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Letter: Citizens waiting for kidneys, too

Both of Ruth Bernal de Villalta's kidneys have

Both of Ruth Bernal de Villalta's kidneys have stopped functioning. Her husband is willing to donate one of his kidneys to her if he's a match, but since both are undocumented immigrants, doctors at the clinic where she gets her dialysis treatments have told her a transplant is impossible. Bernal de Villalta is shown in her Brentwood apartment on Monday, June 15, 2015. Credit: Steve Pfost

I'm writing in response to "A dire medical crisis" [News, June 17] about Ruth Bernal de Villalta of Brentwood. Because she's an immigrant in the country illegally, she doesn't qualify for health insurance that would help pay for a needed kidney transplant.

I'm 33, Long Island born and raised and a dialysis patient also fighting for a kidney transplant. I, too, use the Lindenhurst dialysis center, and I find it obnoxious that as I fight for my life on the machine and at home every day, immigration attorneys find it appropriate to use their power and leverage for those who are, as your news story put it, "undocumented."

I've contributed to Social Security and paid taxes for more than 18 years to earn the right to government-funded medical care like Medicare and Medicaid. I'm still having trouble keeping up with my bills.

If Bernal de Villalta wants the help of my government, she needs to do the right thing by her community and contribute to it, not just take from it.

You put these sob stories in your paper. It sounds cruel, and I understand how terrible dialysis can be. I've been a fighter for more than a year and a half. We do what we must to survive.

If she wants to give up and quit going to dialysis, let her. There are plenty of us who will use the resources she has abandoned to help us live on.

Timothy D'Angelo, Northport


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