Fitchburg firefighter poised for long-awaited kidney transplant

Sentinel & Enterprise News | Cliff Clarke
FITCHBURG -- For eight years, Fitchburg firefighter Robert DaCosta has been waiting for a telephone call that could change his life.

He got that call Monday.

"I've been notified in the last 24 hours a potential donor has been found," said DaCosta of the message that the kidney he has been hoping for since being diagnosed 10 years ago with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, a genetic condition commonly referred to as FSGS, might be available.

While many would greet that kind of news with a celebration, and maybe even a few tears, DaCosta viewed it with a guarded optimism.

"It's hard for me to talk about these things, because I don't use it as an excuse," said DaCosta, who has worked as a firefighter for 10 years and is also a part-time police officer.

For a man needing a new kidney, from outward appearances, one would be hard-pressed to guess DaCosta had any physical ailment. Continue reading