MANHATTAN, N.Y. — It was a special day at NYPD Headquarters Tuesday when Sgt. William Gaspari walked into the room with his daughter and embraced officer Tommy Alexander. The sergeant donated his kidney to the officer 13 months ago, and it was the first time they ever met.
“People will tell you, I kept on reaching out,” Gaspari said. “I’m like, ‘How’s he doing? How’s he doing?’ Once I heard everything went well, I’ve been dying to meet you, so I’m extremely happy right now, extremely happy.”
Gaspari wasn’t a match, but he donated his organ to the National Kidney Registry pool on behalf of Alexander. This allowed Gaspari to give a kidney voucher to Alexander, who received a different kidney thanks to the pool donation.
“[Gaspari] came to my rescue and gave me a kidney, so that was fantastic,” Alexander said.
There were a handful of other kidney donation stories in the police department.
Sgt. Mario Dileo gave his wife her second kidney donation. On February 12, 2020, she had her second transplant, so they celebrated Valentine’s Day in the hospital.
Chris Tormey, a civilian member of the NYPD, lost 70 pounds so he could give his kidney to his husband, Donald. They’ve been married for 22 years.
“We were a match in so many ways including a kidney, so we were so happy about that,” Tormey said.
Stefan Trotman, another civilian NYPD member, lost 200 pounds to donate his kidney to a stranger and he’s just been notified that he’s cleared to donate part of his liver early next year.
But even with all those happy endings, there are still so many people in need. Nearly 98,000 people are waiting for a kidney donation in the U.S. — Vadrien Alston is one of them.
She’s been on the force working in Transit District 30 for 16 years, and police are hoping to find her match.
It would be her second transplant. Alston has stage four renal failure, but her appreciation for life keeps her faith strong while she waits for a donor.
The NYPD, in partnership with LiveOnNY and the National Kidney Donation Organization, will have a designated precinct in every patrol borough where those interested in organ donation can sign up or learn more information.