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COVID-19 Concerns Block Kidney Transplant For Popular Bergen Baker, Now His Life’s At Stake

Tom Minardi
Tom Minardi Photo Credit: Mama Minardi Cookies & Biscotti

Franklin Lakes baker Tom Minardi was all set to get the kidney he needs to stay alive when a suspension of elective surgeries in New Jersey in response to the coronavirus pandemic postponed the procedure.

Then came word that the donor backed out.

A man who has spent his life doing for others now needs a hero of his own.

“He was scheduled to have his transplant this spring,” Minardi’s children wrote in a post, “but due to COVID-19, it was put on hold.”

“When his hospital began to schedule transplants again, we unexpectedly and sadly got the call that his donor backed out,” they wrote. “He immediately needed to start dialysis daily.”

You’ve seen his popular Mama Minardi cookies and biscotti in stores -- including many ShopRites -- continuing a tradition that began when his Sicilian grandparents opened an Italian bakery in 1927.

“Unfortunately, his health has declined steadily to the point where he has to cut back on the time to devote to his solely-run business,” Minardi's children wrote. “His disease makes it difficult to work the hours needed to bring his business to where it needs to be.

“He needs someone (and it could be you) to come forward to save his life.”

A kidney donor blood type A or O for direct donation is needed -- but St. Barnabas, his hospital, participates in the Paired Exchange Kidney Donation program. So anyone can step up.

Minardi said he was hoping someone will hear his story “and come through with a kidney for me so I can go full speed ahead again."

To find out whether you’re a match, contact Kathleen Murdock, living donor coordinator at Hackensack Meridian Health, at (551) 996-4453 or Sara-Marie Castellvi, recipient transplant coordinator at St. Barnabas Medical Center at (973) 322-2143.

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