Even when I was a little boy, I was always extremely curious and asked my parents and siblings questions constantly. The bright dots of light in the dark, upstate NY nightly sky always amazed me and I was determined to better understand what was happening on these distant stars. Were there planets orbiting those stars like earth orbited the sun? Was there life on those planets?
As probably no surprise to those who knew me, I chose to go to a science and engineering college and eventually settled on studying physics. While working towards my Ph.D., I was a teaching assistant and helped teach introductory physics to college freshmen. I enjoyed my research but sometimes found it tedious. On the other hand, I very much liked my work as a TA. I ended up leaving the program and found a job teaching physics at a boarding high school.
In my almost 30-year career, I have taught physics at all levels, coached boys freshmen basketball and advised in a dormitory on campus. I’ve been lucky to have a career where I can share my curiosity and excitement of learning new things with others who are inspired by my unabashed geekiness. I hope my students think it’s cool to be inquisitive and want to know the answer to difficult questions.
More recently I had the opportunity to travel and see other parts of the world. My curiosity has spread from the physical sciences to learning about other cultures, geography, foods, art, architecture, and other languages. Before the pandemic I was thankful for the opportunity to visit Portugal, Italy, France, Japan and other countries.
My doctor first noticed a declining kidney function about 15 years ago during routine bloodwork taken at my yearly physical. I was immediately referred to a nephrologist who has worked with me ever since.
Despite exceptional care from my doctors, my kidney function continues to get worse. A little over a year ago my doctor informed me that I should start the process of looking for a kidney donor. He thought my kidneys probably had about a year before I would need to start dialysis. Unfortunately he was correct, and I started dialysis a few months ago.
I'm doing peritoneal dialysis at home. I'm grateful to have wonderful doctors and a supportive employer, but it has been challenging to do the daily dialysis I need while teaching full time. So far we have had to change dialysis techniques a few times as we experiment to find out what treatment works best to remove enough wastes from my body. I have struggled to have the time and energy to give my job and other personal commitments the time they demand.
Getting a transplant would allow me to have my life back. Right now I’m tired almost all the time and find it extremely challenging to focus on my teaching with the energy and time my students deserve. Until I get a transplant, I’m afraid my kidney failure will get even worse and make my life even more challenging than it already is. If I did not have to do dialysis every day, I could travel much more easily. Someday I hope to continue to see parts of the world I've never seen before. My bucket list isn’t getting any shorter.
I really need your help. A kidney transplant is really the only way to regain my health so I can continue teaching and living the life I want to live.
If you're healthy and have two kidneys, please consider donating a kidney. It's quite amazing that a healthy person can live a perfectly full life with only one kidney. You can talk to the donation center at Yale New Haven Hospital (call 866-925-3897 or click on the link on this page) and they will answer any questions you have. If, at any time, you change your mind and would like to drop out of the donation process, you can do so.
Please consider donating. And don’t automatically discard yourself as a potential donor, thinking our blood types wouldn’t match or you live too far away. Let the experts at Yale decide who would be a good match and they are experts and working out the logistics for potential donors who don't live nearby. If you’re healthy and able, please call.
The whole process is anonymous without me knowing who is being tested and any details about their private health conditions.
If you are not able to donate but still want to help, please share this page on your social media and spread the word. We need to get the word out and find someone who can give me a kidney. I appreciate anything you can do to help me find a donor.
If you are considering being a living donor please use links below to contact Jon Gadoua's Transplant Center. Begin by completing the donor questionnaire
There are currently 120,000 people waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant in the U.S. Of these, 100,000 await kidney transplants.
The median wait time for a kidney transplant is 3-5 years and can vary depending on health, compatibility, and where you live.
In 2014, 17,107 kidney transplants took place in the U.S. Of these, 11,570 came from deceased donors and 5,537 came from living donors.
Every 14 minutes someone is added to the kidney transplant waitlist.
A kidney from a living donor lasts longer and begins functioning more quickly than a kidney from a deceased donor.
In 1995, kidney donation became minimally invasive with a procedure called laparoscopic nephrectomy, which only requires four small incisions. Hospital stay is typically only 3 days after this operation.
Not blood type compatible with your recipient to be a living donor? Kidney Paired Donation (the “kidney swap” program) enables incompatible candidates with a living donor to receive a kidney from a compatible donor.
Last year, over 700 living donor kidney transplants occurred using Kidney Paired Donation.
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