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Transplant Patient Raises Money and Awareness

Kidney transplant recipient Wayne Albanese has been a member of the Pearl Jam official fan club for so many years that he now gets first priority for front-row seats at the band’s concerts. 

Fortunately for Mr. Albanese, a registered nurse at North Shore University hospital in Manhasset, far less time was spent on his part waiting for a much-needed kidney transplant than gaining his seniority in the Pearl Jam Fan Club. When Wayne found out he would need a new kidney, his older sister, Karen, immediately stepped up to become his donor, providing the lifesaving transplant he needed in December of 2007.

“She gave me this amazing gift and it saved my life,” he explained.

Mr. Albanese is now getting ready for the upcoming Long Island Kidney Walk, for which he and his team have already raised nearly $2000. The team, “Wayne’s World Rockin’ the Walk 2009,” is walking for this cause that hits close to home for Wayne and his family—his father, older brother, niece and two of his three older sisters have also been diagnosed with kidney disease.

Last year, Mr. Albanese was the top fundraiser at the Long Island Walk, raising over $4,000. Now he’s doing all he can to break his own record and raise even more money this year. 

“The Long Island Kidney Walk is so important, not just for the money raised but to raise awareness about the disease,” Mr. Albanese said of his efforts. “I’ll do everything I can to promote the importance of organ transplantation and help fund new research.”