Maine singer-songwriter Dustin Saucier hasn’t been able to perform live in-person in quite a while. Like many artists during the pandemic he has opted to perform live via social media but, for Dustin, each song is part performance and part musical therapy. Saucier is in end stage renal disease and has to quarantine when he’s not on dialysis 3 days a week. His fragile health means he has to take extra special care to stay safe in between dialysis appointments.
Saucier is no stranger to the Maine music scene as a solo performer and as a member with the groups Pretty Sad and Cape Cannons. The performances recorded from his home are a big part of getting through the challenges. “Music has been about the only thing keeping me sane” he says. “Whether listening to it or playing it on livestreams/ in videos. It’s gave me a sense of purpose and motivation to keep fighting.” Recent videos posted include originals as well as covers of Elliot Smith, Mazzy Star, and Father John Misty.
A kidney donor would give Saucier a bright future in the new year and he’s been working to promote kidney donation (even if it doesn’t mean a match for him personally). His blood type is O positive which (according to theNational Kidney Foundation) means he can only receive a donation from another O donor but regardless of your blood type, you can help.
Those interested in donating can fill out the donor screen questionnaire is at mmc.donorscreen.org. If a donor is eligible, they could donate a kidney to Saucier or, if they aren’t a match, they could donate their non-matching kidney which would put Saucier at the top of the list for a living donor kidney through the donor exchange program.
Saucier himself knows it can feel like a lot to take in, as the screening questionnaire is detailed, adding “I’m happy to speak to anyone about it personally too if they have questions“.
It’s the season of giving, and giving the gift of a kidney is one of the most selfless things a person can do. If you’re thinking about donating, visit kidney.org to learn more and consider completing the donor questionnaire.