Organ Donation & The Cody Barrasse Foundation: Healthwatch 16

This is the story of a woman from Scranton who needed a new kidney.

It's the story of her daughter-in-law, who ended up being her perfect match.

It's the story of their granddaughter and niece, who got an education at Scranton Prep for free.

It's also about a man, Joseph Barrasse, who's about to start a new job in Philadelphia, who made much of that possible.

But the story really starts with Joe's younger brother, Cody Barrasse.

"We had a great competitive relationship. Brothers being three years apart--I was a senior when he was a freshman--so we got to do a year together in high school and a year in college together," said Joseph Barrasse, Cody Barrasse Foundation.

Joe likes talking about his brother Cody. He says the 22 year old was unique, a person of conviction, not easily swayed by a crowd.

"Arguing was natural to him. No matter what the topic was, he was always right," Joe laughed.

Then, came April of 2013.

Joe, who was living in Washington, D.C. at the time, got the call to get to Pittsburgh, where Cody had been in an accident.

"When we got there, we quickly found out that Cody wasn't going to make it. As his friends and family trickled in, we had some choices to make," Joe recalled. "Having that conversation with your family is huge. Letting them know this is my choice makes everything so easy."

Seven of Cody's organs went to nine different people. Two patients were each given one of his kidneys. His liver was split between a young child and a veteran.

That summer, a few of Cody's friends met for a 3 on 3 basketball tournament in his honor.

By the next year, 50 teams wanted to play. The foundation raised enough money to form a scholarship in Cody's name at his alma mater, Scranton Prep.

Since then, the annual event has grown. They've added an event called Continue Cody's Commitment to include non-basketball players.

The foundation raised $35,000 last year alone, and they've been able to form a different arm of the Cody Barrasse Foundation, which is to help pay expenses of area families going through it all.

"Traveling to Penn, Hershey, Baltimore, medication, we want to help people and let them know who Cody was at the same time."

The seventh annual basketball tournament is scheduled for Saturday, August 10, at 8 a.m. at Scranton Prep's Xavier Center. The Continue Cody's Commitment event is set for that night from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. at The Ritz Theatre on Wyoming Avenue in Scranton. For more information or to purchase tickets, click here.

For stories from a few of the people who were helped by the Cody Barrasse Foundation, click here.

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