Matt and Jen Ragaini are very excited to be dancing in this years Gala. They have been together for 16 years, married 9 . They share an eleven year old daughter named Angela. Jen also has a twenty-two year old son named Jonathan. Matt and Jen have 3 wonderful Shih Tzus named Moxi, Bella and Rocky Balboa. Twelve years ago Matt was diagnosed with Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis: an incurable liver disease that affects the bile ducts. Five years after the diagnosis, Matt got listed at Yale New Haven Hospital for a liver. In August of 2014 Matt's health started to deteriorate. He was in the hospital more often than at home with his family. In October of 2014, Jen started a Facebook page called Support for Ragz in hopes of looking for a Living Donor for Matt. She also reached out to local media and newspapers. During this time Dr Rodriguez talked with both Matt and Jen and asked why Jen had not been tested to be a living donor for Matt. Matt was very adamant that Jen would not get tested because he did not want to put her life at risk and also because of their young daughter Angela. Jen did not listen to Matt and got tested anyway. On December 23rd, 2014 she received a call saying that she was Matt's perfect Living Donor Match. On February 10th, 2015 Jen donated 65% of her liver to her husband, Matt. Matt is now almost at the two year post mark and is doing AMAZING! Since the transplant, both Matt and Jen have started volunteering their time with Donate Life and with Yale. Jen is currently on the CT Advisory Council on Donation. In addition, both Matt and Jen are working with Dr. Emre and Donate Life on a special group, a Champions Group, that helps raise more awareness about Organ Donation. Also, since the transplant they have changed over Matt's Facebook page from Support for Ragz to TEAM RAGZ. They also just had their Second Annual TEAM RAGZ Toy Drive, where they collect toys for the Yale Pediatric Transplant Kids. With the Yale Pediatric Team, they plan a Christmas Party for these children where Santa hands out the toys collected from the Toy Drive. Matt and Jen's new passion in life is helping out and finding ways to raise more awareness about Organ Donation.
CT Coalition for Organ & Tissue Donation, dba, Donate Life Connecticut
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 278 Durham, CT 06422
Physical Address (No mail deliveries accepted): 16 Main St Durham, CT 06422