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Dr. Doria and the Nicoletti family

Robert and Beatrice Nicoletti and their family have generously established an endowed professorship in honor of Cataldo Doria, MD, PhD, FACS, Associate Professor of Surgery and Director of the Division of Transplantation Surgery.

"Dr. Doria literally saved my life," says Robert Nicoletti. "And everyone at Jefferson was so caring, thoughtful and encouraging, I now have a new lease on life."

For four years, Robert's kidneys were progressively failing him -- the result of hypertension, or high blood pressure. Robert initially concealed his worsening condition from his close knit family. In early 2006, however, the team at Jefferson determined that he needed a transplant and Robert told his family.

Seven members of the Nicoletti family immediately volunteered to donate a kidney. Ultimately, only one family member was deemed compatible: Robert's daughter, Lori Peruto. She recalls, "When we learned of Dad's condition, we knew what we had to do. There was no question, no hesitation."

On June 6, 2006, Robert and Lori arrived at Jefferson for the procedure. Beatrice Nicoletti was truly impressed with her family's experience at Jefferson. "When something like this happens, you're scared," she says, "but the staff at Jefferson kept us informed every step of the way. That helped ease our fears." Robert and Lori quickly regained their strength and returned to their normal lifestyle in a few weeks. Both remain in good health, which they attribute to Dr. Doria and the multidisciplinary team at Jefferson. "We knew we were in good hands," Beatrice says.

Endowed professorships such as this are a critical resource to recruit and retain a distinguished faculty, and they provide distinct honor and recognition for the faculty members who hold them. "This provides a reliable source of funding as we seek to expand our growing transplant program here at Jefferson," says Dr. Doria. "We are all extremely grateful to the Nicoletti family for their generous gift."

Jefferson's Eakins Legacy Fund will match this gift dollar-for-dollar. The Fund was created from the proceeds of the sale of Thomas Eakins's The Gross Clinic to support the institution's key initiatives.

For additional information on the Eakins Legacy Fund and ways to support the Department of Surgery, please contact Lara Allan Goldstein, Director of Development, at 215-955-8797.