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County proclaims organ donor month with Marvins, Spear

Connor Marvin, Brock Marvin and Cori Spear addressed the Essex County Board of Supervisors May 7.

Connor Marvin, Brock Marvin and Cori Spear addressed the Essex County Board of Supervisors May 7. Photo by Keith Lobdell.

— Essex County Clerk Joseph Provoncha brought some fun to a serious subject.

“We take your money there, we might as well take everything, I guess,” he said.

Provoncha was speaking as the County Board of Supervisors proclaimed May as Organ Donation Month in the county, encouraging people to sign up as an organ donor through the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Provoncha said that the awareness campaign is usually held in April, but they wanted to wait until May so they could welcome home and honor Elizabethtown-Lewis Central School sophomore Connor Marvin, who joined his brother, Brock, as a heart transplant recipient earlier this year.

“I wanted to move it off a month because we were waiting for the return of Connor from Boston,” Provoncha said. “This board has always been very supportive of this program and today I ask for the same support.”

The Marvin brothers were joined by Cori Spear of Westport, who is awaiting a kidney transplant after being diagnosed with primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), an auto-immune problem hurting the bile ducts of the liver.

“I have been on waiting list since January of 2010,” Spear said. “It has been a long road for me. This region has the longest waiting time because of our lack of donors. Let's make our wishes known to our families and friends and check that little box. You can save a lot of lives, and one of them may be mine.”

“Without organ donation, my brother and I would not be here today,” Connor Marvin said. “It is unreal to be back home and to see everyone here again. The technology is so amazing that they could help me and my brother and we could be back at 110 percent.”

Connor’s brother, who spoke last year along with Westport’s Molly Rascoe at the organ donation proclamation day, talked about his brother’s ordeal this year.

“Connor waited almost six months to receive his transplant,” he said. “The courage that he was able to show through the whole ordeal was really monumental. He has been incredibly tough through this. He was a real soldier. We want to thank everyone for the continuing support for organ donation.”

The board unanimously passed the resolution of proclamation for the Organ Donation Awareness Month in Essex County.

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