In 2010, Gerard Ceraso received a kidney donation from a living donor, his wife, Michele.
The Newark, NJ-born Ceraso did not have any specific condition that led to him needing a kidney. But he believes a ruptured appendix he endured years prior could be one of the reasons why.
Additionally, Ceraso’s dad died of kidney failure at the young age of 42. Therefore, genetics could have possibly played a part in his need for a kidney.
The 66-year-old Toms River, N.J., resident said in 2008 that his doctors told him he was going into kidney failure.
“I didn’t feel that bad before the first transplant,” Ceraso recalled. “I had my ankles swollen and had a little trouble breathing, but I was okay.”
However, it did not preclude Ceraso from needing a new kidney. Two years later, his wife bestowed him with a miracle, allowing him to avoid dialysis.
“My wife was my guardian angel,” he added. “I was able to get a (kidney from a) living donor.”
But in March of 2019, doctors determined Ceraso would need to start dialysis this time and eventually find a new kidney.
The retired court officer of 43 years has been undergoing treatments three times a week, at four hours per session for nearly two years.
While the effects of dialysis range in severity and limit him in some capacity–from being unable to drive on his days of treatment to being fatigue–Ceraso, a New York Yankee and Jet fan, soldiers on like a trooper.
Ceraso, meanwhile, is awaiting for someone to step up and donate a kidney. And he has someone crucial in his search: his kidney advocate, Donna Tissot, who has been working tirelessly in finding him a donor.
“Donna has been doing everything she can (to find me a kidney),” he said. “She has been wonderful.”
Tissot said that the procedure for the donor is not as scary as one would think. And Tissot encourages people to get tested to see if they are a viable candidate for the surgery. If they are suitable for the producer, recovery time is around four-six weeks, per mayoclinic.org.
“Please share your spare because you can live with one kidney. Sharing is caring, and you could be the person to save his life,” Tissot said. “Gerard needs our help in getting him the gift of life. Please share this article with family and friends because miracles do happen.”
To help Ceraso and others awaiting a life-saving kidney transplant, visit the links below.
The New Jersey Sharing Network: https://www.njsharingnetwork.org/.
The living donor referral form: www.rwjbh.org/livingdonorreferralform (Please complete the referral form and indicate donor for Gerard Ceraso).
Living donor website: https://www.rwjbh.org/ldi.
The NJ Sharing Network is a non-profit organization responsible for the recovery and placement of donated organs and tissue for those in need of a life-saving transplant.
Nearly 4,000 New Jersey residents are currently awaiting transplantation, according to its website.
— Jerry Del Priore