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1 death brings hope to 7 others

Tammy Ross would like to see the faces or at least know the names of the seven people whose lives could be changed forever by her younger sister.

"She was a special person," Ross said of her sister Tina Schaffner. "She was always thinking about others."

It was because she cared, Ross said, that her sister had requested that her organs be donated.

Schaffner, 25, died Sunday, two days after she was struck by a pickup truck as she chased her little black poodle, Rossi, into Sixth Street S.

Schaffner, who her family said had the mental development of a 10-year-old, got her wish with the help of Lifelink of Florida, an organ procurement foundation working with Schaffner's family.

Schaffner's heart was donated to a 52-year-old man in Georgia. Two women from Pennsylvania received her lungs. Her liver was received by a 45-year-old Georgia woman. Schaffner's kidney was given to a 61-year-old Florida man. Two men in Pennsylvania will receive her corneas.

"What Tina and her family have done has impacted seven lives," Lifelink spokeswoman Barbara Banks said.

That would have pleased Schaffner, her family said. She loved people and was devoted to her pet.

"Since she couldn't have what most Americans stereotype as a normal life, her dog was like her child. She would take Rossi out for a walk every day."

St. Petersburg police spokesman Wendell Creager said Schaffner was taking her poodle for an afternoon walk Friday when it broke away and dashed into traffic. Schaffner raced after him and was hit by the 1989 Ford pickup. No charges were filed.

Schaffner was a courtesy clerk, bagging groceries at the Publix store on Sixth Street S.

"She did a fantastic job," said George Hofstetter , assistant manager of the store.

Schaffner's dog is expected to have surgery to repair a hole in a lung and a fractured leg. He is being cared for free of charge by a local veterinarian, Ross said.

Services for Schaffner will be Friday at 11 a.m. at All Faiths Funeral Home, 2600 Gandy Blvd.