Notice: Special Appeal to ALL members

We all know these are tough economic times for everyone AND for non-profit organizations serving the needs of their members. Second Chance is no exception. Please respond as generously as you can when you receive our Special Appeals letter so we can continue to support members in need with our grant program in this especially challenging time. Now you can also make your donation on-line with PayPal or any major credit card. Just use the Special Appeals link on the right column of this page to access that service

Our Chairman, Jim Bullard, featured in CareDx Spring 2016 AlloSpeak article

For this edition of AlloSpeak! we are excited to feature Mr. Jim Bullard of Piscataway, NJ:

For eighteen years Jim suffered from Cardiomyopathy, a condition that weakens the heart and its ability to effectively pump blood.  ThiJim Bullards condition can develop into a life-threatening form of heart failure. Jim was cared for by physicians at the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in Somerset, NJ.  Jim was on the latest medications and also had a defibrillator implanted to keep his heart going.  Jim’s condition reached a point where his ejection fraction, how well his heart pumps with each beat, became less than fifteen percent.  This means that his heart beat was only fifteen percent effective in pumping blood.

“As I reflect back on my situation, climbing stairs was out of the question.  I had to carry my laptop around on a roller cart. Walking for more than a city block was impossible without being out of breath.  Sleeping in a chair at night was the most comfortable position for me because my condition would not allow me to lie down.  I spent many nights sitting at my computer reading the news.”

On June 28, 2006, Jim received his heart transplant from Hahnemann University Hospital in Philadelphia, PA at the age of sixty four.

In the first six months after his transplant, there were certain tasks he could not do alone.  His wife and caregiver, Lois, had to assume full responsibility for his care, including getting him to and from all appointments, monitoring his medications, and assisting with the emotional and physical aspects of his new life.  Jim received AlloMap testing during his early months post transplant, and the AlloMap test is still part of his medical care almost 10 years post transplant.

Jim is now in very good health and enjoying retirement.  Physical well-being is high on his priority list.  He continues to visit the Robert Wood Johnson Somerset Wellness Center and meets with his medical support team on a regular basis.  This team includes his Heart Transplant team, Nephrologists, Cardiologists, Urologists, Dermatologist and Dentists.

“I firmly believe that the transplant team can only give you the heart. You, as a heart transplant recipient, have to assume certain lifelong responsibilities.”

Since his transplant, Jim has been very active in giving back to the transplant community.  He is the President of the Second Chance Hahnemann/Drexel University Chapter and the Chair of the Second Chance Heart Transplant Support Group, Second Chance for short.

Second Chance is a local heart transplant support group with over 800 members from the Philadelphia area, Delaware, Southern New Jersey, and Eastern Pennsylvania.  Second Chance raises funds to provide financial assistance to heart-transplant patients for any transplant-related need.  Second Chance also provides public information and education on matters relating to organ transplantation and donation.  To date, Second Chance has given out over $670,000 in patient grants.

Jim is also passionate about volunteering to support the youth and elderly in his community.  He is the Assistant Babe Ruth Baseball NNJ State Commissioner and the Piscataway Babe Ruth Chair.  He volunteers his time on the Middlesex County Aging Council, the Piscataway Township Senior Commission, and the Cultural Arts Commission.  He is also the Ward 2 Piscataway Township Councilman.

Do you know someone who would like to share their story?  If so, we want to hear from you! If you are interested in sharing your transplant story with us, or would just like more information about our upcoming events, please email us at

Hello world!

Welcome to the on-line home of 
Second Chance Heart Transplant Support Group, Inc. 

(Note: the web site address: “” comes from using the first letter of each word in that corporate name…)


We are a local heart transplant support group of heart transplant recipients in the general area of the region known as the Delaware Valley.  While our 800+ members have spread far and wide, most come from the Philadelphia centered area that includes Delaware, Southern New Jersey, and Eastern Pennsylvania.   Anticipating your question, yes, you have to have had a heart transplant – or be married to one who has – to become a member, so there really are that many recipients in this local area, and oh so many more!  That large number is mainly due to the fact that there are so many heart transplant programs in this area – seven if you count CHOP, Hershey and DuPont (in DE).

