By Jessica Bagley email@example.com
The Tonawanda News
Tonawanda News — A blood drive will be held Saturday at Lindbergh Elementary School to honor Tim Day, a Town of Tonawanda police officer who has been diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disorder and is waiting for a heart transplant.
The drive will be held from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the school, located at 184 Irving Terrace. Those interested in attending can make an appointment at www.unyts.org by clicking on the “Give Blood” icon and entering sponsor code 1975, or by calling 512-7940.
26 Shirts, a local group that raises money for those in need, will also be sponsoring a shirt sale to benefit Day. The shirts will be sold on www.26shirts.com starting March 31 and will be available for two weeks.
Day, a 17-year veteran of the force, was diagnosed with hypereosinophilic syndrome in October 2012. The autoimmune disease first caused pneumonia, and then began to weaken his heart.
He spent four months at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester last year, waiting for a heart transplant. But his heart began failing too quickly, and over the summer, doctors decided to implant a mechanical heart pump over the summer.
The device allowed Day to come home to his wife, Sherry Brinser-Day, and their three young children, Erin, Clare and Henry. But over the past few months, complications began to arise.
“Overall, I’m feeling OK, but I’ve been in an out of Strong three times since the first of the year,” Day said Thursday. “I’m heading to Massachusetts General Hospital on Monday for a consultation for a transplant. Strong doesn’t think I’m a viable candidate for a transplant any longer.”
Day’s illness and his need for a transplant has inspired his family to become passionate organ donation advocates.
“If we could get one thing out, we’d say ‘please consider being an organ donor,’” Sherry Brinser-Day said in August, after her husband had come home. “You are never too old or too sick ... and there are more hearts needed than there are available.”
Day said his family is overwhelmed by the support of the community.
“It’s unbelievable,” he said. “We thought it might die down after the benefit last summer, but it hasn’t. Everyone is always asking what they can do to help.”
Contact reporter Jessica Bagley at 693-1000 ext. 4150, or follow her on Twitter @JessicaLBagley.