Help The 'Kidney Beans' Team Save Their Dad From Diabetes-Induced End Stage Renal Disease
Posted Aug 24 2008 3:02pm
Joe Gaetani needs kidney transplant to see his kids grow up
Today I received an e-mail from someone who understands the fragility of life and how much your life can change when you put positive energy into doing something good. He just so happens to be the winner of Season 4 of "The Biggest Loser"-- Bill Germanakos . Getting his life back thanks to the hit NBC weight loss reality show now gives Bill a tender heart for those who are suffering from physical ailments that are sometimes out of their control.
That message really hit home for Bill when his 5th grade son came home and told him that one of his classmate's dad is very, very sick from end stage renal disease brought on by Type 1 diabetes. As you know, this is the kind of diabetes where the body stops making its own insulin, so the danger of complications can happen at virtually anytime. That's exactly what has happened to Joe Gaetani.
Bill said this is a "wonderful family" and they deserve to see their dad around for many more years to come. He encouraged people to be generous with any donations you can spare for this family as they take part in the greater New York-Long Island National Kidney Foundation Walk this Sunday at Hofstra University.
"It would be great if each of us can help out, even if it just means donating a couple of dollars," Bill explained in the e-mail. "I'm sure that we can help make a difference for this family. Thanks for your consideration."
The leader of "The Kidney Beans" team is Joe's 10-year old son Frank Gaetani who shared his dad's story and asked for the support of anyone who could help. For most of his young life, Frank has seen his father go through four hours of dialysis early in the morning, faithfully go to work afterwards, and still be home in time to be with his kids before they went to bed at night. Frank loves his dad and shared all the difficulties that have happened over the past seven years.
"My dad needed a kidney transplant. In May 2001 he was able to get one from a cadaver. I am very grateful that my dad got a kidney. We pray each day for that person. My mom and dad write and speak to the donor family they are like our family.
For several years dad was strong, healthy and always feeling great. My mom and dad always tell us how we should appreciate each day and each other. Time spent together is the most important thing to us.
In early November 2006, my dad got an infection in his leg. Because he is a diabetic, the infection was very bad and it took a long time for him to get better. He was sick until December and after many antibiotics, he was getting better. After that infection, dad went back to his normal activities but he would get sick often. His immune system was not strong.
During the summer of 2007 my mom kept saying dad is not well. Something is not right. Dad had no energy but would never complain. By November we found out my dad needed heart surgery for blocked arteries. This wouldn’t be a problem if he wasn’t a diabetic and his kidneys were healthy.
Though his heart is better, his kidneys were damaged by the dye and all the antibiotics he had to take. My dad began dialysis again in February this year."
Limited to just one liter of fluids per day makes life very difficult for him and he can't even have some fruits and vegetables because of their water content. It's a grave situation that they hope and pray will result in a kidney transplant. That's why they'll be walking this Sunday at 10:30am EST in the hopes of raising enough money and bring awareness to this problem.
Joe's wife Nancy is putting all this together and could really use your encouragement and support as she deals with her husband's illness. Feel free to drop Nancy Gaetani an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and let her know you are thinking and praying for her husband and their family through this amazingly difficult time. These are good people who deserve a chance at a normal life like the rest of us who take it for granted most of the time.