On December 19, 2017, while most families were doing last minute holiday decorating, shopping and prepping, CDL’s Rick Hoagland, his wife and family prepared for a lifesaving journey: Hoagland’s wife Donna, a teacher, traveled to Gainesville to donate her kidney to the mother of one of her students.
Because of the extraordinary circumstances, CBS News’ Steve Hartman flew to Palm Beach County on December 12 to do a story on Donna and the kidney transfer. The story aired on CBS Evening News on Friday, January 5 and on CBS News Sunday Morning on January 7.
Rick is CDL’s Business Valuation and Litigation Support Director and has been with the Firm since 2013. With his three adult children Megan, 21 and twins Spencer and Amy, 18, Rick added another title to his roles as husband, father and full-time CDL employee – he added the title of caregiver.
Donna’s kidney transfer took place at UF Health Shands Hospital in Gainesville the morning of Dec. 19. Rick remained at his wife’s side during pre-and post-surgery, and traveled back and forth to the hospital with Donna for post-op check-ups and observation.
Donna is a third grade teacher at Marsh Pointe Elementary School in Palm Beach Gardens. It was during a parent-teacher conference in October 2016 that she learned that her student’s mother was battling kidney disease. During the parent-teacher conference, the mother shared her struggles of undergoing daily dialysis while trying to work and tending to her husband and two young children. Donna asked her blood type, confirmed they were a match, and began the process of doctor visits and examinations to make the kidney donation a reality.
“Doing something like this is no big deal for my wife,” said Rick. “It is just the kind of person she is. As a devoted mother to our own children, she just couldn’t imagine the heartache this was bringing to her student, the mother and the family. Donna saw the kidney donation as an easy fix.”
“When we learned of Rick, and especially Donna’s extraordinary generosity, we were just in awe of their selfless acts,” said CDL Shareholder Mark Veil. “To make the decision to donate an organ and undergo this lifesaving medical procedure, exemplifies beyond compare the true meaning of giving and sharing during the holiday season.”
The kidney transfer was a success and Donna returned back to work on Monday, January 8.