Walk for Kidneys Team Spotlight: Team BUKO

June 11, 2015

Team BUKO: In Honor of John Bukowski                                                                                                                                                                           

Motivated by receiving a kidney donation in 1999 and losing his wife to kidney cancer in 2001, John Bukowski participates in the Walk for Kidneys to raise awareness and funds toward kidney health.

Sixteen years ago at The Ohio State University Hospital, John Bukowski received a kidney donation from a deceased organ donor. Paula, the donor, was in perfect health before suffering a brain aneurysm. She donated several organs in addition to her kidneys, saving the lives of many different individuals.

“April 28th marked my 16th year with this beautiful kidney given to me by Paula,” John mentions on his team page. “While I didn't know her, she is with me every day and I thank the good Lord!”

Before receiving his new kidney, John was on the transplant waiting list for three years. The average wait time for a kidney transplant varies by state, and is three to five years in Illinois. However, this can change depending on blood type, region and many other additional factors. More than 120,000 people are waiting for an organ donation nationwide and of those people; more than 100,000 are waiting for a kidney. Each day, 14 people die while waiting for a kidney transplant.

Living and deceased donors will help change these statistics. One organ donor can save or improve the lives of up to 25 other people.

Why does John walk? “[I walk] mainly to honor my donor who gave me her kidney,” John says.

Team BUKO will be well represented at the Walk for Kidneys by family and friends of John. The Walk for Kidneys will be taking place for on Sunday, June 21. Team BUKO has raised nearly $2,200 since late April.

To make a donation or read more about Team BUKO’s Walk for Kidneys team, click here. To register your own Walk for Kidneys team, visit www.nkfi.org/events/walk.

About the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois
The National Kidney Foundation of Illinois improves the health and well-being of people at risk for or affected by kidney disease through prevention, education and empowerment.