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Family gives gift of scholarship to transplant recipients –


Kids who’ve had organ transplants go through a lot, but a local charity is helping some avoid the scramble of paying for college.

The Jessie’s Day Foundation has a scholarship fund started in memory of Jessica Beth Schwartz of Abington.

Jessica had a heart transplant when she was a teenager.

And that gift gave her another 8 and a half years of life.

“She was a very kind person,” is how Janice Schwartz describes her daughter Jessica.

Kind and always smiling.

But despite her bright smile, Jessica faced a lot struggles.

She was born with a congenital heart defect, and had surgery at 10 months old.

By the time Jessica was 14, she needed a heart transplant.

She received that blessing, thought it came from another family’s tragedy.

“Her donor was a 16 year boy who was in a car accident in Bucks County,” says Schwartz.

That ‘gift of life’ gave Jessica eight and a half more years, and she lived it to the fullest.

“She graduated from high school, she went to college, she fell in love, she was involved with the transplant games, she had a job, worked her way through college,” recalls her mother, smiling.

Jessica lived until 23. Now her memory lives on, helping other transplant recipients.

Every year the Jessie’s Day Foundation gives four $2,500 scholarships to students who’ve had an organ transplant.

The foundation’s main fundraiser is also set for this Sunday, November 8th, at Independence Seaport Museum.

The hope is to give students like Jessica the opportunities she enjoyed.

“I guess I’d like them to remember she had a zest for life,” says her mother.

The Jessie’s Day fundraiser is on Sunday, Nov. 8 and tickets are still available.

They will have music, food and also a silent auction.

One item in the silent auction is this watch.

It is the same timepiece worn by Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope on the hit ABC show “Scandal”. This Movado Concerto watch is set in a 26.5mm stainless steel case with a silver-toned metallic dial with diamonds, two-tone stainless steel bracelet and Swiss quartz movement.

Accompanied with this item is a personal note from the award-winning actress.

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