Former Student Donates Liver To Band Teacher

A liver, donated by a former student, will be presented to Mark Morningstar on his birthday this year.

Early this month, Morningstar found out former Huntingdon Area High School Marching Cat Shawn Campopinao was an ideal match for a live-liver donation.  “When I heard Mark needed a live donation, I did a lot of research, and when I found out that I could make this happen during summer break, because I’m a teacher, it seemed like it was meant to happen,” Campopiano said.

It was easy for Campopiano to apply for testing via the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center website. Campopinao was then given the all-clear by doctors, and he was fit to donate.

They are going to have surgery on the morning of July 21, 2022. Morningstar will need roughly ten weeks to heal, whereas Campopinao will just need four.

Funds will be collected throughout Morningstar’s stay in the hospital by participating in a walk on Tuesday, June 14. According to Rick Kane, one of the walkers and the event’s organizer, over $5,000 was raised for Morningstar.

“We are so happy that we have brought to light the importance of live donations,” Kane said. “Of course, we are thrilled that Mark will receive the gift of a live donation, but also hope that by bringing awareness to this aspect of organ donation, others will come forward to help a friend, loved one, or total stranger.”

Over 11,000 patients are now on the national live transplant list, and only roughly 5,000 dead donors have viable organs to transplant, according to the UPMC website. Donors of live tissue must be between the ages of 18 and 55 and in excellent health.

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