by Julie Spears, Dunkirk Observer staff writer

December 2, 2006

Dudley Williams, 56, of Brocton, was diagnosed three years ago with kidney function at 38 percent.

Gradually, the function decreased and in December 2005 he started receiving dialysis. (With kidney failure, dialysis is not done until function is under 12- to 15-percent.)

Despite their own problems the family is encouraging potential donors to go to the online site.

“He decided he wanted to try for a new kidney so we talked to the wonderful nurses at Brooks dialysis unit and got things going,” Dudley’s wife Marlene Williams said.

Beginning in May, Dudley started necessary testing that would allow him to be placed on the transplant list. In August he was added to the list through Buffalo General Hospital.

Testing began with his son wanting to be a potential donor but he was turned down when his kidney function was only 90 percent. His 27-year-old daughter wants to donate but Dudley is against this because she is a young mom and “he does not want anything to happen that she could not take care of them.” Dudley’s sister was turned down due to the need for blood pressure medication.

“They have very strict guidelines that they go through to protect the person who wants to donate too,” Williams said.

The Williams’ have three children and five grandchildren and reside in Brocton.

For the Williams family the biggest expenses has been driving back and forth to Buffalo for the testing, the special diet (low sodium, low potassium diet) and the insurance co-pays.

The family is encouraging potential donors to visit an online website aimed at getting potential organ donors (wnykidneyconnection.org)

“I heard about this site by a tiny little article in the paper and just happen to see it. It was so small that I almost missed it. I am hoping that an article could be printed about the need for living donors. There is no cost to the person being tested because medicare and Universal cover it,” Williams said.

WNYKidneyConnection.org wants to increase the number of people receiving kidney transplants in local communities.

According to Jeanette Ostrom, of WNY Kidney Connection, the site is for potential living kidney donors and to help people in need on the Buffalo Waiting List.

“Over the past two years, this type of venue has been the meeting place for donors and recipients across the country. We hope that this site will help our neighbors and friends make that connection and let more people be able to give and receive the gift of life,” Ostrom said.

Governor Pataki and the Legislature created the State’s Organ and Tissue Donor Registry in June 2000 to afford individuals the ability to donate their organs and tissues for medical use.

The bills signed by the Governor in August will bolster public awareness about the critical importance and demand for organ and tissue donation, and dramatically increase the number of potential donors across the State.

The bills recently passed requires a driver’s license or renewal to prominently display the words “Organ Donor” in cases where the person has consented to donate, a license application or renewal form to include a box for a voluntary one dollar donation to the “Life Pass It On” Fund, requires the Department of Health to inform New Yorkers about the need and importance of organ and tissue donation through Health Care and Wellness Education and Outreach Program, directs the Transplant Council to issue a report on the issues surrounding presumed consent for organ donation, transforms the New York State Organ and Tissue Donor Registry to one of intent to one of consent, renames the New York State Organ and Tissue Donor Registry to the “Donate Life” Registry to further encourage organ and tissue donation, and provides up to $10,000 subtracted from federal adjusted gross income for certain un-reimbursed expenses incurred by living organ donor, including travel, lodging or lost wages.