Syracuse Woman Gets Second Chance at Life Thanks To Her Flower Girl
A Syracuse woman is getting a second chance at life thanks to her flower girl.
"It's official. My flower girl is saving my life," says Suzi Campanaro who is suffering from kidney failure. She has PKLD, or Polycystic Kidney Liver Disease, a hereditary disease where cysts grow on vital organs stopping them from functioning.
Campanaro received a double transplant in 2011. Unfortunately, this past Summer her new kidney began to fail. She had a heart attack and needed heart valve surgery. She says she was put back on kidney dialysis and then suffered Dialysis Disequilibrium Syndrome. "The only thing keeping me alive was killing me at the same time."
Unbeknownst to Campanaro, her courageous, selfless niece Tori Grasta was undergoing tests to see if she was a match. "When she offered, as sick as I was, I refused her offer. How could I ever put her through any harm? She was as close to me as a daughter would be. But she almost made it sound like I was doing her the favor."
With much trepidation Campanaro accepted her offer. "When she told me she needed me around for her children one day, I couldn't refuse."
If everything continues to go well, Campanaro says the transplant should take place in June. "I have hope for a second transplant and a better life..... a future. I can see the possibility of finally ending this pain."
The disease has forced Campanaro to close her podiatry practice. Her husband Stan is the toothpick man and they are trying to sell Toothpick World to Disney to cover the mounting medical costs.
The couple is also responsible for one of the best Halloween displays in central New York. Hundreds wait weeks to see how they will transform their lawn in Syracuse each year. Stan and Suzi have created elaborate displays of the Walking Dead, a Pirate Ship, a Skeleton Dragon and even a crashed UFO. Last October the display was scaled back to bare bones as Campanaro's fight to survive began.
Campanaro is winning her fight and says she's got a new outlook on life. "Words will never describe my indebtedness to such an amazingly generous superhero. I will live from this moment on in humble graciousness. I will live to pay it forward only because of and for my earth-angel, my niece Tori Grasta."