Longtime Warwick resident Joanne Smith doesn’t know where to turn next for the new kidney that she needs, but she’s hoping someone will learn of her plight and step up to the plate.
“Somebody told me I should go up to the copy store at the top of the street and have them make up stickers to put on our family cars saying I need a kidney and that have the phone number,” said Smith, who lives on Hoxsie Avenue.
Smith moved to Warwick from her birthplace of Warren in 1969 when she married her husband, George. The two will be celebrating their 50th anniversary this year.
Smith worked at the Warwick Library for 33 years in the circulation department, a job she remembers fondly. “I loved it,” she said. “I liked the people I worked with but I also liked the patrons.”
She retired about five years ago to take care of her ailing father. Unfortunately, Smith’s own health would take a downturn as she was diagnosed with diabetes a couple of years back. Now, as that has progressed, she requires dialysis treatment and is on a long kidney donor waitlist.
“My husband [got tested to see if he was a match for donorship] but they wouldn't let him because he had stomach surgery years ago,” Smith said, adding that her kids have been ruled out as potential donors as well due to having high blood pressure.
Although she is moving up the waitlist slowly, she hopes that by asking for help, she just might be able to get off the list entirely. Smith can be contacted by phone at 401-738-1040. You may also contact Sarah Dibbs at the Division of Transplant Surgery at Rhode Island Hospital at 401-444-3091.
“I just would like to thank my two kidney doctors [Dr. Christopher Cosgrove and Dr. Daniel Dragomire],” Smith added. “They are wonderful. They are so great.”