Event June 3 to Benefit Heart Transplant Patients

May 19, 2006

For Tom Arcara of Spencerport, a heart attack last year changed his life forever.

A massive heart attack in August brought him to Strong Memorial Hospital of the University of Rochester Medical Center and its Program in Heart Failure and Transplantation. Because his heart muscle was damaged so severely and could not beat on its own, Arcara received implantable heart pumps that kept him alive while he waited for a donor organ to become available. He was hospitalized for nearly two months before he got a new heart.

Many patients must remain hospitalized for even longer periods of time as they wait for the gift of life. Arcara experienced first-hand what it was like to wait, being cared for by specialists on the Heart Failure and Transplantation Unit, not knowing if a donor heart would arrive in time to save him.

To give back to the Program in Heart Failure and Transplantation and help patients like himself, Arcara and his wife, Christine, have teamed up with heart transplant patient Dennis Biller and his wife, Lee, to plan a community fund-raiser to be held June 3. The event will raise money for a fund that benefits transplant patients, providing emergency funding for necessities related to their care that many have difficulty affording. Money raised also may be earmarked for technology on the unit that patients and their families can utilize during their stay, such as laptops or DVD players.

The event will begin at 4 p.m. Saturday, June 3, at the Burgundy Basin Inn in Pittsford. In addition to a buffet-style chicken barbecue, numerous local bands will perform, including Tom Arcara’s band for which he plays drums. There will be dancing and raffles.

Tickets are $25 per person. Call (585) 349-0686 or (585) 227-2367 for information.

For Media Inquiries:
Karin Christensen
(585) 275-1311
Email Karin Christensen