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A Second Chance at Life: New Jersey Man's Remarkable Journey of Hope, Giving


Physical By: Richard L. Smith 

Billy Gardner, a resilient 70-year-old resident of Bedminster, recently marked the fifth anniversary of his life-saving heart and liver transplant.  

His incredible journey, filled with strength, determination, and unwavering support from both his family and medical professionals, serves as a powerful testament to the potential of hope and modern medical advancements.

Now in good health, Billy has shifted his focus to supporting the efforts of NJ Sharing Network, a non-profit organization responsible for organ and tissue recovery in the Garden State. By sharing his transplant story, Billy aims to inspire others to register as organ and tissue donors, offering hope and encouragement to those eagerly awaiting life-saving transplants.

"To me, being part of NJ Sharing Network's mission is a way to honor the second chance I've been given. It’s the least I can do," said Billy.  

"Raising awareness about organ and tissue donation is extremely important to me. Just one organ donor can save eight lives, and a tissue donor can enhance the lives of over 75 others."

Billy's Inspiring Journey  

Billy Gardner's life has been a testament to passion and dedication. A high school standout at Seton Hall Prep, he excelled in baseball and football, earning recognition as an all-state athlete.

His athletic journey continued at The College of William and Mary, where he played football on a scholarship under the guidance of legendary coach Lou Holtz. After college, Billy dedicated himself to teaching and coaching before embarking on a 33-year career in the municipal bond business.

Billy's life was enriched by the 

the love and support of his family, particularly his 40-year marriage to his wife, Trish.  

Together, they raised four children and enjoyed the blessings of six grandchildren, sharing a profound journey of love and connection.

In 2013, Billy's health took a severe downturn with diagnoses of Congestive Heart Failure and Amyloidosis.  

Despite his declining health, Billy retired in 2015, but his indomitable spirit endured. On May 6, 2018, Billy underwent a life-changing 14-hour surgery, receiving both a heart and liver transplant.  

This momentous event opened a new chapter of joy, allowing him to rediscover his favorite activities, including biking, pickleball, tennis, and swimming.