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Healthwatch 16: Those Helped by Cody Barrasse Foundation

SCRANTON, Pa. -- The Cody Barrasse Foundation is holding its seventh annual 3-on-3 basketball tournament and a separate fundraising event this weekend.

The organ donation organization raised $35,000 last year alone.

Basketballers will battle it out this weekend raising money for the Cody Barrasse Foundation.

Cody was just 22 when he was killed in an accident and became an organ donor, helping to save nine other lives.

In the years since his death, his friends and family members have worked to raise money in his memory.

"When I was recently interviewing for job, the first line on the resume is the Cody Barrasse Foundation, and someone asked, 'Why is it first?' To me, it's the most important thing I've ever done in my life, and I'm happy to be part of it," Joseph Barrasse said.

All the money raised stays local.

Kaliyah Lynady can speak to that firsthand. She was chosen to be the first recipient of a scholarship fund at Scranton Prep in Cody's name.

"Without it, I wouldn't have been able to go to Prep, and Prep has given me so much, honestly, so it was a big thing for me," Lynady said.

But that's not the end of her family's story.

Meet Sharon, Kaliyah's grandmother, and Jennifer, Kaliyah's aunt and Sharon's daughter-in-law.

Sharon learned a few years ago that she had a form of kidney disease. Three times she thought she had a donor and each time, those plans fell through.

"I was so positive up until that point, but after that, I started to get down, thinking I'm never going to get a kidney," said Sharon Lynady.

Jennifer, an area native now living near Philadelphia, wasn't initially cleared to be a donor, but she was retested at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, and she was a perfect match.

"It is so transformational, not only for the recipient but for the donor. To be able to save a life and to be able to give that gift is amazing," Jennifer Lynady said.

"Her nurses were saying, 'You're giving a kidney to your mother-in-law?'" laughed Sharon.

Jennifer donated a kidney to Sharon this past March. The two of them came out of the procedure asking about each other.

"I said, 'How's Mom?' And they said the kidney's working perfectly, and it was magic," Jennifer said.

Jennifer saw that the Barrasse Foundation included OTAP, the Organ Transplant Assistance Program. She applied for Sharon who became the first recipient of a grant from the foundation, meant to help the family with travel costs and medical expenses.

They now want to spread the word about organ donation.

"If you can, do it. And if you can't, please, please, please make sure you check that box on your driver's license," Jennifer said.

The foundation wants to hear from you if you are on a transplant list or have recently gotten an organ donation. You may be eligible for funds from the Cody Barrasse Foundation.

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.

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