Back in 1983, Dr. Jack Kolff founded the Delaware Valley’s first heart transplant program at Temple University Hospital. Today, the Villanova resident and his wife, Patricia, are celebrating the 26th anniversary of their National Transplant Assistance Fund (NTAF), which has raised over $57 million to become the largest organization of its kind in the U.S. “We started it here in our home, then it grew to 15 employees,” says Patricia, who is trained as a nurse. “In the last 10 years, we’ve assisted over 16,000 patients.”
NTAF supports transplant and catastrophic injury patients, their families and their communities primarily through fundraising guidance, with as many as 1,400 campaigns nationwide. Simply put, to get on the organ donor list, patients need a way to pay, says Patricia. “They’re so discouraged by the financial aspect that they don’t know where to turn,” Jack adds.
And in the event that patients can’t raise the money for uninsured expenses, NTAF offers emergency grants—3,000 of which have been distributed. “You do have an impact,” says Patricia.
The Kolffs retired from NTAF’s board of directors last spring. “If you’re happy in the job, you’re sorry to leave it,” Jack says. “But we left it in good hands.”
To learn more, call (800) 642-8399 or visit transplantfund.org.