#ShareYourSpare: Clarkston man searches for kidney, spreads donation awareness
CLARKSTON, Mich. (FOX 2) - John Hendley was born with just one kidney. When his challenging battle got even harder - he started to spread more information about the importance of living donations.
John says there are other people in the world like him. He was born with only one kidney but his lifelong challenge got even harder 8 years ago when he was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease and an auto-immune disorder that attacks his lone kidney.
"When I got diagnosed it obviously was a big shock to me because I'm like 'wow what am I gonna do - I only have one kidney and now it's failing'," he said.
John is just 39 years old but his kidney function is down to between 15 and 20 percent.
"I get tired, I get fatigued pretty easily," he said.
As he fights, he's hoping to avoid dialysis which is exceptionally hard on the body.
"Preferred method for me is a living kidney donation right now," John said. "In Michigan, we're at about a 4 1/2 to 5 year wait for an end of life, deceased donor."
Not everyone who signs up to donate organs at the end of their life has viable organs. That's why living donations are so important to people like John.
"Consider going it for other people too, not just me. If you feel the urge, please call and just let them know you want to be tested and help somebody," he said.
John has type O blood and is promoting the #ShareYourSpare and #JohnsKidneyCampaign - but it's about more than him.
"Thirteen people on average per day die waiting for a kidney. It just doesn't seem right to us."
More than 100,000 people across the US are waiting for kidneys.
If you are interested in becoming a living donor, contact your local hospital. If you want to help John, Beaumont Transplant at Royal Oak Beaumont Hospital at 248-551-0586 and tell them you are calling regarding John Hendley.