In death Bergenfield star athlete helps former coach

Wednesday, February 1, 2012    Last updated: Thursday February 2, 2012, 7:04 PM 

Bergenfield High School wrestlers have a singular goal: "To be like Dan." 

Dan Glover was a three-sport threat but had his greatest success on the mat. He was Bergenfield's first wrestler to crack 100 wins and went on to wrestle at Ursinus College. He returned often to his old high school to work with younger wrestlers and last year served as assistant coach.
Now, his legacy lives on in a way no one in Bergenfield could have imagined.

The 24-year-old son of Raymond and Karyn Glover died Monday at Paoli (Pa.) Hospital, nine days after his car hit a truck on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

Doctors harvested Dan's organs, corneas and bone, and on Tuesday, Ed Mooney, Dan's former Little League baseball coach, received the liver at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. A local benefit was held last year for the ailing Mooney, president of the Little League-affiliated Junior-Senior League in Bergenfield.

Karyn Glover said she and her husband thought of Mooney, whom the family has known for years, after it became clear that "Danny wasn't going to come back to us." The liver and blood type — A — were a perfect match. Dan would have wanted this, his mother said. That was his nature.

The young athlete gave blood regularly and had registered as a bone marrow donor. Karyn Glover underwent a bone marrow transplant in 2008 as part of her cancer treatment. Her sister was the donor.
"Danny would have been so proud," Karyn Glover said through tears Wednesday. "He gave someone life."
Dan began wrestling at age 5. His father, who also wrestled at Bergenfield, introduced him to the sport — although "introduced" may not be strong enough a word.

"He drilled it into us," Dan told a Record sports reporter in 2004. "He said nobody is going to grow up in my house wasting their talents."

Dan — a 125-pounder as a senior — amassed 109 victories and was a two-time Bergen Holiday Tournament champ. His success was remarkable given that he focused also on football (receiver and defensive back) and baseball (second baseman).

Kevin Manning, Bergenfield High School wrestling coach, said Dan was personable and had a great work ethic. All the other wrestlers, he said, "wanted to be like Dan."
At Ursinus, Dan majored in exercise and sport science. The young man who loved The Who and Bruce Springsteen and enjoyed landscaping and construction work had entertained thoughts of going to nursing school or joining the Peace Corps, his parents said. At the time of his death, he was working in operations at the Troegs Brewery in Hershey, Pa.

On Jan. 21, Dan set out for the funeral of a college pal who had died of cancer. It was snowing.
"I was going to call him that morning and say, Danny, please don't go, it's bad out, but my son was such a good man. He would have gone anyway," Karyn Glover said.

Just after 10 a.m., Dan's 1998 Buick LeSabre went of control on the slush-covered Pennsylvania Turnpike, in Uwchlan Township, and struck the rear of a tractor-trailer stopped along the right berm, according to the Pennsylvania State Police.

Dan was wearing his lap and shoulder belt. The trucker, from Miami, was not injured.

Dozens of former teammates came to Dan's bedside in Paoli. A recovery was not meant to be, and on Sunday, representatives of the Philadelphia area's Gift of Life program met with the Glovers.
Two days later, Dan's old Little League coach was wheeled into surgery.
Mooney, 52, was in intensive care and doing well, his girlfriend, Kathy Wexler, said Wednesday.

"It's extremely bittersweet. Ed coached the boy and it was very hard for him," Wexler said. "He gets to live, but we lost a great kid."

In addition to his parents, Dan Glover is survived by his sister, Kristian.

Visiting is today and Friday from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. at Riewerts Memorial Home, Bergenfield. The funeral Mass will be said Saturday at 9:30 a.m. at Our Lady of Mount Carmel R.C. Church, Tenafly.


Bergenfield coach grateful for Gift of Life

Saturday, February 4, 2012 
Last updated: Sunday February 5, 2012, 4:23 PM


Bergenfield baseball coach Ed Mooney said it broke me big time when he received word that the liver he desperately needed was available  and that it was from one of his former players, who died of injuries suffered in a car crash.

How do you say thank you and Im sorry at the same time? Mooney remembers saying.

The 52-year-old Mooney said Dan Glover, 24, was just the sort of person who would donate his organs.

Im not shocked Danny did something like this, he said.

Mooney spoke by telephone from his room at New York-Presbyterian Hospital on Saturday night, four days after he received Glovers liver in a 12-hour transplant operation.

Glover, a star wrestler at Bergenfield High School and Pennsylvanias Ursinus College, died Monday at a hospital in southeastern Pennsylvania, where he had been since the Jan. 21 accident. Earlier Saturday, he was eulogized at Mount Carmel R.C. Church in Tenafly as a compassionate and giving young man and a Bergenfield hometown hero.

Mooney, a longtime Little League official in Bergenfield and junior-varsity baseball coach at Bergen Catholic High School, coached Glover in Little League more than a decade ago. Mooney also volunteered with Bergenfield Highs wrestling program when Glover was setting records as the schools first wrestler to break the mark for 100 career wins.

