I need your help in finding a kidney donor. Let me share my story with you. If you have already heard my story and would like to skip to the contact info/how you can help part – you can click here.
June of 2016, I had gone a week with what I thought was a “stomach bug” – I was pretty sick. I was sick to the point to where I ended up waiting in the emergency room to see what exactly was wrong with me. I was not diagnosed with any kind of stomach bug but was diagnosed with end-stage renal failure. The doctor then said to me, “your kidneys are failing”. Certainly not words that one wants to hear, especially when sitting in the room with you is your mom and brother. Seeing tears fall from their eyes on that day will always stick with me.
Thoughts of dying ran through my head, but the doctors quickly said that renal failure could be treated. Because my kidneys do not fully function, that means a lot of salt, waste, and toxins can build up in my blood. Without dialysis over the past 2 years, there’s a good chance I wouldn’t be sitting here sharing this story with all of you today.
The early days of dialysis were rough on me. I had to go to a dialysis clinic for treatments instead of doing the thing I loved a great deal – design websites and run a business with my brother. I would have to wake up early in the morning (4:30/4:45) and be at the clinic for a 5:45 treatment. Treatments were every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday and I would be there until after 10 a.m. every day. Dialysis helps to prolong life, but the problem I faced was that I felt like I had no life beyond my dialysis treatments.
I would be exhausted at the end of those treatments and fall asleep not long after I got home. The following days were slightly better solely because I didn’t have to go into the clinic. Another thing I had to learn during this time was that I had to watch how many ounces of fluid I drank – dialysis patients have to count their ounces. This was hard on me because I had gotten so used to drinking tons of water throughout the day.
Those days were rough, but after nearly one year of doing treatments at a clinic, I trained to be able to do treatments at home! Doing treatments at home have made things drastically better than doing treatments at the clinic. I never stopped preaching over the last 2 years – this site is very much evidence of that. However, once I started to do treatments at home, I feel a ton better when it comes to having the energy to do such things. For example, I am a yard man – I love getting out in the yard and working – I have the energy to do that now.
Treatments at home certainly have made things better but I am still not out of the woods yet – not by a long shot. I still have to do my dialysis treatments, except now I do treatments 4 out of 7 days a week. I still have to watch my fluid intake and count my ounces, at least on the weekends. Due to the time
Here’s where you can come in and help me. While dialysis helps to prolong my life, doctors advise I shouldn’t look to live my life with dialysis treatments (to which I certainly agree). Dialysis will certainly help to prolong my life well over a decade, however, muscles will degrade over time meaning there’s a day where I may be unable to do the things I love to do.
There are two ways that I can get a brand new kidney. First way: through a cadaver donor. The issue with this way is that there aren’t enough cadaver kidneys to go around so the wait time is very long, especially in Georgia. When I first started dialysis, the wait time was 5 years, but I was advised in September (2018) that the wait time is now 8 to 10 years. That’s a long time to go through dialysis and not
The best way, I have been advised is the second way: through a live kidney donor. There’s no wait time for a live kidney donor, and this is where you can come in and help. The only wait time is for somebody to volunteer their kidney to me. My transplant coordinator advised me to let you all know that you don’t have to worry about your blood type or “whether you are right for being a donor”.
I want to spread my story, and my calling for help as far as possible. It doesn’t matter where you live, you can help me! Let’s grow this net as big as we possibly can. I certainly have faith in the Lord that this can be done and so I am putting that faith into action. My story, I feel is a testimony because I certainly could have been gone a couple years ago but here I am. I also have faith in all of you sharing my story, but I also have faith that somebody will read this story and want to help.
If you would like to volunteer, here’s a number that you can call – 404.605.4792. You will be able to speak directly to my transplant coordinator who will set everything up for the transplant process. I am going to place some more helpful links at the bottom. Even if you don’t feel like you’re up to volunteering your kidney, which I completely understand, I ask you to share this link on your Facebook feed, Twitter feed, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. The more eyes that all of us can get on this, the better chance we have in getting me some help.
Thanks to all of you who saw this link on your feed, clicked to read my story or watch the video. Thanks to all of you who will or have shared my story. I certainly appreciate all of the love and the support! May God continue to keep and to bless all of you.
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