My name is Ernie. I'm fifty-three years old and live with my wife, Pam, in the village of Port Chester, New York. We have three daughters: Crystal and Alyssa, who are young adults, and Breanne, who is eleven.
My one-year-old grandson, Lucas, is growing so quickly! Such fun having the little guy around! He's a smart and active little boy who loves spending time playing games with his grandpa. (Grandpa loves it, too!) My fervent prayer is that I will live long enough to watch Lucas grow up.
At home, I enjoy cooking and spending time with my family. Prior to my illness, I worked as a maintenance person at a nearby village's senior citizen center. I am also a volunteer fireman for the village I live in. Unfortunately, because I'm now on diaysis, I'm unable to work. Although I'm on disability, I still volunteer as an auxiliary police officer whenever I'm able.
My kidney failure is the result of diabetes, which is one of the two most common causes. (The other is high blood pressure.) I've been on dialysis two and one-half years, but because dialysis is very hard on the body and causes other serious health problems, it's only a temporary solution. In fact, the average life span of someone on dialysis is just five years. I've been on the waiting list for a deceased-donor kidney for two and one-half years; however, the wait for a deceased donor in my area is about five years. (Deceased-donor organs are distributed regionally, not nationally.) And, because a kidney patient's best chance for survival is to receive a kidney from a living rather than a deceased donor, I'm seeking a living donor.
My transplant center, New York-Presbyterian University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell, is ranked third in the nation in nephrology by U.S. New Best Hospital ratings. I have Type O blood, but because New York Presbyterian participates in paired donation, a person of any blood type can donate. My insurance covers a donor's transplant-related medical expenses, including testing and follow-up. You need not be a resident of New York in order to donate. For those who do not live nearby, programs are available to cover the costs of transportation, lodging, meals, and car rental. If you are interested in being tested to see if you are a match for me, please contact my transplant coordinator, Brian, toll-free at 1-800-443-8469 or locally at 212-342-0840.
Thank you for taking the time to read my story and for considering giving me the Gift of Life. If you would like to follow my journey or contact me personally, you may do so by visiting my Facebook page, Donate for Ernie Tigani. If you are unable to donate but would like to help, please share my story with others by clicking on the icons below. Thanks so very much.
With hope and prayers, Ernie
My family at Lucas's baptism: wife, Pam; daughters Breanne, Crystal, and Alyssa; son-in-law, Victor; and Lucas
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My lovely daughters, Breanne, Crystal, and Alyssa
Lucas has been a wonderful addition to all of our lives.
Daughters Alyssa (l) and Breanne (r) with me at the Eastern States Exposition, a fair that features products made in New England.
Lucas with me at his baptism