On Sunday in Brighton, former Boston City Councilor John Nucci and his family took part in the Walk for Polysystic Kidney Disease (PKD). Team Nucci raised money during Sunday’s walk for PKD research with the goal of some day finding a cure for the disease.
Last year Nucci underwent a lifesaving kidney transplant surgery after from Revere native Kerri Abrams came forward as a donor. Nucci is now back at work at Suffolk University where he serves as Senior Vice President.
During his long wait for a donor, Nucci dedicated his life to raising awareness and money for PKD.
“People should not feel that the solution for people like me with PKD is only a transplantation, although it is obviously a lifesaver,” said Nucci after the walk. “The real solution is to find a cure for PKD. Having a beautiful grandson brought into our lives six weeks ago is amazing. Frankly, I frankly wasn’t sure I’d see the day, but thanks to Kerri Abrams and her donated kidney, here I am. God bless Kerri and others like her who sign up to donate a kidney to those in need.”
Nucci, now 67, has suffered from PKD since his 30s. PKD is the same kidney disease that killed his dad at the age of 64. Nucci found out that he had inherited the same genetic disorder where the renal tubules become structurally abnormal, resulting in the development and growth of multiple cysts within the kidney.
The diagnosis was grim and for the last three decades, Nucci lived knowing that someday his kidneys would begin shutting down.
After Abrams was found to be a donor match, the two underwent surgery on June 19, 2018 to save Nucci’s life.
Abrams, who owns Kinship Florist in Revere, had a family connection to Nucci.
Thirty-five years ago Abrams’ parents, Kim and Al, were political supporters and friends of Nucci. At the time neither Nucci nor the Abrams could have ever guessed that Kim and Al’s daughter would donate her kidney to help save Nucci’s life nearly four decades later.
“On Sunday the entire Nucci family and friends participated in the Walk To End Polysystic Kidney Disease,” said Nucci’s wife Peggy. “This deadly disease has no cure and takes lives every day. Thankfully, John, who inherited PKD from this dad, received a kidney transplant from Kerri Abrams (our angel), but not everyone is so lucky. Hopefully a cure will be found soon.”
Over the summer a group of close friends and family were invited to a luncheon at Rino’s Place in East Boston.
The day marked the one year anniversary of Nucci’s kidney transplant. Of the event, Nucci said he wanted to bring the group of friends and family together to thank them for all their love and support during his battle against PKD, his life-saving transplant surgery and subsequent recovery.
“There are really no words to explain the gratitude I feel towards my family and friends and of course Kerri, my wonderful donor who gave me this second chance at life,” said an emotional Nucci during that luncheon. “Being surrounded by all of you makes this already special day even more special and rewarding. The one anniversary gift that would make Kerri and I the most happy would be if everybody here spread the word about organ donation and how important it is. It literally saves lives.”