Manchester Woman Seeks Kidney Donor

Camille and Joe Licandro of Manchester Township are seen in happier times. Camille is facing a serious health crisis and her family and friends have reached out to the public for help. (Photo courtesy Donna Tissot)

  MANCHESTER – Township resident and retired educator Camille Licandro is battling a debilitating disease and needs help.

  The 67-year-old mother and grandmother is suffering from chronic kidney disease. “I have lived a good life. I am married with two beautiful children who have blessed me with four grandchildren,” she said.

  “My beautiful daughter, Nicole, has given me two intelligent, good looking and active boys. My son, Joey, a first responder for the Brick Fire Department and Brick Water Rescue, blessed me with two beautiful grand-daughters who are also intelligent and active. My grandchildren range in age from 6 to 13 and I wish more than anything to watch them grow and accomplish the many things destiny has planned for them.”

  Licandro was originally from the Bronx. She and her family moved to Brick in the 1980s. “There I found my calling when I signed up as a substitute Teacher’s Aide in the Brick school system. After about one week of subbing, I was offered a full-time position assisting handicapped / classified children and remained in the Brick system for 25 years doing the same job.”

  “I loved helping these children through the years and was truly blessed. It was a mentally and physically challenging job, but I loved every minute and every child I helped to cope and learn their lessons. It still gives me satisfaction as I have seen some of my past students working in a local store or just a chance meeting,” she said.

  “They are quick to come over and say hi and the excitement in their voices when they fill me in on their life experiences made all 25 years worth it. When my husband Joe and I decided to find a 55 plus community to retire in, we found a beautiful and very active one in Manchester. We knew we wanted to stay in Ocean County to be near our children and grandchildren,” Licandro said.

  She added that three years ago, she was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease. “I had no symptoms and except for feeling tired sometimes, an annual physical with a blood test uncovered my kidney failure. I immediately required nephrostomy tubes in both kidneys. As this disease progressed, constant infections and multiple hospital stays resulted in the removal of my left kidney in July, 2018.”

  “In April this year, I will be on dialysis for three years. My husband has been so supportive through this whole sickness. From daily cleaning of my nephrostomy tubes, endless doctor visits, to getting up at 5 a.m. three days weekly to take me to dialysis and returning to pick me up,” she said.

  Licandro said, “I thank the Lord for the time we have been happily married and only ask Him to grant me some more years together to watch our grandchildren grow and our children continue to have successful lives. I require a donor to fulfill my dreams and wishes but only ask this so that I can continue to be an integral part of my family’s lives and enjoy some years retired with Joe.”

  Her husband added, “Camille has been the center of my world for 47 years. Her compassion for people is unmatched. She has taught me so much and I need her with me while we travel together in this life. Our faith in God and people has us believing that this current journey will end happily. She gave so much of herself in helping “special needs” children during her career. Now we hope and pray that someone will come forward and give Camille a second chance at life. I need my wife around to share whatever time I have left in this world. Can you step up and be her hero?”

  Her friend Donna Tissot noted that, “Camille is recovering from major surgery. She had her second kidney removed on October 20 due to infection. Her kidney had stopped working. Luckily the infection did not spread to other parts of her body.”

  “Camille is a fighter and wants to enjoy her life not living on a machine. She is looking forward to spending quality time with her loving husband, two children and four grandchildren,” Tissot said.

  Tissot added that “her blood type is A, but blood type doesn’t matter because Saint Barnabas participates in the Paired Exchange Program. Those who are interested in helping her can complete the referral form and indicate donor for Camille Licandro at