By Maria Rocha-Buschel
Greg Dentice is one of the “healthiest unhealthy people” his doctor has ever seen, and the contradictory statement makes sense when looking at the 23-year-old Stuy Town resident. Dentice is tall, although a little thinner than he used to be by his mom’s assessment, and works in construction pulling cabling for internet service. But he also has a rare disease that requires frequent doctor’s visits, hours of treatments, a strict diet and now, an organ transplant in the next few months in order to survive.
Dentice was diagnosed with a rare kidney disease known as Membranoproliferative Glomerulonephritis (MPGN) when he was in sixth grade and until recently, the disease had been exhausting due to all the precise dietary restrictions but was manageable.
“Most foods are salty beyond what I would have imagined,” he said, explaining that his kidneys can’t filter out protein, sodium, potassium and phosphorous. “I was always an athlete but I had to portion control (once I was diagnosed) and I lost a lot of mass. Even Gatorade has phosphorous so I can only drink water.”
Dentice’s mother Patricia, a phys ed teacher at the Epiphany School for the last 20 years, said that figuring out the dietary restrictions is a balance.