Hesson made a Facebook page, called “Greg Needs a Kidney,” to post updates and spread the word.
Brown, who was diagnosed with diabetes in 2006, found out he was in kidney failure last July.
“It kinda hit me at once,” Brown said, “because it was small things, feeling nauseous, swelling, itchy skin, just weird things that you wouldn’t put together as kidney failure.”
According to Brown, he felt short of breath on his walk to work and stopped at a local clinic. They directed him to the hospital where doctors discovered that he was in stage 4 kidney failure. Stage 5 is considered near or total failure and requires dialysis.
“Now I try to live day to day. For the last 7 months it’s just been a struggle. It makes you very tired having kidney failure. I want to have more energy and live life more,” Brown said.
For Hesson, saving Brown means losing one fewer family member. Hesson’s sister and Brown’s mother, Reenie, passed away from complications due to diabetes.
“Unfortunately they just didn’t test for it like they do today,” Hesson said. “When she had Greg, she looked at him as her miracle.”
Brown said he asked family and friends to donate, but it was a challenging conversation to have.
“It’s a little hard to ask for. It’s not something you would think of and the screening process is pretty extensive,” Brown said.
This screening process includes checking the donor for underlying conditions, such as cancer. It ensures that the process will be as safe as surgery could be for both parties. The donor must also be a blood match with the recipient.
All costs associated with the screening and procedure are covered for the donor.
“He’s a great kid,” Hesson said. “He’s always been. He’s a lot like my sister, and I don’t want anything to happen to him. We’re just trying to get the word out. I want to see him healthy again.” ••
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