Kidney Quest for John

For: John Toomey & Family
Organizer: Deborah Joyce
Kidney Quest for John (John Toomey & Family)
of $45,000 goal.
Raised by 106 donors
54% Complete
This fundraiser is closed. Thank you for your support!

The Story

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 for up to date information on  John's health and progress

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on December 20, 2014

Posted on December 20, 2014

There has been an incredible outpouring of support for our family in the past few weeks.  The financial help is wonderful, but the support involves much more than just money.  We appreciate each and every gesture:  thoughts, prayers, cards, phone calls, visits, and gifts.  Our talented and generous friends spent countless hours organizing and orchestrating fundraising events for us--thank you to all who participated in any part of them. 

On Thanksgiving weekend, some dear musical friends teamed up with LaSalle Market in Canton, CT and sponsored an evening of live music with donations to benefit our fundraiser.  Friends, family, and even Santa himself contributed to the evening which raised more than $700.  

Transplant:  an art bizarre + fundraiser, the pop-up event organized at ArtSpace on December 14, was a huge success.  We loved seeing so many friends and family--that big space was filled to the brim with LOVE.  Contributions to the John Toomey Kidney Fund from the event totaled $11,000!  

Wonderful colleagues at my job surprised me this week with some holiday cash.  Our little family is feeling the love!


Posted on December 9, 2014

Posted on December 9, 2014

We are very excited about the fundraiser coming up this Sunday December 14th at the Hartford ArtSpace Gallery from 12-5 pm.  555 Asylum Ave in Harford.  Included in the participating artists is Hannah Hooper, an established fine artist and also the lead singer in the succesful rock band GROUPLOVE, who have had number one hits such as "Tongue Tied", "Colours", and "Ways to Go".  She will be donating a limited edition Grouplove print.  Hannah's fiance is Christian Zucconi, the other lead singer in the band, who is John's cousin.  John has been to numerous Grouplove shows in the New England area over the past four years, and has become very close to the members of the band.  They will be doing a benefit show for John in the near future in Los Angeles.  Stay tuned! xo

Posted on October 25, 2014

Posted on October 25, 2014

We are overwhelmed by the support and love.  Thank you all so much!

We keep a blog of medical updates here:

Also, local friends in Hartford have plans to create an art show and sale attached to this fundraiser.  Stay tuned for details!

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