A call for help: Why Batavia man is seeking living kidney donor

  • Scott Buckingham and his now-wife Janina are pictured with his stepdaughter, Janedis, on his wedding day in the summer of 2016. Buckingham, 45, is seeking a living kidney donor.

    Scott Buckingham and his now-wife Janina are pictured with his stepdaughter, Janedis, on his wedding day in the summer of 2016. Buckingham, 45, is seeking a living kidney donor. Courtesy of Scott Buckingham

Updated 3/23/2018 6:19 AM

Facing his body's rejection of a transplanted kidney and seeking a living donor to essentially save his life is tough physically and mentally for Scott Buckingham.

But not for the reasons you'd think. The 45-year-old Batavia man is simply uncomfortable when it comes to seeking the help of others.


"I'm the type who would do anything for anybody, but I have a hard time asking for help for anything," Buckingham said.

His doctors, family and friends convinced him otherwise. They helped him get the word out that after years of suffering Type 1 diabetes and enduring a kidney and pancreas transplant in 2015.

Complications from viruses, including a particularly nasty one called the BK virus, made him extremely sick again and back on the donor waiting list because his transplanted kidney is failing.

"If me asking for help from a live donor also helps get the word out about how many people are dealing with this, then that is a good thing," Buckingham said.

It has been an eye-opening experience for Buckingham, who couldn't believe the number of people, especially very young ones, sitting through the orientation programs for those prepping for transplants.

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"Since Obamacare came into play, everyone had insurance, so now they can be put on the donor list," he said. "Before that, if you didn't have insurance, you couldn't be on the list. In that regard, Obamacare has saved a lot of lives."

Buckingham, who lives in Batavia with Janina, his wife of nearly two years, and 14-year-old stepdaughter Janedis, considers learning more about the need and seeing people in even more dire straits than he as "a blessing in so many ways."

It has opened his eyes to a world of need that he'd much rather be trying to help, rather than seeking the help himself.

For now, Buckingham can only hope that a living donor would come forward. His doctors have already told him he doesn't have the 10 years or so it might take to get an organ off the donor list.

Having the most common O-positive blood type works against him in this case, as the waiting list is far longer than if he had a rare blood type.

"I wasn't proactive about this, but I just kept getting sicker," Buckingham added. "My doctor finally asked if I was going to do something about this, or wait until I was on dialysis and had one foot in the grave."


So it is, with some reluctance, but with a lot of prayers and support from his family and friends, that Buckingham ventures into a world he's not familiar with -- asking others for help, when he'd definitely prefer being the one providing it.

Mediterranean at Dimples:

My first impression about visiting the new Dimples Donuts site at 1307 E. Main St. in St. Charles late last year, other than knowing I liked the doughnuts, was the amount of room it had indoors.

You generally don't see a doughnut shop with that much indoor seating space.

Those tables will likely be a little easier to fill, tentatively starting in April. That's when Dimples will add breakfast and lunch featuring Mediterranean fare.

More details will be available when the legal paperwork is completed, but it sounds like a workable plan to offer more options to Dimples customers.

In the meantime, Dimples owner Sovannary Vong is delivering on what she mentioned to me last year. She's opening a new site at 1315 Dundee Ave. in Elgin in the next week or so.

A crowded Post:

There is no doubt numerous retail outlets are suffering and quickening the pace of change -- either in product line, customer service, shipping options or online presence.

But the opening last weekend of Sierra Trading Post in Batavia showed that consumers are interested in going to places that offer various mixes of products and have a theme and retail setting that has a degree of excitement included.

Our visit to Sierra was fun, mainly because that particular location was empty for so long since Circuit City went belly-up, and it was nice to see a place with some potential staying power open.

However, the store became yet another that doesn't really carry my size of pants, which apparently is becoming somewhat of a rare breed. Am I the only person on this planet who wears a waist size of 33 and length of 29? This seems to be a bias against short folks, maybe.

Regardless, that retail strip along Fabyan Parkway at Randall Road should be humming along nicely with its lineup of tenants. Walgreens, the Lumes restaurant, Trader Joe's, Sierra Trading Post, the Dollar Tree and Smashburger all have good followings.

The other smaller businesses in the center should benefit from this sort of foot traffic.

Already with the bugs:

The weather finally was nice last weekend and numerous people were out biking or walking along the Fox River trails.

We joined in, of course, but made the mistake of going through Island Park in Geneva last Sunday.

Nothing against Island Park, of course, but the gnats were out in full force. I am not sure how gnats decide when it is OK to come out in swarms, but they sure were an annoyance on this day.

So much so, that we had to wipe them off our dog's fur and eyes after finally getting away from the river.


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