student working on a laptop

Robb Genetelli DeLIVERs

Monday, May 6, 2019

By Morgan Frazier '20

robb genetelli liver guido meadeOn April 22, 2019, Robb Genetelli, dean of students at the High School, bravely and selflessly donated 60% of his liver to Guido Meade, the spouse of Assistant Dean of Students Andrea Meade. (Both are doing well and are recovering at home.) I wanted to get an idea of how this heroic act came to be, so I interviewed Mrs. Meade. We discussed how the Landmark community has supported the Meade family through its struggles over the past year.

Mr. Meade was diagnosed with liver cancer in the fall of 2018. Three decent sized tumors had formed in his liver, but thankfully the cancer hadn't spread to other parts of his body. His doctors told him the treatment that offered the best prognosis was a liver transplant. Unfortunately, it took a lot of hard work and time just for Mr. Meade to become eligible for a new liver. In the two months after he was diagnosed, he had 32 appointments that involved lots of testing. In December, he was finally put on the transplant list. When someone gets accepted into the transplant program, testing scores determine where they are placed on the list, and it would have taken almost 12 months for Mr. Meade to get to the top of that list.

A Perfect Match

His doctor had given the Meades a link to share with friends and family to see if they could find a living donor that was a match. To be a match for an organ transplant, potential donors need to meet strict health criteria and have the right blood type and organ size. Five people applied to undergo the testing to find out if they could be the donor, and after 32 appointments of his own, Mr. Genetelli was officially determined to be a match in March.

The Landmark community has been very helpful throughout this process: many Landmark staff and faculty have given Mr. and Mrs. Meade's kids rides to and from school when appointments conflicted with these times. Mrs. Meade also stated that people have offered to bring her food and that she is extremely grateful with how everyone has been during this process, from the time off given to Mr. Genetelli, Mr. Meade, and Mrs. Meade, to the thoughts and prayers people have given them.

A Community That Keeps Giving

It's truly something special to know that in times like this when someone in our school community is struggling, everyone can help out in their own way. I don't think we students always realize how lucky we are to have the faculty and staff that give up so much of their time, even when they have such big things going on, to be able to help us when we need it. Even when we are having a hard time with friends or struggling with academics, it shows that we should be grateful for what we have here, because not all schools would find ways to help give someone a new liver. Think of it this way, part of Mr. Genetelli will always be with Mr. Meade, just like how part of Landmark will always be with us.