The Gift of Life: Tarra’s Story
After a major stroke in September of 2017, Joe Cordiero passed away peacefully after a long battle with Leukemia on December 11. His wife Tarra Cordeiro, a Team Assistant at the WWLHIN, wanted to share the impact that blood donation had on his life near the end.
Throughout his illness, Joe received multiple blood transfusions that increased his longevity and gave both him and his family more time together. As he was getting closer to saying goodbye, Joe spent three weeks at Hospice Wellington where he and Tarra received “wonderful care” thanks to the placement from the WWLHIN. “It is a much different perspective on the other side and I am so happy I made the choice to have him die peacefully at Hospice”, says Tarra.
Tarra connected with Melissa Burdett, also a Team Assistant at the WWLHIN, whose mother Rose is battling cancer and also receiving blood transfusions. Both Tarra and Melissa wanted to do something special on March 24, Joe’s birthday, so they decided they would donate blood. As Hospice Wellington was selling t-shirts as a fundraiser with the word “LOVE” on them, Tarra and Melissa wore them on the day they gave blood. “Joe’s progression with Leukemia made him dependent on blood transfusions and I realized the true significance of donating blood and what it really means to someone…LIFE”, says Tarra. The t‑shirt was appropriate for the day as the donation was given with love in mind.
“I wanted to give back to the people who have given my husband life over the course of a year, and what better way to honor him than by giving blood? I am urging all staff to give blood as an organization. It’s in us to give”, says Tarra.
Tarra has decided to continue to give blood in honor of her husband Joe and to help others have more time with their loved ones.