He’s had two liver transplants and says he’s forever thankful to the doctors, nurses, and donors. That’s why Mark Tagliaferri is working hard to help others in similar situations.

Mark Tagliaferri says without his family to keep him going, he’s not sure how he would have made it through the transplants. He explains, “I don’t know how you get through all of the difficulties, all of the illnesses and return visits, the difficult procedures without having a positive attitude to look toward the future.”

The first transplant didn’t take so he had to have another 2 years later. ” In 2001 I was fortunate enough. I hit the lottery a second time,” says Mark.

The father of two went from wondering if he’d be able to watch his daughters graduate high school to becoming a proud Grandfather. He was so thankful, he decided to give back, volunteering at Strong Memorial Hospital. He remembers being in the hospital and says, “Many people come in the middle of the night. Unexpectedly they get sick. They’re here waiting for a transplant.”
To this day he helps plan the annual “Rochester River Run.” Money from the event helps transplant patients and their families afford unexpected expenses like gas, hotel rooms and more. “The need that I saw being in and out of the hospital was overwhelming from people that came from so far away,” he says.

As for Tagliaferri….. he says he’s doing great and doesn’t consider himself a patient anymore, “I never wanted to just survive a liver transplant I wanted to thrive. I want to live my life and I want to live it well.” He’s helping others do the same.

The 18th Annual Rochester River Run is this Sunday, April 7th at Genesee Valley Park.
It raises hundreds of thousands of dollars for organ transplant patients and their families.