Hundreds of students recently came together to celebrate the completion of their college careers at La Salle University’s undergraduate graduation ceremony.

Two of them wouldn’t have had the opportunity to go to college, let alone walk across the stage and accept their diplomas, without receiving the gift of life through an organ transplant — Jack Hafer of Douglassville, a heart recipient, and Kevin Brighter of Bucks County, who received a kidney transplant.

Jake Hafer was born with a “broken heart” on Valentine’s Day in 1996. He was diagnosed with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, a rare heart defect that resulted in him needing a transplant.

The Douglassville native was put on the transplant list, and at just 7½-months-old, he received a life-saving heart transplant at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children.

Jake and his family are passionate about telling their story, and serving as active volunteers with Gift of Life Donor Program.

“I’m going to do all that I can to show people that transplantation works and that they have the power to register and save lives — just like my donor did for me,” said Jake.

Jake graduated from La Salle University with a bachelor of arts degree in history and a minor in political science.

Both Jake and Kevin were recipients of the Jessica Beth Schwartz Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship goes toward giving young transplant recipients a chance for a higher education.

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