Risa Gans - Gone, But Never Forgotten



Risa Gans Tribute


Risa Caron Gans

Oct 7, 1959 – Nov 4, 2018

The tears are streaming down my face and my heart is heavy as I write this post about an amazing woman and friend, Risa Gans. I learned of her passing a couple of days ago, and attempted to get confirmation as there was some conflicting information about when she passed. Late last night, I received two confirmations of her passing.

Risa was a driving force in the organ transplant community. She had two double lung transplants (1996 & 2005) She started at least a couple of sites for transplant recipients and donors, as well as a beacon of hope to those that were waiting. The sites were TransplantBuddies and TransplantFriends. They were a "safe place" for those of us in the transplant community to come and ask questions, to share out thoughts, our fears and also share our hope and prayers for those fighting to simply stay alive. As Facebook grew and took off, she also ran a group there. She touched, encouraged and helped educate literally thousands of people.

She touched me, she touched my life in profound ways. The first year after my heart transplant, when I seemed lost at times, I lurked on her site, TransplantBuddies.com. I learned a lot and Risa and the folks on that site helped calm my fears and helped to educate me. I finally joined her and her community around my first transplant anniversary and we’ve helped each other through some issues over the years. We stayed in touch on issues over time, and when she kind of "disappeared" from her online world a couple of weeks ago, and through requests from others that also knew and loved her I started looking and found her "obituary" –


or here –


She is mourned by thousands.

Thank you Risa for everything, you are an AMAZING person that will always be LOVED and missed!

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  •  This is such sorrowful news. Risa encouraged us all to be diligent in protecting our bodies after transplant. I know she had many health problems, yet she faced them head on while taking such responsibility for her own health.  Risa was such an encourager for all of us and the loss of her daily commitment  to us will be mourned. How do we not cry for such a loss as this? You’ll be in our hearts forever Risa, for your tremendous help to all of us as we started on our own path.

  • In response to the post from  Linda i remember back in the summer Risa saying in a post that her lungs were rejecting.with this being a likely possibility we may never know for sure unless a family member of hers responds to us.this is the first time I have ever mourned the death of a person only known to me online but it is no easier than any other friend this site will never be the same without Risa.

  • This is so sad. May I ask what led to her passing?

  • I’m so sad to hear this news! Rise always wrote me with words of encouragement. Her positive attitude was a real blessing to me. She was such a genuine loving person. I always felt I had a friend that understood this difficult at times process. I want to say Thank You Rise for your love and support, Rest In Peace. 

  • Wow! This is "Hostess Rise" I suppose? I am new here and had thought about what a wonderful person to start this place of so much care and information! I am sure the maintenance of this site takes much time and some monetary resources as well.

    I barely knew her but certainly will miss her...may her spirit rise in eternity.

  • I am stunned by Risa's passing. She was a friend and a confidant, who helped me in so many ways. I volunteered to help her with the daily maintenance of the Transplant Friends site for the past few years, which fit my need to "give back" for all the blessings bestowed upon me.

    Risa was an inspiration to me, as well, caring for all transplant recipients and their families and furthering the education and support to members of both social networks she developed. Her latest passion, Transplant Buddies Awareness, on Facebook, is alive and flourishing, connecting the community of recipients and will stand as a lasting tribute to her and her caring heart.

  • Her memory will live long and shine bright in the hearts of so many for so long, including mine. I will miss her beautiful and generous spirit and always feel blessed to have met her. 

  • A good heart has stopped beating, a good soul ascended to heaven - RIP Risa!

  • I feel so sad. She did so much for this community.  She will always be loved and missed. 

    RIP Risa. 

  • Risa, so stunned and saddened that you are no longer with us. You’ve been the inspiration and shining light for 1,000’s.  Sending huge condolences to your family. ❤️

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