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Hunter Turek, 2, playing doctor with his father, Dan Turek, at Hartford Hospital. | Submitted / Jennifer Turek

Kidney disease diagnosis rallies community

In just three months, 20 people have raised more than $2,400 to help a family that is struggling in the wake of a diagnosis of Stage 5 kidney disease.

Middlefield resident Joann Dumas’ daughter, Katie Dumas Nadeau, ran the GoFundMe campaign on behalf of her brother-in-law, Dan Turek, the father of a two-year-old son.

Turek, previously diagnosed with kidney problems, knew that one day he’d need a replacement — but that reality wasn’t expected for decades.

“I think it’s great and it’s going to help them a lot,” Dumas said. “We’re helping them too, but they’re going to need a lot more help … It’s really tough for anyone to go through it. Any help is going to really benefit them.”

Wife of Dan Turek, Jennifer Turek, said she was “shocked” to have received so much support from the community. The money poured in seemingly overnight during time spent in the hospital. “It all happened so fast. Every time we checked the page there was more money donated,” Jennifer Turek said.

The original goal of $3,000 was to help the family keep up with mortgage payments, to fill in the gaps, as the family does not have short-term disability coverage. Unfortunately, since then the family has learned that copays for needed medications will reach as much as $700 per month for three to six months.

The family is running a “Save My Daddy” page on Facebook as part of a campaign to find a donor with a compatible kidney having Type A or Type O blood.

“We just found out this morning that a donor fell through,” said Jennifer Turek, July 21. Testing showed it likely Dan Turek’s system would reject the kidney after transplant,, “so they turned him down.”

Because of a change in insurance, Turek said, “we only have 90 days to get a kidney and a transplant done in Hartford, otherwise we will need to get a different hospital … After months and months of testing that he needed to miss work to do, we would need to start all over again.”

If a suitable donor cannot be found, Dan Turek may need to wait three to six years, meanwhile undergoing dialysis, on the transplant list.

Jennifer Turek, who attended schools in Region 13, said although she and her husband currently live in New Britain, she still feels closest to the community in Middlefield and Durham. “I grew up in Rockfall,” Turek said, “We spend almost more hours in Durham at my parents’ house than we do up here [in New Britain].”

The family is accepting monetary donations at To follow the family, or to find out how to be tested for a kidney match, visit The family seeks a donor with Type A or Type O blood. “We appreciate any donations and love the people that have contacted Hartford Transplant,” Jennifer Turek wrote on Facebook.

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