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Hearts for Russ is dedicated to making a difference in organ transplantation. Since 2014, we have been raising funds for non-profit organizations that are working to increase participation in the organ donation registry, and supporting patients and families undergoing transplants.

We ask you to join us in our quest to save lives through the miracle of transplantation.

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Hearts for Russ 10th Annual Event was a PAR - TEE!

A look into this years event! We cannot thank you enough for the past 10 years generosity. We have spent the past 10 years building a non profit from a seed, with only a hope of keeping a loved ones memory alive and have since grown amazing opportunities that have led us to do things we once would not have even known to dream of. Thank you.

This year we were able to raise $57,000!

Hearts for Russ 2023 Awardees:

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Dr. Marcus Pereira

Physicians Award

Dr. Marcus Pereira is the Medical Director of the Transplant Infectious Disease Program at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC) in New York City. Throughout Dr. Periera's career, he has consistently demonstrated a deep commitment to patient care while advancing knowledge in infectious complications for solid organ and bone marrow transplant recipients—providing inspiration to immunosuppressed patients and his colleagues alike. Throughout his career he has contributed greatly to medical research and professional forums, but Dr. Pereira distinguished himself during the C-19 pandemic under difficult clinical conditions at CUIMC. His commitment included engaging with patients and leading remote webinars dispelling myths and providing critical information to transplant patients as they navigated life-impacting clinical and vaccine-related decisions. Amazingly, Dr. Pereira’s wife, Dr. Elizabeth Verna, is also an highly accomplished physician and is Director of Clinical Research for the

Columbia University Transplant Clinical Research Center, specializing in end-stage liver disease and liver transplantation.

Mark & Lynn Scotch

 Donor Family Award

There are no organ transplants without donors and living donors are a special breed. We are proud to be honoring Wisconsin residents, Mark Scotch and his wife Lynn, for their selfless gifts—each of them donating kidneys to strangers through a kidney voucher program. Most recently, Mark stepped forward to become a double organ donor, providing a section of his liver to save the life of a young child. This life saving donation placed him in a special category there are less than 50 double donors in the United States. But it did not stop there, Mark and Lynn formed The Organ Trail, hitting the road on bike and crossing the country four times, completing three ultra-endurance races and raising awareness and dollars to support theorgan transplant community all along theway. Check out their incredibly moving appearance recently on the Today Show.

Russ Tisman

Recipient Award

We are proud to be honoring Russ Tisman. Since receiving his life-saving heart transplant 14 years ago, Russ has been a tireless supporter and spokesman for the transplant community. Additionally, he has been an active volunteer with LiveOn New York, Long Island Transplant Recipients International Organization (TRIO) and Harboring Hearts, where he has served as a long-time board member for this important organization providing support services to patients and their families navigating organ transplants. Russ’ transplant allowed him to return as a law partner at Forchelli, Deegan & Terrana where he performs many pro bono services for the New York community, many of them transplant related. Russ has been married to his wife Joyce for 47 years, and is the proud father of daughters

 Robyn and Hillary, father-in-law of Dan, and grandfather of Asa.

Brian Vaske

Hearts for Russ Award

For our 10th anniversary, we are proud to present a special Hearts for Russ Award to Brian Vaske, CEO & Chairman of ITI Data, a global information technology services firm.  Brian’s steadfast support of Hearts for Russ every single year since we began our non-profit in 2014 is simply incredible.  Brian has provided advice, recognition and critical funding to support our mission and this has been a large part of our organization’s success.  Brian supports Hearts for Russ but his commitment extends to other important organizations, such as Only Make Believe, NPower and his alma mater, the University of Nebraska.  Brian’s personal journey from adolescent cancer survivor to successful IT executive is important in itself, but his commitment to recognizing the gift of life and giving back is what sets him apart from others.  We honor Brian’s unwavering commitment to non-profit’s focused on patient support, advocacy and personal development. 

Long Island TRIO

in association with Hearts For Russ



Gifts of Life: Profiles in Courage from the Transplant Community

Directed by Michael Drucker, Delusions International featuring Shelby Caban, Jennifer Lentini and Jack Cloonan
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Support Our Misson

New York State has one of the lowest organ donor registration rates in the nation. Hundreds of New Yorkers die each year waiting for a transplant, while just one donor can save up to eight lives.

Consider donating to our mission to help change that.

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