If you have been in this industry for a while, you’ve learned there are many, many good people … and right up there on that list is Sally Halpin. The display industry veteran selflessly donated a kidney this summer to a widowed mom badly in need of a transplant.
As the south LA newspaper, the Daily Breeze reports, Halpin stepped up after learning of the struggles of her longtime friend Christine Schneider.
Schneider, 43, began aggressively seeking donors last year after losing her husband Doug in a dirt bike accident. The Hermosa Beach resident and widow, profiled in a Daily Breeze story last fall, was determined to survive so she could care for her young son, Dylan.
She received her first organ transplant from her brother in 2001, but was placed on the transplant list again more than 10 years later.
“I didn’t have the energy to do anything. I was dragging myself around. It was gradual so I didn’t really realize how bad I was feeling,” Schneider said.
Thanks to Halpin’s kidney donation, she is finally able to put an end to painful dialysis treatments and lead a normal life with her son.
The pair, who met more than 20 years ago, reconnected at Doug’s funeral service last November.
When Halpin, a 54-year-old Rhode Island resident, learned that Schneider was in serious need of a kidney transplant, she approached her family and asked to be involved.
“I contacted them right away because I wanted to do this,” Halpin said. “She deserves it. Her and Dylan. It’s so hard to be a single parent, but to be a sick single parent — I can’t even imagine.”
After conducting extensive research and consulting her family, friends and physicians, Halpin was convinced her unwavering good health would make her a strong donor with minor surgical risks.
“All my research led back to the same thing,” she said. “On one hand, it’s a big deal. But on the other hand, it’s like getting your appendix removed.”
The surgery was done July 31st, and both patient and donor are doing great, with Halpin saying she feels completely normal.
Halpin has a pile of industry contacts from her days with NEC and then LG, and is now a sales director for the video distribution gear firm ZeeVee.
Amazing, truly selfless stuff.