HaveĀ a Heart Benefit

Get Ready for the 2013 Have a Heart Benefit!

The Have a Heart Benefit was started in 2004 by the wonderful friends and family of Jennifer Shih.  After she suddenly needed a heart transplant, they raised money to help the enormous hospital, medication, and laboratory bills that come with organ transplant.  Once she became healthier, she joined them in their effors to help others that have been affected by organ reception and/or organ donation.  We help in various ways: volunteering at hospitals and other events, raising money for those affected by organ transplant, answering questions by those who just reach out, usually via the website, and need a listening ear.  We are always happy to accept help in any way.  We may be contacted via e-mail at: haveaheartbenefit@yahoo.com.

Our mission is to educate others on the importance of organ donation, support others who have been affected by organ reception and/or organ donation, to further the progress of research in the field of transplant medicine.


The road to recovery is long and filled with regular biopsies, immunosuppressant drugs, and a high risk of rejection.  The average cost per year for these follow up procedures and medications can range from $100,000 to over $130,000 for the rest of their life. Many are unable to work and are therefore forced to file for bankruptcy. Transplant recipients constantly struggle with the discrepancy between the will to accomplish things and the physical and financial abilities to do so.

In 2010, we were fortunate to be joined by Teri "TJ" Johnson, who received her liver transplant less than 1 year ago.  In March of 2009, she received the devastating call that changed her life.  After going to the doctor because she wasn't feeling well, a tumor was found in her liver.  It was cancer!   At 29 years old, with a bouncing 9 month old baby boy and demanding job, she was faced with the only cure: the gift of life.  On April 29, 2009, she received the chance for her son to know his mom, for her husband to celebrate 4 years of marriage, and for her family to continue to have a daughter, sister, and friend.  Her liver transplant was a gift for not only her, but her many grateful family members and friends who have joined the efforts of the Have a Heart Benefit.

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