Now, coach and athlete are linked in the most personal and profound of ways.

This makes me want to live for more than one person  for me and for Danny, and all the people who can see that miracles can happen, Mooney said.

It was indeed a miracle. The odds of the organ being a match were minuscule.

Mooney was diagnosed with cirrhosis five years ago and was placed on the waiting list for a liver last summer. He said he was far down the list and was told I would get sicker as my life progressed without a transplant.

Glovers parents, Raymond and Karyn, met last Sunday with representatives of the Gift of Life Donor Program. They knew then that Dans death was imminent.

Dan Glover, a regular blood donor, had checked off the organ-donor box on his drivers license. His parents mentioned they knew someone in their town, Mooney, who was ailing and needed a liver.

We were told not to get our hopes up because the likelihood of compatibility was so slim, Karyn Glover said Friday. But the stars aligned.

All states allow a person or family to direct an organ to a specific person needing one.

What we do is check if the person is on a waiting list, if both individuals are compatible [body size and blood type] and if the surgeon taking care of the patient [needing the organ] thinks the organ is a match, said Howard Nathan, president and CEO of Gift of Life, the organ and tissue procurement and transplant network for eastern Pennsylvania, South Jersey and Delaware.

Dan Glover and his former coach were indeed a match  right down to their type-A blood.

Nathan said less than 1 percent of the nearly 1,200 organ transplants his organization coordinated last year involved an organ directed to a person known to the donor or donors family.

If Glover and Mooney had not been a match, the liver would have gone to someone in our region, Nathan said.

Doctors also harvested Glovers heart, lungs, pancreas, corneas, bone, ligaments and skin tissue, the Glovers said. Nathan said Friday that he could not discuss the destination of those organs and tissues.

In his remarks at Glovers funeral Saturday morning, the Very Rev. Leonard J. Gilman told the hundreds of mourners that 50 or more people have found life through Danny.

About 110,000 people in the United States, including 4,700 in New Jersey, are on organ and tissue waiting lists, according to the New Jersey Sharing Network, Gift of Lifes counterpart in this region.

Mooney said he knew that Glover, who worked at a Hershey, Pa., brewery, had been in a devastating accident. Glovers 1998 Buick struck the rear of truck stopped on the Pennsylvania Turnpike during a snowstorm.

Mooney said Karyn Glover left him a phone message last Sunday to say that her son was not going to make it and that Danny wants to give me the gift of life. When Mooney called back, he reached Dan Glovers sister, Kristian. She asked Mooney his blood type and cried when it was the same blood type as her brother.

Mooney said he could be out of the hospital this week and hopes to meet with the Glovers.

Im not sure Im going to be able to hold back the tears when I see them, he said. Therell be sorrow first, but its great that I got this liver. Then again, it came from a 24-year-old kid. Ill give them as many hugs as possible.

Mooney, a former recycling inspector for Prospect Park, has coached baseball for 31 years. He kept up with his former player and worked with him last year when Glover served as Bergenfield Highs assistant wrestling coach.

Danny was up there with some of the best  but I loved all the kids I coached, he said.

Mooney, a 1977 Bergenfield graduate, runs the borough Little Leagues Junior/Senior League and kept on coaching while battling liver disease. A benefit in July raised more than $20,000 toward his medical expenses.

Now, hes eager to get back to doing what he loves.

Ill be on the third base coach side this spring, waving them in, he said.

Email: [email protected]



By ABC News

Feb 6, 2012 2:12pm

Tragedy, and Luck, Leads to Miracle Organ Transplant for Coach

ABC News’ David Meyers Reports: 

Since he was diagnosed with cirrhosis five years ago, Ed Mooney knew that if he didn’t get a liver transplant soon he’d be in serious danger. “I probably had a million people ahead of me. My sister got denied as a donor, my brother had his paperwork in and if I didn’t [find] a donor in  him, I basically was going to stay on a list, and my surgeon said I’d keep getting sicker and sicker,” Mooney told ABC News.

What the 52-year old baseball coach from Bergenfield, N.J., needed was a match, in other words, a miracle. He just never thought the miracle would come from such a tragedy. That’s where Dan Glover comes in. The 24-year old was a former star wrestler at Bergenfield High School and a player on Mooney’s Little League baseball team. He was the kind of player a coach never forgets. “He wasn’t a big kid, but he was all heart.” Mooney said.

Glover died last week from injuries he endured  in a car crash on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. And thanks to an unbelievable twist of fate, his liver went to his former coach. “This makes me want to live for more than one person –  for me and for Danny, and all the people who can see that miracles can happen,” Mooney said from his bed at New York-Presbyterian Hospital.

Mooney hopes to return home this week. When he does, he’ll finally have a chance to talk to Glover’s family, a conversation he knows will be difficult for both sides. But Glover’s sacrifice will never be forgotten by Mooney, but he knows this isn’t about him. He says, “It’s about the selfless act of a young kid who wanted to give life to others.”

Which is exactly what Glover did. His organs went to at least 50 people.



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