A Plea to the Community: Daughter Seeks Kidney Donor for Mom

A Middletown family is touched by an incurable disease, and her daughter is doing what she can to find a donor.

My name is Corine Bruno, and I am a Living Kidney Donor advocate for my Mom, Carolyn Pugaczewski. We live together, with my family, in the Oak Hill section of Middletown.

My mom faces an incurable health issue called Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD). 

Polycystic Kidney Disease is a genetic disease that affects nearly 1 in 1000 Americans. PKD is characterized by the growth of numerous cysts on your kidneys which profoundly enlarges them and replaces much of the normal structure. Eventually the cysts multiply and cause your kidneys to fail. The only cure for PKD is a kidney transplant.

My mother has suffered from PKD for over 20 years. It was about 2 ½ years ago that she found out that in 2-4 years she would need a life-saving kidney transplant. This was devastating and shocking to her and our family because you never think you will be faced with such a health challenge. 

My mother is a 55-year old active woman who is extremely passionate about life.  She takes pride in taking care of herself and her family.  She is very dedicated to working out at the gym 4-5 times a week. She also loves to cook, garden, run her business, and most of all spend time with her two granddaughters. 

My mother is one of the strongest women I know and doesn’t let much stop her, but unfortunately this disease is slowing her down. In order to get my Mom back to the active, fun-loving Grandma, Wife, Mom, Sister, and Aunt we need your help in finding her a Living Kidney Donor. 

A Living Kidney Donor is the best option for my Mom because the wait for a deceased donor can be five or more years.  Another benefit is that a kidney from a living donor starts working immediately and her life expectancy would be double that of a deceased kidney.

I cannot donate as I have the same disease. (With PKD, there is a 50/50 chance of passing it onto your offspring.) But my situation has not progressed like my Mom's, and I do not need a transplant at this time. 

We are seeking a donor for my mom. Any healthy adult between the ages of 18-60 can donate.  As long as a person does not suffer from diabetes, cancer or high blood pressure they can get tested to give my Mom this ultimate gift. 

Life goes on completely normal for anyone who donates. The surgery is done laparoscopically and the donor is usually home from the hospital in 2-4 days. They are usually back to work in 1-2 weeks. A person can live a perfectly normal life with 1 kidney as your other kidney will adjust its functioning to act as there are two there. One in 700 adults are born with one kidney and do not even know it and live a perfectly normal life.  

It has also been proven that people who are kidney donors tend to live longer than non donors because their health has been screened so closely prior to donation. A person does not have to be so-called "medically perfect" to donate.  

I know this may seem like a big request, but please think of how you would feel if it were your Mom, Dad, Brother, Sister, Daughter, Son, or other close relative in need of this life saving gift.  There are no words that can express what this gift would mean to us. 

Having her here to continue to share life’s joys and to create more lasting memories with me, my children, and our family is my mission. 

If you would like more information on how you can help please either contact me at rinbin99@aol.com or Living Donor Nurse Marie Morgievich @973-322-2286 of St. Barnabas Hospital. 

You can also visit my Mom’s website at www.carolynpugaczewski.com for more information.


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