Henry "Hank" Santulli, a board member and past President of the National Kidney Foundation of CNY, passed away on March 11 at his home in Florida. Hank was a kidney patient, enduring dialysis treatments and a kidney transplant, all the while serving as the second president of our organization. One of the remarkable things about Hank, despite his illness, was the fact that he was always positive. He often remarked that he actually looked forward to his dialysis treatments as a time when he could be alone to correct papers or write letters without any interruptions. Hank was a remarkable mentor and spent hours talking with newly diagnosed patients, encouraging them to see the bright side of their disease. Many of those he coached didn't think they would have survived their illness without Hank's encouragement and sage advice.
As we glance at Hank's photograph, hanging nobly on our Kidney office "Wall of Presidents," we reflect on all he accomplished for our organization and all those lives that were made better because of him. We will remember his kindness, his generosity of time and spirit, and his sense of humor.
The last time I saw Hank was a few years ago at an airport in Florida. He was awaiting the arrival of his daughter, Tracy and his young granddaughter, Samantha. When he caught sight of Samantha, racing toward him with her tiny arms extended, his face beamed with love and anticipation, and as the young child, screeching with delight, ran into her grandfather's outstretched arms, it was a moment to remember and a true reflection of the bond they shared...not only with each other but with the entire family as well.
Hank will be missed by the entire community. His loss will be felt by all whose path crossed his. Sadly, his loving family will miss him the most, especially his beloved wife, Pat and we can only hope that the wonderful memories they share of their special family love story will lessen their pain just as Hank uplifted the spirits of all who had the privilege to know him.
Our hearts go out to the family during this difficult time. Our thoughts and prayers are with them.
Marion Makhuli is a member of the National Kidney Foundation of CNY.