New Castle News

November 20, 2012

Dialysis center patient brings joy to others

David Burcham
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — William Holland spends 15 hours each week taking treatments at the New Castle Dialysis Center.

So the last thing you’d expect from him is volunteering for an extra day.

But that’s precisely what he did Saturday, albeit wearing a disguise.

Holland, 60, came dressed as Santa Claus Saturday morning in an outfit that he and his wife, Evelyn, purchased and then customized it to fit the 6-foot-1, 538-pound man.

They went through a catalog to purchase the largest Santa suit they could find, but still it needed some alterations. They also purchased a wig, beard and candy canes to give to kids.

“On Halloween he came in wearing a mask,” said Toni Herr, who works at the Dialysis Center. “He’s just the happiest, nicest man,”

Everybody is always doing things for me,” Holland said. “If I can put a smile on some young faces it will make me happy.”

William and Evelyn, who is from Ellwood City, have been married for 42 years. They have three children.

Hollland, whose weight once hovered around 700 pounds, is usually confined to a wheelchair, but he is able to walk short distances.

He has been hospitalized several times, but has developed a keen sense of humor to deal with his physical ailments.

“I try to take things a little lighter and not get stressed out.”

Making others smile helps, too.