Urban Buzz Coffee is more than your average local shop for teas, coffees, and pastries. Located in the heart of Cape Coral, Urban Buzz has defined themselves as a business with a mission, dedicated to giving back to their local community. Every quarter, Urban Buzz Coffee hosts outreach days, where $1 dollar from each drink sale goes back to benefiting local causes. This past August, they chose to highlight Donate Life Florida, the state’s organ, eye and tissue registry, as their charity of choice.
The Donate Life mission is personal to Urban Buzz Coffee. Co-owner Jeff Eble experienced first-hand the miracle of transplantation when his life was saved in 2015 thanks to the generosity of an organ donor.
Jeff underwent his first open heart surgery at the age of four to repair defects in his heart that were present at birth. The surgery was noted to be a success and allowed Jeff to have a normal, active childhood. Years later, in 1996, Jeff now married, a father to a newborn, performing three nights a week in a rock band and working at a new business had noticed changes in his body. He was more tired than usual, and his wife, Sharene, noted that his heartbeat sounded odd whenever she would lay on his chest. A speedy visit to Jeff’s cardiologist revealed grave news. Jeff’s aortic valve was no longer functioning at a normal level and he had an aneurysm the size of a baseball in his chest.
During his operation, doctors placed in a mechanical aortic valve, repaired his ventricular septal defect (VSD), fistula and removed the aneurysm. Post-operatively, Jeff’s surgeon remained in complete disbelief on how Jeff had managed to live life with as much ease as he had considering how advanced his heart disease had become.
In 2010, Jeff had a pacemaker and defibrillator implanted in his chest. In 2012, he developed congestive heart failure which led to needing a biventricular pacemaker. By 2014, Jeff was added to the national transplant waiting list, in desperate need of a heart. Finally, on August 24th, 2015 Jeff received the gift of a new heart. After many adjustments to life with his transplant, even experiencing acute cellular rejection, Jeff and his family were finally able to move back to their home in Colorado. Due to the high altitude of Colorado, and the Eble family home being 6,600 feet above sea level, Jeff, Sharene and their youngest son, Adam, decided to sell their home and move to sunny Florida.
In appreciation and gratitude for the gift that saved his life, a year after his transplant, Jeff wrote a letter to his donor family. In 2018, Jeff connected with Genny and Norbert Alberts, who shared the legacy of their donor hero son, Herbert. Herbert tragically lost his life in a traffic accident at the age of 29 and his parents made the decision for him to become an organ, eye and tissue donor.
Anxious to meet in-person, the Alberts family offered Jeff and Sharene the opportunity to attend the 2019 Rose Parade held each year on New Year’s Day in Pasadena, California. At a press conference, in front of cameras and media reporters, a nervous Jeff finally met many members of Herbert’s family. Jeff and his family returned to the Rose Parade in 2020, after his donor family sponsored him to ride on the Donate Life Float, which appears in the parade to honor all those impacted by donation. Both families keep in touch and continue to honor Hebert, not only for the life he lived, but the life he selflessly gave. About his donor, Jeff said, “I’m eternally grateful for Herbert and his amazing family - Genny, Norbert, Evelyn and James - for deciding to donate his organs.”
On April 25, 2020, in partnership with their eldest son Alex, Urban Buzz Coffee was born and quickly grew as a popular coffee hotspot in Southwest Florida despite the challenges brought on by COVID-19. The family has plans to franchise and set up a second location in Ft. Myers where they can bring more delicious drinks to coffee lovers in Florida. While expansion plans are in place, Urban Buzz continues to be mission focused in giving back to their community in any way that can. On their “Give Back Day” for Donate Life Florida, $1,800 dollars were raised and will go towards furthering organ, eye and tissue donation education in the state of Florida.
To learn more about Urban Buzz Coffee, visit https://www.urbanbuzzcoffee.com.
Feeling buzzed about donation? Sign up to save lives by visiting www.lifelinkfoundation.org.