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Albany Medical Center Foundation

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When the Call Went Out, the Firefighters Answered

Michele Geissler knows what it’s like to sit through a dialysis treatment. The West Charlton resident has been through quite a few due to kidney issues.

“It’s hours and hours at a time,” she said. “It’s tough for me, and I’m an adult. I can’t imagine what it’s like for kids.”

Michele Geissler
Michele Geissler shares a smile with kids on the dialysis unit. 

Neither could a group of Schenectady firefighters who recently made a generous donation to the Children’s Hospital.

It started back in September 2011, when Geissler and her then 16-year-old son Stephen decided to help kids undergoing dialysis by donating an Xbox gaming system and a few games to the pediatric dialysis unit at Albany Medical Center.

“When I came to the hospital for my yearly visit last January they told me how much the kids were enjoying the games,” Michele Geissler said.  “So I put a shout-out on Facebook to see if my friends had any used games we could add.”

George Burns of the Schenectady Fire Department presents video games to Nicholas, a patient in the dialysis unit.

Immediately, she heard from several members of the Schenectady Fire Department from where she had retired.

The firefighters collected nearly 40 Xbox games and a brand new Xbox gaming system to donate, helping children pass time during dialysis treatment. The system will also be shared within the Children’s Hospital.

“We’re really happy to share these with you and hope they make your time here a little bit easier,” Capt. Don Mareno said during a recent visit to the dialysis unit to present the gifts and meet the children.

“I should have known with these guys,” Geissler said of the firefighters. “You ask them for anything and they run with it.”

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