GASPORT — Bill Bucolo needs a kidney.
He’s been on dialysis since February 2020, his donor fell through in June and, in order to stay competitive for an organ, he’s not even allowed to eat ice-cream.
Bucolo is covered with scars from former surgeries. He can tell you stories of being diagnosed at birth for a tumor in his right kidney. He can show you the scar from his first transplant at age 26.
Now pushing 35, it seems that Bucolo isn’t going to be knocked down. He’s living to the fullest that he can.
“Whatever I can do to keep active and strong,” Bucolo said. “That’s the objective, to stay strong and healthy, because then I’m a perfect candidate for a transplant.”
Some of the things that Bucolo has been doing is helping out at a local diner, as well as volunteering over at Artpark. During “Pirate Fest” in Olcott, he helped out another food truck.
And he’s not just exercising his muscles either.
Bucolo has been taking classes at Niagara County Community College – online – to get into human services, something he feels keenly as “a statistic.”
“I’ve been going to school to keep my mind busy, too,” he said. “I love helping people, I used to work in a group home and it’s kind of in the same category. … It’s going to be an associates in arts and human service. … Right now I’m doing online, in the fall it’ll be in-person, five classes. This summer I just did three classes.”
Bucolo wants to thank everyone who’s helped him, from his mother, his friends and even strangers who may have thrown in some change into his fundraising jar found at local businesses. The money goes directly into buying more magnets people can stick on the back of their car. The magnet has the number to his team in Rochester and from there interested donors can learn about the process to being an organ donor.
“The more people getting tested, the better the outcome,” Bucolo said. “They want the perfect donor and the perfect recipient.”
“They’re really strict on me,” he continued, noting that his attitude is important as well. “I have to remain active, my blood pressure has to be good, (I have to be) positive, no depression. I mean, we all get depressed and anxious, but I find ways to calm myself, hiking, when I get the chance.”
In addition to magnets, Bucolo has t-shirts, drink koozies, vinyl stickers and even a banner that hangs on his porch. He hopes that someone will get the message and be able to help. He noted his blood type is A+ and he was born July 25, 1985.
To get the process started, interested parties can call 1-585-275-7753 or email email@example.com.