A Bright Human Comet
Gianna Altano was and is, a brilliant comet on this earth and her family (Danny, Sydney and Marissa) are shining stars. Gianna died this week, at the age of 23, after a life-time of living with Cystic Fibrosis (CF). Her life and even her death, was a precious gift to all she touched.
Though many of her friends with CF died at the expected life-span for someone presently living with the disease, Gianna kept on going like a marathon runner who kept running the race one short sprint after another. She did things that many of us without CF cannot or would not do. She did everything a teen and young twenty-year-old would do, including martial arts and surfing. To say she was fearless would be an understatement.
Everyone fell in love with Gianna – family, old friends, new friends, classmates, colleagues, students, nurses, doctors, respiratory therapists, the staff at Stanford, acquaintances, and friends of friends.
A few days ago Gianna’s Mom Sydney said, “We as a family got to receive the reality of both sides of organ transplantation. We also were able to give in a way we were hoping to get. The full circle of life and anticipation in every from.”
Gianna was on the donor list waiting for a lung transplant that never arrived. Yet, with her death (and her deepest intentions to donate her own organs) others now live and/or have regained function of vital body parts.
Gianna Altano’s life and death have been one gift of love after another… whether you were touched by her physical presence when she was alive or received part of her body after her death. To know her now or have known her before, is to be in the presence of gratitude incarnate and a being who lived every moment up to her last breath.
A celebration of Gianna Altano’s life is being held this Saturday, March 30th at the Seaside Resort.