Story as told by James’ brother, Joseph
James was an avid supporter of comics books, movies, music, and sports from football to professional wrestling. His favorite comics were; Deadpool, Wolverine, Fantastic Four, Batman, Superman, and Green Lantern. Some of his favorite movies were Shawshank Redemption, The Big Lebowski, The Crow, and too many others to name. He also loved long drives with friends and his books.
James sadly battled diabetes ever since the week before his 21st birthday. He suffered from congestive heart failure and kidney failure, but he wouldn’t let any of that show, especially when his nephews were around. He was strong for them.
James was a graduate of Burgard Vocational High School where he studied aviation mechanics. We grew up in Black Rock, but my parents also purchased property in Franklinville, NY where we would spend our weekends. That is ultimately where Jim would live with my parents until he passed.
Our family is no stranger to ConnectLife as my father received a kidney transplant at ECMC after his kidneys failed, and he went through years of dialysis.
The decision to say yes to organ, eye, and tissue donation was a simple one in a time of difficult circumstances. James' donation has made my entire family understand the importance of donation and that he is a true hero. It has brought my family a semblance of peace knowing that parts of him have been able to help those in need all over the world.
James passed away at 42 years old just two weeks before his 43rd birthday. I made the decision to honor my brother with a memorial blood drive with ConnectLife starting in 2022 and added a basket raffle to the blood drive in 2023. We are going to continue this year on July 14 and celebrate his 46th birthday, and we hope for it to be our best turn out yet!
Has James' story inspired you to share your hero's story? Submit your story to featured as ConnectLife's next Honor Your Hero highlighted as Hero of the Month here: https://www.connectlife.org/honor-your-hero