Tag Archives: Live It Up! awards

Meet HOPE Award Honoree Jim Melwert

Each year at HelpHOPELive’s annual fundraising event, HelpHOPE-Live It Up!, we honor community heroes who prove why our mission matters with the Help, HOPE and Live awards. In 2015, we’re also giving out an Advocacy and Volunteer of the Year award.

This year, the HOPE award will go to KYW’s Jim Melwert for his selfless gift of life through living kidney donation.

Jim Melwert gold medal

We honor Jim Melwert for giving the gift of life.

In 2006, Jean DelMuto was struggling with the painful effects of polycystic kidney disease. Facing at least a 5-year wait for a kidney transplant, Jean’s health deteriorated so rapidly that her manager established an in-office cotthat she could use for the naps she needed to take just to make it through each workday. As Jean was entering some of the most challenging health circumstances of her life, her nephew Jim, made her a stunning offer: the gift of life.

Jim Melwert KYW news organ donation transplant Jean DelMuto organ donor kidney

Jim Melwert with his aunt and recipient, Jean.

Jean’s nephew, Jim Melwert, is the Suburban Bureau chief for KYW Newsradio 1060. When he heard about his aunt’s struggles to secure the transplant she so desperately needed, Jim made the selfless decision to donate one of his kidneys to save her life. He made the life-changing donation on February 27, 2006, a date that he and his aunt will never forget.

For many, a transplant represents a “second chance” that can inspire recipients to make commitments to maintain their health and make the most of their future. Jim turned his gift to Jean into his own “second chance”: he began giving serious consideration to his own health, making a decision to start training for and participating in a series of impressive athletic challenges. Since giving a kidney to his aunt in February 2006, Jim has participated in competitions including Ironman events, the Transplant Games, 5k swims and Donor Dashes to honor other organ donors and recipients.

Jim Melwert Transplant Games gold medals

Jim, left, began participating in athletic competitions like the Transplant Games after giving the gift of life.

In 2013, Jim delivered a powerful address as the keynote speaker for the Gift of Life Donor Program’s Living Donor Recognition Ceremony. “As a reporter, our personal experience helps shape who we are and how we see the world,” said Jim. “Being a living kidney donor, I see the triumph of the human spirit, science and the human body. Every single donor [has] the courage, the love and the desire to make a difference. There are no words to explain how it feels to see the difference we’ve made.”

Jim Melwert Jean DelMuto Donor Dash transplant living donation donate life

Jim and Jean celebrate the gift of life together at a Donor Dash event.

HelpHOPE-Live It Up! logo Live It Up! Live It Up 2015 annual event charity galaOn October 16, 2015, HelpHOPELive will honor Jim Melwert for giving the gift of life with our signature HOPE award. Join us to celebrate the power of transplantation, selfless giving and second chances.

Meet Our 2015 Live It Up! Award Honorees

Our signature fundraising event Live It Up! kicks off on Friday, October 16, 2015. Here are the individuals and families who will be honored for their vision, dedication and courage.


The Help Award goes to…

Libby Judge Love Live Give 2015

Team Libby Judge

for excellence in fundraising for the Mid-Atlantic Spinal Cord Injury Fund.


The HOPE Award goes to…

KYW’s Jim Melwert

for giving the gift of life.


The Live Award goes to…

 Aaron Loy HelpHOPELive prosthetics

Aaron Loy

for inspiration after illness.


 The Advocacy Award goes to…

U.S. Senator Pat Toomey

for supporting organ donor awareness and the ABLE Act.


 The Volunteer of the Year Award goes to…

https://helphopelive.org/media/content_panel_images/Chris_Kanter_cropped.JPG

Christine V. Kanter

for service and dedication to HelpHOPELive.


Stay tuned: we’ll be featuring each of these Live It Up! honorees in upcoming Blog posts! Recipients will be honored by HelpHOPELive on October 16 from 7 to 11 p.m. at Valley Forge Military Academy’s Mellon Hall. Join us!