You can help a family #GloucesterMA – March is National Kidney Month – Desperately Seeking healthy kidney O+/-🩸 type

Rose (Vitale) Geomelos grew up in Gloucester. Some GMG readers may know Rose and her relatives, including brother, Paul Vitale. You may have seen the sch. Angela & Rose heading out and returning.

That’s Rose’s name on her brother’s boat.

photo caption: Angela & Rose – photo copyright © Paul Frontiero

Rose is reaching out. Her husband, Lenny Geomelos, a hard working, youth sports coaching, North Shore man–with Gloucester family– is in urgent need of a healthy kidney.

If you are O +/- blood type, please consider registering for the kidney donation program for Lenny Geomelos, or the *paired exchange program for kidney donation. You’ll help save a life and family.

The first time I heard about kidney donors was when a friend of my family, who resided in Rockport, registered to be a kidney donor and eventually was a match, some time back in the 1990s. Her generosity inspired all, and helped save a family like Rose’s & Lenny’s.

Before our friend became a donor she read about it in the local paper, long before there was any social media. Who knows? Someone reading GMG might be a good fit or be the connecting share that helps this family meet a just right match. March is National Kidney Month so please share to help spread awareness.

“Sometimes it’s very difficult to do anything outside of your comfort zone for many different reasons. Seeking help is most definitely one that is out of my comfort zone, but I also realize for the sake of my wife and children, I need to take that step and seek help from altruistic strangers or possibly even people that may know me through my wife Rose, who was born and raised in Gloucester.”

– My name is Lenny Geomelos and I am in desperate need of a new and healthy, life-saving kidney. March 2021

How to help

For anyone interested in helping me, or spreading the word to others, the initial contact must come from potential donor candidate by registering with the Living Kidney Donor Center at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.

Go to Register as a potential donor – Donor Registration (donorscreen.org)  to register as a potential donor and submit the application.  When asked who you are looking to help, please enter LEONARD GEOMELOS. It’s easy to sign up but it’s not so easy to find a match. We have been unable thus far.

*Paired Exchange Program – If you are not a direct blood type match to the person you are seeking to help, you can enter the program whereby your kidney may match another patient in need within the program; and in turn, another person in the program that might be a direct match to the person you are looking to help, will receive a kidney in exchange for your donated kidney.

Fast facts

  • Name- Leonard Geomelos; I am 55 years old and I am feeling the severely negative impact of my declining kidney functions. Born and raised on the North Shore
  • Wife- Rose (Vitale) Geomelos, Gloucester, Mass. native
  • Kids- daughter in high school; son in middle school
  • Hospital – Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA. Fun fact: Dr. Joseph E. Murray and associates at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital performed the FIRST successful living donor transplant–a brother for his identical twin.
  • 150,000 transplants in the United States were made possible by living donors

What happened to my kidney?

I have been a diabetic for most of my adult life and have successfully managed my sugar levels.

A few years ago, I lost weight and became healthier which enabled me to get off my diabetes medications, however, my blood pressure and sugar levels inexplicably became quite elevated and landed me in the hospital twice in the span of about 8 months, where unfortunately my kidneys took an enormous hit and since then, my kidney functions have just continued to decline to where I learned in November 2019 that I’m in Stage 5 kidney failure which has forced me to now require Dialysis.

My family

“I love my family and want to continue to be here for them.  I have my wonderful wife Rose by my side and our beautiful children – our 15-year-old daughter and our 13-year-old son that I provide for and love more than anything.

I very much want to continue being here growing old with my loving wife whom I adore, and also continue to watch our children grow up in life and have the opportunity to share many more years of great memories.

I want to walk my beautiful daughter — when the time comes — down the aisle, when she is ready to begin that new chapter in her life. And I want to be there when my son makes that same transition from youth into becoming a family man himself.

A life-saving kidney would also afford me the opportunity to hopefully someday meet, hold, and watch my grandchildren grow up, and I want to do all that with my loving wife right by my side.”

Lenny

My job – I have worked with the same company for almost 40 years

I was taught at a young age by my parents that to achieve anything, you have to work hard and also give back to your community. I started working at a young age of 10 years old and consider myself a very hard and loyal worker with strong work ethics and strong family values. I have been with the same company for almost 40 years.

My job is extremely physical and my condition is making it harder for me to do my job. I will never quit because I feel that is not an option since I have never quit anything in my life.

My community

Through my years, I have donated my time to youth sports and also various charity events through my affiliation with the Shriners. I am a youth sports coach and have coached baseball, softball and still coach youth football. Thus, I would very much like to continue to be involved in those youth sport programs, especially for my son. It means so much to watch young athletes grow with the sport and help them develop a love for the game, but more importantly, I aim to teach athletes to understand that through their participation in sports, they come to value the importance of family and education, as well as, the importance of teamwork and teaching kids to overcome obstacles in sports that may help them to use those same skills to overcome any potential obstacles in life. And here I face one of those obstacles in my life that I am in turn, reaching out for help to overcome!

“And so, I am hopeful in finding that ‘someone wonderful’ out there — who will find it in their heart to bless my family and I — that beautiful “GIFT OF LIFE!”

No amount of THANK YOUs could ever express the gratitude I would feel in finding that special person out there that is willing and able to help in my quest to find a healthy new kidney for me.”

Lenny

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