This book would not be possible without the loving support of so many people, mainly those to whom I owe this new heart and thus the opportunity of a life today. As a man usually too full of words, I find myself overwhelmed in offering them all my thanks in dedicating this book to them. The following is not a hierarchy since each person made their own unique contribution and none could stand above others in that regard.

To my wife, Jay, who, who, after 35 years of love and support - 30 years of married life together - is still my strength and purpose in life. With the exception of God, nothing is more important. I love you, Jay, now and forever. You have gone through a very tough time and carried most of the burden so that I didn't have to. How do I say it, except: "Thank you, my love!"

To my children, Susan (and her husband Chris), Mary, and Mike who not only stood by me so strong when things looked bleak, but were there to help Jay take on the full burden of leading the family when I needed them the most.

To my mother and father. Dad gave me the model of life that I live to this day and a beautiful open and trusting one it is. Dad was the original "Cookie Monster" I suddenly realize as I write this, it just took me 50 years to recognize and organize the concept. And mom, my mother, friend, nurse, world-wide traveling companion, supporter, and so much more - she carried on as the "Amazing Grace" for 25 years after dad has passed away and showed us all how to live life to the fullest. It was mom's constant interest in my writing that, more than any other, encouraged me to record these events that resulted in this book.

To my nephew, Jake, who left this life in his prime - much too young. In his short time with us, Jake not only lived life to its fullest, milking each day, no matter how painful, to its fullest, just like his grandmother showed him how to do. In his 17 month battle with leukemia, paralleling my own fight for a new heart, Jake showed us all how to live with pain and not miss out on living each day, with love and giving.

To a loving family that just never stopped giving of themselves in countless ways, both direct and indirect. I was going to start listing them all, but realized they are just too many to do that justice - so please accept the fact that you are all mentioned in my daily prayer of thanks to a loving God who will convey that thanks in His own way back to you all.

To Bill Kolacy, fellow editor of the Gleason Gazette, brother-in-law, and dearest friend -you have transformed yourself into a true Cookie Monster, one, who like my sister, Betsy, is there for everyone, everyday - just like mom was.

To so many other special friends - Dr. Ken Pass and family - who helped in doing private medical research in support of my cardiac adventures. To fellow author and life-long supporter and friend, Ray Williams and his wife Joyce - you truly do "march to the beat of a different drummer" and what beautiful music you make together. To Jeff Helm & his Cookie Monster wife, Debbie - who have so encouraged me throughout life and especially in this writing endeavor.

To the professional staffs at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP) who were the instruments of God's miracle of the heart transplant. Led by the director of the transplant program, Dr. Evan Loh, and Dr. Ackers, the cardiac surgeon who performed the actual transplant surgery, I can't express the confidence I felt in their loving hands. To Dr. Paul Kelly, Heather Butler (transplant coordinator), Kathy Dorozinsky (transplant coordinator), Mary Ann Hagerty (my primary nurse) - and the many others too numerous to name here - "Wow! - you are all so special!"

To those who first led me through this valley of darkness with their light of hope and support, Dr. Mark Real, my family physician, and his special nurse, Nancy, who originally diagnosed the damage a simple flu had done to the heart. He pointed me to the most caring and wonderful cardiologist one could ever be blessed with: Dr. Kathy Magness. Dr. Magness and her nurse, Janet, both became dear friends. I offer them the tears that fill my eyes as I write this dedication - you are both so beautiful. And they in turn introduced me to the HUP transplant team. Imagine meeting this team led by Dr. Kelly, discussing the heart transplant idea, in this huge medical complex for the first time. They stood there and said: "We heard all about you from Kathy last night over dinner!" In the two days since this path became obvious, Dr. Magness had taken the opportunity of a business meeting to introduce me personally to this wonderful team. Special? - I should say so. I know I sure felt in safe hands all along the way.

To the many friends and supporters at Unisys, especially my dear friend, Jim Dougherty, who have been so supportive and encouraged the creation of this book. I just wish everyone had such an extended family of supporters.

And last, but certainly not least, my special (but so inadequate) thanks to unknown donor's loved ones for the gift of this new heart. I promise to take very good care of it and use the extended life you have made possible to help still others, passing on your gift "like ripples on a pond" as part of God's still larger plan.

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