Area Man Hopes Facebook Will Help Him Find Kidney

jason-shafferRINGGOLD, Pa. (EYT) – Jason Shaffer needs a kidney, and he is hoping Facebook can help.

Shaffer has a son, and he works at Tri-County Homes, Inc. Custom Modular Homes in Shippenville.

He was reluctant to share his affliction, but after many conversations with a number of doctors working to help him he realized the time had come.

“So…I have avoided this for quite a while. Mostly, because I’m the type of person that – 1. doesn’t like to put personal issues on Facebook and – 2. I hate to ask anyone, including friends for help,” Shaffer said.

“After meeting with doctors (six different ones) all day, and after hearing every one of them tell me that I need to do do this, I guess it’s time to swallow my pride, take their advice, and let people know about my condition so that there is a better chance of finding a living donor.”

Shaffer explained that a year ago he was diagnosed with kidney disease. He has been able to avoid dialysis and slow the decline of his kidney function by making drastic changes to his diet and lifestyle.

“But, from what the doctors tell me, I will definitely need a transplant. They say that people are on the waiting list for a kidney for three to six years before they can find a match, and some never find a match at all and are on dialysis for the rest of their lives,” Shaffer said.

“Anybody that has seen a friend or family member on dialysis knows it’s a miserable existence. So, it is best to start looking for a donor now.”

“A living donor kidney has a much greater chance of success, and it saves the recipient years of being on dialysis while on the waiting list, not knowing if they will ever find a matching donor.”

Shaffer explained that he decided to share his disease with the hope that someone would be willing to help.

“We don’t even have to be a match because there is a donor swap program that will match me with a living donor if I have a living donor that can be matched with another recipient. So, there is a chance that you can become a donor that actually gives a gift to two people in need.”

“The insurance that I have will cover the cost of the donor as well,” Shaffer said.

Since posting on Facebook Monday, Shaffer had more than 80 shares and about three dozen comments from friends and others sending well wishes, sharing their own health issues and offering their help and willingness to be tested to see if they are a donor match.

“To all of you who offered to be screened to be a possible donor I spoke with the (Cleveland) Clinic this morning. They said that because my evaluation isn’t complete that I am not in their system as a kidney transplant patient yet. The blood work isn’t complete yet either, so there isn’t a blood profile to check against.”

“They did say to let you all know that in order to be cleared as a donor that the process is pretty long and will involve a day or two of testing at the clinic.”

“You also have to be able and willing to dedicate a month or two to the operation and recovery,” Shaffer said. “They operate on both the recipient and donor simultaneously for the best possible results. It is a huge commitment.”

“They will let me know when I can start to have possible donors call. Thanks again for all of love and generosity. You have all proven that there are some amazing people out there.”


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