Volunteer Has Her Own Holiday Wish Granted

ELIZABETH—Patricia Lopez has helped others for more than 20 years, heading up the Union County Toys for Tots Campaign and the county’s food pantry.  She recently got help to fulfill a wish of her own.

A resident of Elizabeth who is battling brain and lung cancer, Lopez is the first recipient of a gift from OneGift, Inc. and Trinitas Regional Medical Center, where she has been undergoing treatment for the last two years.  The OneGift organization helps make dreams come true for adults with cancer.


At first, Lopez wanted to use her gift to help buy toys for the Toys for Tots effort.  After being told that the gift must benefit her, she asked for tickets to an Andrea Bocelli concert at the Meadowlands’ IZOD Center. Lopez and her family received 10 tickets, plus a pre-show dinner.

The presentation to Lopez took place during her scheduled cancer treatment.  She praised the physicians and staff at the center, declaring, “Drs. William Kessler and Lisa Henson are brilliant physicians, and they’re the reason I’ve been able to keep going for the last two years.”

Cheryl Wachtel, a registered dietician, and Grisela Hidalgo, a clinical social worker at the cancer center, submitted Lopez’s name for consideration for a OneGift wish.

As Wachtel explains, “Pat is such a giving person.  She’s someone who is always smiling despite what’s going on in her life.  When she’s here and she’s between appointments or procedures she uses her time to make scarves for the staff.  We all love her!”

Hidalgo agrees, describing Pat as someone who maintains a consistently positive attitude despite “going through a challenging period in her life.  She gives so much to our community, now it’s her turn to receive something nice.”

Volunteer Has Her Own Holiday Wish Granted

Pat Lopez is shown (center) with well-wishers from the Trinitas Comprehensive Cancer Center staff and Nadine Brechner, executive director of the Trinitas Health Foundation (left), who all shared in the delight of the OneGift presentation.

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