Throughout his career, whether in politics or at Suffolk University, John Nucci has always surrounded himself with close friends and confidants that advised him, mentored him and, most of all, lifted his spirits when he was down.
Last Friday at Rino’s Place in Eastie close friends like former Senate President Robert Travaglini, Al Caldarelli, Joe Faretra, Mike Grieco, Sal LaMattina and Paul Scapicchio, among others, gathered for food, drinks and laughs. The point of the lunch, explained Travaglini, was that Nucci has been a loyal friend to so many for so many years it was time to give back and lift his spirits.
In his thirties, after the passing of his father following complications of Polycystic Kidney Disease, 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.
For the past several months, with his kidneys failing, Nucci has been in the process of finding a living kidney donor in order to potentially avoid dialysis treatments and the further deterioration of his failing kidneys.
No stranger to rallying the troops in Eastie and citywide, the former Boston City Councilor, his wife, Peggy, and their three sons, John, Michael and David have launched a campaign in local Boston newspapers, on social media and through the relationships Nucci has cultivated over the years to find a living donor match.
“It’s been amazing,” said Nucci. “The outpouring of support is overwhelming. I would say I probably only know personally about a third of the people that have signed up to be tested. The rest are people that have seen my story in the papers or heard about it online.”
At Friday’s lunch it was less about talking about Polycystic Kidney Disease and more about good-natured ribbing, jokes and the chance to relax with friends.
“Everyone here and all that you have done for me over the past few months means the world to me,” Nucci told the table of friends in a toast. “I couldn’t have gone through this without your love and support.”