John Toomey is my cousin. I'm starting this fundraiser because John needs a kidney desperately. Unfortunately he is not eligible now due to recent health complications which need to be treated first (hepatitis C, contracted from earlier dialysis treatments, liver complications, heart infection and fevers). This will be John's third kidney transplant.
John is an AWESOME husband to Dawn and LOVING Dad to Lily, 14 and Dawit, 12 (adopted from Ethiopia). When his kidney of 22 years failed him suddenly in February, he put his house on the market to downsize and free up some money in anticipation of a 'long haul' of financial difficulties and uncertainty. Unfortunately, John's health issues grew complicated very quickly, leaving him and his family too vunerable physically and emotionally to see the sale of the house through.
Despite this difficulties and ensuing full time home dialysis, fevers, heart and liver problems, John continued to work full time in the contruction field against his doctor's recommendations, in order to meet the financial needs of his family. When work in his area of specialty was not available locally, he planned to take a position in Albany, NY for the next year and a half, retuning home to CT on weekends. As his health worsened, however, John was forced to submit not only to dialysis, but to daily intravenous treatments of strong antibiotics in the hope of getting him well enough to secure a place on the kidney list for transplant.
John hasn't had an easy life. I still remember him as a little boy swollen to 3 times his naturally fragile size with prednisone. It broke my heart, and yet he was surprisingly cheerful, optimistic, and fun-loving. He is still that way today...almost unware that he has a kidney problem. John truly has NO IDEA that he is the exceptional, brave, loving person that he is. I'm sure he also has NO IDEA how much he's affected the lives of family and friends through his ready, effortless and ongoing kindnesses, his optimism in the face of great challenges (he has faced many other near-tragic challenges and survived with strength, optimism, and dignity intact). He has been a model of fortitude and integrity for all of us in our family and is completely unaware of it, I'm sure. He never asks for anything, or expects anything of anyone. If he were to see this text, he would not believe it or allow it to be printed.
In closing, if I could only give you just a glimpse into the heart and soul of this remarkable man you would see a human being of great compassion, strenth, generosity, and integrity. More than anything else you would see a man who has ALWAYS been there for everyone else without ever having to be asked, even when he was ill. I know this, as he has been like a big brother to my sons and has always been a part of their lives, through thick and thin. For those who don't know John..I KNOW for sure... if you knew him, you would love him too! There is no one I know who is more deserving of help, for all that he has done for everyone. So, family, friends, and those of you we haven't had the pleasure of meeting but have experienced the ordeal of waiting for an organ, please find it in your hearts to help this extraordinary man and his family. My family and I (past and present) thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Clan, let's all rally around Johnny and show him how much he means to all of us....NOW!
Please visit John's blog at www.fivekidneys.blogspot.com for up to date information on John's health and progress