Public Radio station WXXI-AM 1370.

Scott Hetsko

Scott Hetsko

Dawson is the host of “Connections,” which airs weekdays from noon to 2 p.m. The interview filled a one-hour segment.

Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network’s executive director, Rob Kochik, also joined in the discussion, half way through the interview.

Welcoming Hetsko to his show, Dawson read from a newspaper quote where the meteorologist described how dire his situation had been:  “Either die or get a new heart.”


In addition to airing on WXXI, “Connections” can be heard on WRUR-FM 88.5 in Rochester and WEOS 89.5 FM in Geneva, NY.


Amerks Partners Again With FLDRN for Donate Life Night on Friday, February 12

February 8th, 2016 by Nancy Ryan

Rochester Americans (Amerks) Donate Life Night

The Rochester Americans (Amerks) will host the 4th annual Donate Life Night in partnership with Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network on Friday, February 12 at 7:05 p.m. at the Blue Cross Arena, to raise awareness for organ, eye and tissue donation.

The Amerks will play the Albany Devils.

Those attending this special Valentine’s version of Donate Life Night will be able to enroll in the New York State Donate Life Registry.

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Heart Recipient Scott Hetsko Returns to Work at WROC-TV

February 7th, 2016 by Nancy Ryan

Heart recipient Scott Hesko from WROC returns to work

WROC-TV/News 8 Rochester chief meteorologist Scott Hetsko, who received a heart transplant in September last year, is finally back where he belongs…in front of the camera, updating viewers about the latest weather forecast as he has been doing for 16 years.

WROC’s Scott Hetsko returned to work tonight, to the delight of viewers tuning in for coverage of Super Bowl 50.

Scott has been on medical leave since June 2015.

When he was too sick to work, Scott signed off the air, telling viewers he might be away for a while. The next day, he checked in to Strong Memorial Hospital’s Transplant Center.

Scott waited three months until hearing the news he longed for: he was getting a new heart. During the entire experience, Scott and the WROC team have embraced the importance of raising organ donation awareness.

Visit a special “Pass Life On” section on WROC-TV/News 8 Rochester’s website.

WROC continues to work closely with Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network (FLDRN), in an effort to encourage everyone 18 and over to enroll in the New York State Donate Life Registry.


WROC-TV/News 8 Rochester: Scott Hetsko’s ready to return to work!

Democrat & Chronicle: Scott Hetsko all smiles in return to WROC-TV

FLDRN Gift of Life Stories: Heart Recipient Scott Hetsko Is LIVING LIFE TO THE FULLEST


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