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A gift of life, a wish of a lifetime

Posted Oct 4, 2015

A special time, for a very special young fan.


It was hard for Joseph Geldmeyer to hide his excitement. One by one, as Steelers players stopped and talked to the 10-year old from Niagara, Wisconsin, his smile grew wider and wider.

And then, Le’Veon Bell walked in and well, let’s just say this young fan was beyond thrilled.

“It’s really, really, really fun,” said Geldmeyer. “Just seeing all of the players and actually going to a game in Pittsburgh. This is a dream come true. Football is the biggest part of my life. If there wasn’t football I don’t know what I would do.”

Geldmeyer visited the Steelers at practice this week and attended the Steelers-Ravens game at Heinz Field as a guest of the team through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. He has hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and underwent a successful heart transplant thanks to compassion and commitment of an organ donor.

As he met the Steelers, the only one with the bigger smile might have been his father, Scott Geldmeyer, who also received a heart transplant five years ago, both of them at Mayo Clinic.

“This is hard to describe,” said Scott Geldmeyer. “It’s unbelievable. It’s unexplainable. I am so happy for him.”

The elder Geldmeyer knows that without organ donors, Joseph’s dream never would have happened.

“Without organ donors me or my son wouldn’t be here,” he said. “It’s life and death for us.”

To learn more about being an organ donor and giving the gift of life, please visit https://www.core.org/.