Rowdy Hearts

Yesterday, the “Health Hub from Cleveland Clinic” published a story about the team, “Team Rowdy Hearts”, that I walk with and support with ALL of my borrowed heart.

We walk each year in LifeBanc’s annual “Gift of Life Walk & Run” event, which is held on the second Saturday in August. After the walk we PARTY ….. laugh, joke, cry, then laugh some more!!

I wrote about the “Gift of Life Walk and Run” event in 2010, 2011 and 2012 – you can read those HERE, HERE and HERE! It is an amazing day of remembering our donors, our families that gave so much, our transplant teams, and our forever friendships all while raising some money for Lifebanc to help with their mission of education and organ donation procurement.

Rowdy Hearts – what an awesome group of people …… some of my “bestest” friends in the whole wide world, our family members and more friends.

If you are an organ recipient in the NE Ohio area ( Or, perhaps Western PA, WV, MI or KY) and would like to join our team contact us through We’d love to have you join us!

Here’s a direct link to the article –

Or, you can read it here –

They were the rowdy bunch in the transplant rehab unit of Cleveland Clinic, loud and laughing, working out together and growing a close friendship that has become contagious now that they’re home with new hearts. The nurses called Frank Bianchi, Holly Mulkerin and a few others, “The Rowdy Heart Waiters,” and the name stuck.

Now Bianchi and others have taken the name on the road, literally. For the last few years, a growing team of heart transplant recipients and their friends and family have participated in LifeBanc’s annual charity walk, Gift of Life Walk/Run. LifeBanc is a nonprofit organ and tissue recovery organization in northeast Ohio.

At this year’s Aug. 11 walk, the 81-member Rowdy Hearts team won an award for having the most transplant recipients on one team—11 total. “We are shooting for 15 next year,” says Bianchi, who encourages heart transplant recipients to join the team and walk. “It’s a time for us to celebrate, and it feels a lot like a family reunion,” he says.

This year, Rowdy Hearts brought in $4,000 in pledge dollars for LifeBanc as the ninth largest donor team out of 139. Initially, the team started out with 20 members—the original few Rowdy Hearts plus family and friends. The participants and pledges grow each year, Bianchi says, adding that their T-shirts include the walkers’ heart transplant numbers. (Bianchi’s is 1,396—meaning Cleveland Clinic had performed 1,395 transplants before his.)

Interested in walking with the Rowdy Hearts next year? All are welcome, Bianchi says.

For more information, visit Rowdy Hearts.


About DAP

I am a heart transplant recipient and these are my stories and thoughts. My desire is to assist others pre or post heart transplant in anyway possible. Please feel free to contact me if you have a question.
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