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A Buffalo love story: Husband buys billboard to save wife’s life

It was an honor for Rene Tucciarone to donate his kidney to his wife many years ago and he hopes someone else will do the same.

Rene Tucciarone and his wife, Kani, are high school sweethearts.

“We fell in love in high school, but we’ve actually known each other since we were in fifth grade,” said Tucciarone. “I thought she was cute.”

The couple lives in Lockport. They’ve been together since 1979, but their life has been anything but ordinary. Tucciarone donated his kidney to Kani in 1993, but sadly it failed.

“We’ve been looking for a kidney for quite some time now, about 10 years,” he said. “The problem is getting someone who matches not only her blood type, but there’s a lot more to it than that.”

Tucciarone says it was his honor to donate his kidney to his wife and he hopes someone else would be willing to, too. He’s gone to great lengths to spread the word including paying for a billboard for Kani. The billboard reads “Kidney Donor Needed. Please Help Kani” and has the phone number listed as 716-418-6803.

“She’s my world,” he said. “If anyone can help us, I’d be forever grateful.”

Tucciarone trained at a dialysis center in 2009 so he could give Kani dialysis in the comfort of their own home. It’s done 4 times a week and takes 3 hours each time.

“I didn’t want her to have to worry about going to the hospital back and forth and getting a ride. People seem to do better if they can do treatments at home,” he said.

Kani needs a kidney donor with Tyoe B-positive or Type O blood. Donating a kidney would come at no expense to the donor as it is covered under Kani’s insurance. The transplant center is located in Syracuse.

For more information, you can call Rene Tucciarone directly at 716-930-3385.

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