New mom, cancer survivor in need of Kidney Transplant

April 20, 2021

Written By

Mary Friona Celani

We first introduced you to Elena DePaolo and her husband Frank a few years ago. Their love story came with many ups and downs, not to mention the test of the vow – in sickness and in health.

In 2017,  Elena was diagnosed with Leukemia. Through months of treatments and procedures. Elena told me in a previous interview that Frank was her rock. “When I was diagnosed my husband and I were only dating 6 months and he never left my side. The support he gave me everyday; coming to the hospital everyday, sleeping there with me on weekends, shaving his head when I shaved mine.. those were all things that helped me beat cancer. I knew that this was the man I was meant to marry and start a family with even before cancer.”

Elena beat cancer.

It was a glorious time.


Elena beat cancer, but the disease and aggressive treatments that saved her life – also took her fertility.

The couple went through fertility treatments and tried Invetro Fertilization. They became pregnant in January of 2019 – but had an early miscarriage and then again in June 2019 – which resulted in preterm labor; their daughter did not survive.

Elena and Frank were devastated

It was Elena’s life dream to be a mom and they refused to give up. Instead they forged ahead in search of a baby through adoption.

Another glorious time when a sweet baby boy came into their life. In 2020, Frank and Elena adopted baby Lorenzo.

Beautiful Enzo.



What joy. What a gift.

Now it’s supposed to be time to live happily ever after.

But, unfortunately, Elena walked out of cancer with stage three Kidney Disease which has now progressed to stage five over the past year. “I’m not yet on dialysis.. my doctor prefers I try to avoid dialysis,” Elena tells me, “So I’m trying to be as proactive as I can in trying to find a match. Right now I go for monthly blood tests for my primary nephrologist and I’m seeing ECMC’s transplant team. I’m racing the clock to dialysis and that scares me.”

She’s tired and terrified and wants nothing more than to find a match and raise her son with less stress in the background.

To think of everything this beautiful young mom has gone through is heartbreaking and unfair.

You could be the answer to her prayers. You could be the one who saves Elena’s life.

A living kidney donor is Elena’s best option. Elena is A+ blood type.
To find out if you are a match or get more information, please call ECMC at: 716-898-5001 or email


You can help by getting tested or even by sharing her story. Please help.

We will be praying for this beautiful mom and family.


An incredible LOVE story: Local couple in search of baby to adopt after cancer treatments took their fertility


About Me

Welcome to Totally Buffalo! My name is Mary Friona-Celani and I am the creator of this site! After spending 20 years in the Buffalo media, I moved on to focus on my beautiful family. Now, the time has come for a new project. I was ready for something new. Something mine.
I am born and raised in WNY and my pride runs deep. My husband, Scott and I are very happy to be raising our four daughters here.






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