Englewood man who saved lives still in search of kidney donor

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Sandy Bilsky

In January, we introduced you to Sandy Bilsky of Englewood. He’s been honored not once, but twice for saving the lives of others, and he’s still in search of someone to save his.

Bilsky has been recognized by the Coast Guard for saving swimmers in the Gulf of Mexico twice. “It is nice to think that if I saved someone’s life, maybe someone else will come along and save my life,” Bilsky said in a previous interview.

Bilsky knows every bike ride and every walk with his dog is precious. He said, “It’s been an amazing journey. A tremendous amount of ups and downs. More, unfortunately, more downs than ups.”

Those ups came from people like you.

After the story initially aired, he said he got “over 20 calls, it was astounding. I couldn’t have, I couldn’t have asked for a better response. Of the nearly two dozen who volunteered, 13 had the right blood type and moved onto the testing phase.

Bilsky needs a kidney from someone with O+ or O- blood.

One by one, each potential donor was disqualified for various medical reasons.

“I feel it was just almost like, it was freakish. It shouldn’t have happened,” Bilsky said.

Crystal Blackmore thought she could improve Bilsky’s record.

“My heart was broken. I didn’t even know how I was going to tell him,” she said. “I got almost all the way through … Yeah, they found something wrong. I’m getting that treated.”

Doctors diagnosed Bilsky with kidney failure in 2020. Since then, he spends 8 to 10 hours a day hooked up to dialysis. However, The alternative is worse if he can’t find a donor.

Sandy Bilsky

“Right now I am qualified for a kidney transplant,” he explained. “Will I be qualified two years from now? Or a year from now? You never know. But it’s something I don’t want to find out.”

He could spend years on the National Kidney Registry, which is why he wants to find a donor on his own – a hero of his own.

If you’re interested in donating and have O+ or O- blood type, contact him via the info below, or, if you have a different blood type, he could still benefit through the “Kidney exchange program.”

To donate, call (401)741-4927 or email sandy@riequities.com

LINK: Kidney Exchange Program

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