By Dave Huddleston
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A South Jersey man is going to enjoy a Christmas he thought he’d never see. John Rigolizzo has a large extended family that’s growing day by day as people step up to help him cover the cost of living with his new kidney.
Lori Riggs-Kadar’s garage is the busiest room in the house. She’s selling poinsettias to raise money for her cousin John Rigolizzo, who had a kidney transplant.
“His insurance pays for the kidney transplant,” she said, “but doesn’t necessarily cover all the medications that he’ll need to take for the rest of his life so that the kidney doesn’t reject.”
Not only does Lori sell poinsettias from her home, she sells them through the family business, Kadar Orthodontics. That’s where we met up with John Rigolizzo.
“I’d have been dead by now. I’d be in a box somewhere,” said John.
Earlier this year, John was so weak he couldn’t walk to his own mailbox. But in March, his own daughter gave him the kidney he needed. Still, this new life comes with a big price.
“I’ll be spending $2500 to $3000 a month for medicines,” he said.
Tom Kadar of Kadar Orthodontics said, “We thought, ‘Wow, what a better way to raise some money for someone who really needs it.'”
The office has another reason to help. John’s wife Marita works there.
The Kadars have sold hundreds of poinsettias so far at $25 each or two for $45, all going to a non-profit to help cover John’s expenses.
John gets emotional when he says, “It’s amazing. It’s…upsetting to feel that that many people care.”
To buy a poinsettia, go to http://www.gokadar.com/about/news_item/poinsettias_for_john or download an order form here.