Michael and Mark Mathews
Heart transplant recipients
Michael and Mark Mathews are identical twins that began their public service at the age of 18 as Volunteer Firefighters & EMTs for the City of Dunkirk Fire Department. They were active volunteers and at the age of 21, Mark proudly became a police officer with the City of Dunkirk Police Department. Michael continued his service as an EMT for Alstar Ambulance and as a part time civilian dispatcher for the Dunkirk Police Department. He also served throughout the years as an Assistant Fire Chief for the Dunkirk Fire Department, a Certified Lab and EMT Instructor, and an American Heart Association CPR Instructor.
In 2006 Michael, after suffering several years with a genetic heart condition, deteriorated and was in need of a lifesaving heart transplant. On August 3, 2006, with his twin brother by his side, Michael received the gift of life and had a successful heart transplant at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio. Michael later returned to service and continues his service today as an EMT for Alstar Ambulance and as a Police Dispatcher for the Dunkirk Police Department. Michael is a loving husband and father of a 1 year old boy and a newborn girl, all thanks to the organ and blood donors that saved his life. Michael is not only a transplant survivor but a husband, a father, a brother, an uncle, a cousin, a friend, a neighbor, a community member, a first responder and a coworker.
In 2017, Mark could not avoid the onset of the genetic heart condition that had plagued his twin brother over 10 years earlier. On February 19, 2017, after being flown to the Cleveland Clinic in Weston, Florida, Mark also received a lifesaving heart transplant. His twin brother stood by him to support his brother through his transplant recovery. In August of 2017, Mark returned to public service in his position as a Detective with the Dunkirk Police Department. Mark continues his 22+ year career with the agency. He is a loving father to boys aged 13 and 8. He also volunteers as a Little League Baseball Coach. Mark was able to return to coaching Little League just 2 months after his transplant. He is not only a transplant survivor but a father, a brother, an uncle, a cousin, a friend, a coach, a neighbor, a community member, a first responder, and a coworker.
The twin brothers continue to serve as first responders in the hopes that they may make a difference in their community. They are big proponents of organ and blood donation as they have experienced firsthand the lifesaving impact donors can have.