New York woman receives “Gift of Life Medal of Honor” award

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A New York woman was honored Monday for giving her sister, the gift of life.

Assemblyman Billy Jones presented Diane Menard with a New York State Gift of Life Medal of Honor.  

Menard donated a kidney to her sister Julie Seibert, of Rouses Point, in 2012.  Seibert was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disorder, which targets the lungs and kidneys.  She underwent two years of dialysis before becoming eligible for a kidney transplant.  Menard turned out to be an exact match.

“Giving the gift of life is one of the most selfless and compassionate things anyone can do, and it’s only right that we honor those who make this tremendous sacrifice.  When her sister Julie needed a lifesaving donation, Diane rose to the occasion. Now, nearly seven years later, both Julie and Diane are healthy and enjoying all that life has to offer. We could all use a person as caring and thoughtful as Diane in our corner and I was honored to present this distinguished award to her during Organ Donor Awareness Month,” Jones said.

The Gift of Life Medal of Honor program was created in 2002 to honor living organ and tissue donors and the families of donors who have died.

April is Organ Donor Awareness Month.

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