(WJBK) - Like many high school juniors, 15-year-old Terry Irby has big plans for the future, but right now his one wish is to get a new kidney.
Irby says his grades had started to slip last school year because he was always tired, but he had no idea it was a sign he needed a kidney.
The family learned the devastating news after completing a physical to play football for Cass Tech High School.
"Antibodies attacked his kidneys," said his mother Zee Granberry.
The family says the journey for a kidney has often felt like an enormous struggle..
"He is on the national donor list. He's in the top 10 percent, but that's not to say it's going to be soon," Granberry said.
Irby is now on dialysis for four hours three days a week and his mother says she had to take a break from working to get her son to appointments.
Earlier this year they got word that a donor had come forward, but the joy was short lived. They called and said they wanted to wait a year or so.
"You have to be prepared for anything so I had already prepared myself mentally because I know anything could happen," Irby said.
Irby is now home schooled - a plan the family put in place because they thought he would need to be home recovering after receiving the transplant. So this teen has put his high school football career on hold.
"It hurt me a little bit, it really did. But I'm still part of the team. I'm still out there with them when I can be. Always supportive," he said.
Irby is now working to get the word out that once again that he needs a donor. Terry's mom says she wants people to be a donor but not just for her son.
"I just want the world to know someone out here really needs you," she said.
There's a GoFundMe set up to help Irby. CLICK HERE TO DONATE.
You can also contact his grandmother at 586-331-5430 if you're interested in becoming a donor.