Published September 26, 2012
A 32-year-old Florida man hoping to be added to the transplant list for a kidney lost his job soon after he planned to begin self-cleansing treatments at work, the Palm Beach Post reported.
Martin Cupid, of Boyton Beach, Fla., has filed a lawsuit against Sysco Corp. in the U.S. District Corp., claiming the company violated his rights under the American with Disabilities Act. He had worked for the company for 10 years as a night shift manager, making $72,000 a year.
Cupid, a father of three, whose kidneys are barely working, told the newspaper he was determined to keep his job, so he found a doctor who recommended a self-cleansing treatment that would allow him to continue putting in 40 hours a week at his job.
For self-dialysis, nephrologists follow the condition of kidney patients and write dialysis prescriptions. The patients come in for professional treatments as needed. Home dialysis was first approved in the late 1970s and made a resurgence in 2002, when machines were introduced solely for home use.
Cupid said he planned to flush his system during his lunch breaks.
Seeking a more permanent solution, Cupid also applied to the Shands Transplant Center at the University of Florida to be put on a waiting list for a new kidney. The center approved his application, and he was added to the transplant list.
Cupid’s bosses congratulated him when he told them the news -- however, three days later, they told him to clean out his desk. They told him his job at the company’s Riviera Beach plant was being eliminated, and according to Cupid, refused to even consider him for other jobs.
“It was unbelievable,” Cupid told the Palm Beach Post. “After working there 10 years and giving so much. It was shocking.”
Sysco officials told the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission he was let go due to downsizing in the bad economy. But company records show only four other workers were let go due to financial reasons. All of them were terminated on January 17, 2011 – four months before Cupid was let go, according to the Palm Beach Post.
In addition to losing his job, Cupid also lost his spot on the Shands transplant list – because he no longer had insurance. He and his children are now covered under his wife’s insurance, but Shands doesn’t accept it. He is waiting to hear back from Tampa General Hospital to see if he will be put on their list. If approved, he will likely have to wait three to five years for a kidney because of his rare blood type.
In the meantime, Cupid told the Palm Beach Post, he’d like to start working gain.
“I try volunteering,” he said. “But I like work. There’s nothing like working.”