My name is Anthony Geremia, I was diagnosed with kidney failure in 2010 and have been on dialysis since then (I was actually told on Dec 23rd, 2008 that my kidneys were in trouble, but the final straw was a water pill I was put on that did them in).
I must point out that my kidney failure was a direct result of high blood pressure. I have been asked, more than once, if I was a heavy drinker. I was not, and kidney failure has NOTHING to do with alcohol. My kidney problem was inherited. My paternal grandmother died from kidney failure and everyone in my family has high blood pressure, making all of them poor donor candidates, as well as possible kidney failure patients.
I have been on the NY kidney list since 2010, but that list can take up to 12 years to produce a donor. I am searching for a live donor. The donor does not even need to match me, they just need to be a viable donor. That means someone who is relatively healthy (no high blood pressure, no diabetes, no illnesses that affect the kidneys). The facility can and will arrange what they call a donor swap. If I can produce a viable donor, even if there is no personal match, they will make the match with someone else.
Donating a kidney, while a big deal for me, is not that bad for the donor. Yes, there is an operation, and pain, but the donor actually heals quickly and can return to their normal life in about 2 weeks, sometimes less. The donor will have no loss of quality of life from their donation and they automatically go to the head of any list if they ever need a donated organ. They will also have my undying gratitude as well as the same from the rest of my family.
I am currently unable to work, although I managed to keep my business going until 2012. I am a musician and artist. I ran a fairly successful automotive customizing company until I was unable to work any longer. I would love to reopen, but I cannot at this time. Dialysis is taking a toll on my stamina, energy and ambition. I need to get back to being a productive member of society. Getting a kidney would help in that immeasurably.
I am currently receiving no help or assistance of any kind. I am not on Welfare, Food Stamps or any other state-run program. I am living off my bank account, which is dwindling quickly. Luckily, I have health insurance. Dialysis costs $74,000 per month. I’d be completely broke in 2 months without my insurance. Paying my rent, utilities and car insurance, not to mention food and any extras I may need, is emptying the bank quickly……