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‘I Have A Lot To Live For’: Park Ridge Navy Veteran Firefighter Needs Kidney

Mark ‘Cookey’ Eisen
Mark ‘Cookey’ Eisen Photo Credit: Park Ridge Volunteer Fire Department

Firefighters are quick to rescue those in need, but right now one of Park Ridge’s bravest could use some help.

Park Ridge Firefighter Mark "Cookey" Eisen, 63, was recently placed on the National Kidney Registry after diabetes caused late-stage kidney failure.

He’s scheduled to begin dialysis in 2021 but hopes to find him a kidney before then.

A veteran of seven years with the U.S. Navy, Eisen has been a borough firefighter for nearly three decades. He's considered “part of the fabric” of the borough, his company wrote in a Facebook post.

Eisen has served with the Park Ridge Elks, American Legion and Tri-Boro Volunteer Ambulance Corps’ Board of Governors, serving Park Ridge, Montvale and Woodcliff Lake.

“Through his actions and spirit of service, ‘Cookey’ has made the Park Ridge community a part of his family along with his wife, Marcia, and sons Scott and David,” his colleagues wrote.

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FIND OUT whether you could be a donor: nkr.donorscreen.org/register/now. It is the season of giving.

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Now a granddad, Eisen grew up in the Bronx and served his country as a cook, a gunner and on the Navy’s helicopter crash team.

“I feel if someone is giving me their kidney I will need to take care of it,” Eisen wrote in his registry profile. “I have lost a serious amount of weight in the past few months. I have changed my eating habits and lifestyle.”

Loved ones are concerned, and Eisen doesn’t want them to worry.

“They have enough on their plates,” he wrote.

“Life is short and I would like to live as long as possible,” Eisen added. “I have a lot to live for.”

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