Victor Potito, 36 of Flushing, is one of the thousands who attended the New York City Kidney Walk in October 2012. Potito has been a paramedic with the FDNY for 16 years. He worked at the World Trade Center on 9/11 and trains EMTs at Queensborough Community College.
“He’s my hero,” said Ana Vivanco, who just married Victor in August 2012.
While Victor has dedicated his life to serving those in need of urgent medical care, he also has to care for himself. Victor has polycystic kidney disease, and will at some point need to go on dialysis or have a kidney transplant. Victor has known about his condition since he was 23, and has been able to slow the decline of his kidney function through healthy habits, weight loss and a careful diet.
“The best thing I can say is, go to your doctor and stay on top of your health s,” he said. “Sooner or later, it ends up getting the best of you and if you take care of it now it, you may lead a longer life.”
Ana is hoping that her new husband will be able to continue his important work saving lives in New York City, despite the hard road ahead. To spread awareness and build a support network, they are getting involved with the National Kidney Foundation, and participated in the Kidney Walk, along with thousands of others who are fighting kidney disease, including Nick Cannon, entertainer and host of America’s Got Talent.
“I walk because I want him around until he’s 95,” Ana said.”But PKD does progress and leads to kidney failure. So raising awareness about kidney disease and the need for organ donation is very important to me and our family.”