Read more about our organization in the ABOUT page on this site, both our long history (dating back to the mid 1980’s, the “dawn” of today’s successful heart transplant surgical process ) and our mission of support and financial aid to member patients in need.  To date here in 2016, Second Chance has given out over $670,000 in patient grants over those years.  If you are in financial need, ask your transplant social worker at one of our chapter supported heart transplant hospitals (Ie., Temple, Hahnemann, Jefferson or Hospital of the University of PA) who can help you with that funding request.

To print a copy of our informational brochure, click on: SECOND CHANCE BROCHURE rev 03282016

So read all about us here, and consider joining to add your own support to this very unique group who truly are giving from their hearts and are “heart gifted” owing their lives to a donor family’s gift and the modern miracle of heart transplantation in the hands of amazing medical professionals in those many centers.


Excellent Medicare educational reference resource:

Grace Earl, PharmD, BCPS,  Department of Pharmacy Practice and Administration, Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, University of the Sciences

is our educator for the Medicare and Medicaid advice and council each year at this time.  You can see her excellent reference resource at:

Medicare and Medicaid updates & advice (click here for her handout: medicare_sp17-second-chance)


March ’16: Temple chapter long time president, Rich Ford, turned over that role to Laverne Clark and was recognized for his many years of service by Temple hospital leadership:

Rich ford 1

Rich ford 2



Mark your calendars: Celebration of Life 2017: Sunday afternoon, May 7th (details to follow)

Celebration of Life 2016: Sunday afternoon, May 15th – see video of the event (<– click here)

For 29 years now, Second Chance has been hosting this amazing event, a celebration of life post heart transplant. Each year hundreds of heart recipients and their family, supporters, health professionals and friends gather for fun, music, dancing, socializing and just living life to the fullest together.

Past Celebration of Life event videos available for viewing:


Our next Board meeting will be:
Monday evening, January 23rd, 2017 at the Gift of Life offices starting at 6:30pm for light dinner and meeting at 7pm sharp
Register with Jim Bullard (see below)

… an open meeting held at the Gift of Life Donor Program offices:

Gift of Life Donor Program

401 North 3rd Street, Phila, PA 19123-4101




(All attendees please register with Charman, Jim Bullard, to attend this meeting…
Jim Bullard phone: 732-463-3927 e-mail: )





Have you heard?  There is a new heart allocation process being proposed to the UNOS/OPTN board.  If passed this would totally replace the system we all know so well with a new set of listing statuses aiming to improve overall results of reduced mortality on the wait list and longer post-transplant survival.   To read the proposal and add your comments go to – the following will help understand the overall picture:

Executive Summary

The Thoracic Organ Transplantation Committee (the Committee) proposes modifications to the adult heart allocation system to better stratify the most medically urgent heart transplant candidates, reflect the increased use of mechanical circulatory support devices (MCSD) and prevalence of MCSD complications, and address geographic disparities in access to donors among heart transplant candidates. Though changes to the adult heart allocation system implemented in 2006 were successful, candidates with disparate waiting list mortalities are currently grouped together in the most urgent classification, status 1A, causing waiting time to be the primary factor in stratifying candidates. Additionally, the current geographic sharing scheme creates potential inequities in access to transplant for the most urgent candidates.

The Committee proposes two significant changes to the adult heart allocation system:

  1. Develop additional urgency stratifications based on relative waiting list mortality rates for all adult heart candidates
  2. Modify the geographic sharing scheme to provide the most medically urgent candidates access to donors from a broader geographic area

The Committee’s proposal is supported by modeling analysis performed by the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR). The proposed changes are expected to lower waiting list morality rates overall and achieve higher transplant rates for the most medically urgent candidates without increasing overall post-transplant mortality rates or increasing waiting list mortality rates for candidates in lower urgency statuses.

Jan 28th: UNOS new Heart Allocation proposal explained:
On January 28th, UNOS hosted an on-line webinar with Dr. Rogers explaining the proposal with slides, followed by our own Jim Gleason adding the patient perspective for the gathered reporters.  Several articles listed below were a result of that event  (see links to news articles and to the news media presentation below)
(Note: the YouTube video of that news event actually begins at the 3:00 minute mark with Dr. Rogers’s slides, then TRIO president and UNOS board member, Jim Gleason, gave his remarks at 25:00 minute mark (for 5 minutes) followed by Q&A
> UNOS News event video:
> Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article:…/Heart-do…/stories/201601280012
> TRIBLive article:…/admi…/9873113-74/heart-unos-transplant



Click below to access these inspiriting and educational on-line resources:

(Stay tuned for future resources coming each month…)



Contacts . . .


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