ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Chef Yono Purnomo, the founder of Yono’s in Albany, has been in the Capital Region for almost five decades and has won numerous culinary accolades over the years. Now, Purnomo is looking for help from the community.
Purnomo has End Stage Renal Failure. In April, his kidney function rapidly declined and he now requires at-home dialysis every day. His wife, Donna Purnomo, said the at-home treatment allows Purnomo to go out to events, but still disrupts his way of life.
The average wait time for people on the National Transplant Waiting List (for organs of those who are deceased) is between five and seven years. With Purnomo being 72, that makes the wait unrealistic, said Donna. That’s why they are looking for a living donor.
His family took to social media by creating the Facebook page, Yono Needs a Kidney, which is run by his daughter, Alexondra, from Rome, Italy. The page has information on Purnomo, live organ donation information, and videos from people sharing their support.
Purnomo, originally from Indonesia, settled in Albany with his wife on 1978. In 1986, they opened Yono’s at 25 Chapel Street in Albany. Their son, Dominick, now runs the restaurant.
The Purnomos have been involved with many community organizations, advisory boards and foundations including SUNY Schenectady, SUNY Cobleskill, BOCES, The College of St. Rose, American Red Cross, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, March of Dimes, and American Cancer Society.. Purnomo was also one of the founding members of the Albany Chefs’ Food and Wine Festival.
According to Donna, the Live Donor Coordinator working with the Purnomos said the response so far has been good, as people have been coming forward to be tested. However, they have not found the right match yet.
“People have been so generous,” said Donna. “Those who have been live donors or who have gotten a living donation have been putting their stories on the website. It’s a wonderful thing. It makes me tear up. They didn’t have to share that.”
People only need one kidney to live a healthy life. Purnomo’s blood type is compatible with any B or O blood type. If you’re interested in donating and to see if you’re a match, you can contact Jessica Martin, RN, at (518) 262-4602.
The National Transplant Waiting List has more that 100,000 people on it. To find out more about live kidney donation, you can visit the National Kidney Foundation website.