Nearly 10 years ago, the Stepien family were faced with a horrible decision. Michael Stepien, the husband and father, had been murdered as he returned home from his job as a head chef at a restaurant in Swissvale, PA. As he lay dying in the hospital, the family decided to donate his organs. It turned out to be a life-changing decision.
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The organization they chose, Center for Organ Recovery and Education (CORE), let the family keep in touch with all the people who'd received Michael Stepien's organs. And the man who got his heart was a New Jersey resident named Arthur Thomas, who had congestive heart failure and didn't have long to live.
Flash forward to this year, when Michael's daughter Jeni, an elementary school teacher, got engaged. As she planned her wedding, she wondered how she could have something physical of her dad's at the wedding. That's when her fiance came up with a brilliant idea--get in touch with Arthur Thomas.
via NYTimes.com and ABCNews.com
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