Deputy with kidney disease gets support from his community - FOX 8, WVUE,, weather, app, news, saints

Deputy with kidney disease gets support from his community

A Plaquemines Parish deputy will soon have a new kidney, courtesy of his wife. But the transplant comes with a hefty price tag. The Fraternal Order of Police is working to help ease their financial worries as they prepare for surgery.

"One, two, three people -- if you put your mind to it you can make a difference. We did and we loved every minute of it," said Goltie Cook.

She and her crew put a benefit lunch on the table. "By 11 o'clock everything was out of the building and we still had deputies showing up we're here to deliver. We don't have anything more to deliver, it's gone," she said.

The fundraiser sold out of 1,650 plates. The benefit was planned to help ease a family's mind.

Cook is the president of Deep Delta Lodge, the Plaquemines Parish chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police. "When we called Mark, Mark was like, 'Y'all don't have to do this for me,' and we were like, 'Yes, we do. You are family and if it was us in the situation you would be there for us.'"

"It makes me feel real special to be in this community, for myself and my family to know that these people care this much about us to do what they've done," said Mark Williams.

Williams is in the final stages of kidney failure. The odds of his wife being a match are so rare the family calls it miraculous. He said, "Knowing that I could get a second chance at my life for my kids, for my family... but yet it was scary at the same time, knowing that it was my wife."

"When they told me I was a match, I was excited. Nervous, very, very nervous, but I just knew this was something we both needed," Desiree Williams said.

Mark said, "I was kind of opposed to the idea because you never want anything bad to happen to the one you love. So it was kind of a mixed emotional kind of battle."

Desiree said, "I just knew that this was something I had to do and wanted to do." "She won and I gave in. I guess as guys normally do. We've kind of went through it together and that's what I think makes it so special," said Mark.

Even with insurance, costs are high. "I was a little nervous with that as well. I had no idea it was going to be that much," said Desiree.

The transplant will be at least $40,000 above what's covered through insurance, with a potential pharmacy bill of $1500  a month.

The community and the Plaquemines Parish Sheriff's Department came together to support the Williams.

Desiree said, "All the prayers and support and the love also helps as well."

Mark said, "So many people have come forward to us and said we have you in our prayers and we are thinking about you."

Cook said, "I think Plaquemines Parish as a whole, we take care of each other. We come together and it doesn't matter. We say Belle Chasse and south Plaquemines, but when something like this happens, someone in our community, our family needs help, we are there."

Mark and Desiree Williams are scheduled for surgery on Monday. June 17.  

You can still make a donation to the Williams through the Fraternal Order of Police:

Fraternal Order of Police
Deep Delta Lodge
C/O Mark Williams
P.O. Box 495
Belle Chasse, LA 70037

The family urges everyone to consider organ donation and is currently working with Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency to encourage people to sign up as donors through their driver's license.

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