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DayFamily copyTim Day is waiting for a heart.

In October 2012, the veteran Town of Tonawanda police officer was diagnosed with hypereosinophilic syndrome, an autoimmune disease which first caused pneumonia then weakened Tim’s heart.

Tim was placed on the heart transplant list and waited at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester for four months, hoping that a match would be found. Tim and his wife Sherry Brinser-Day have three children, Erin, Clare and Henry. While Tim was waiting for a heart, his daughter Erin made her First Holy Communion. Since Tim couldn’t leave the hospital, a special ceremony was held at Strong Memorial’s interfaith chapel, so he could witness the rite in person.

Eventually, Tim’s heart became too weak to wait any longer, and no donor heart was available. In the summer of 2013, doctors implanted a mechanical heart pump to assist his own failing organ.

After a problem with the first pump, Tim needed a second surgery to implant a replacement.

He’s since been able to return home to the village of Kenmore and spend more time with his family, but Tim is still waiting for a transplant.

Fellow police officers and members of the community have shown their support for Tim and his family time and again. Law enforcement officials and friends have hosted events and conducted fundraisers to offset the Days’ costs, and have also worked to spread the word about the importance of organ donation. They hope that someday soon, a donor’s Gift of Life will bring Tim a new heart.

Police, firefighters and first responders from agencies across Western New York are working to give the Gift of Life by joining Unyts’ Holiday Heroes campaign. The agencies are hosting blood drives in December and January. The events include Donate Life Registry drives as well, where they’ll be encouraging the public to sign up to become organ, eye and tissue donors. 

The Town of Tonawanda Police Department (1835 Sheridan Drive) will host a drive on Tuesday, Dec. 30 from 1-5 p.m. Click here to find out more and make an appointment to give blood.