(WSVN) - A 4-year-old is asking for a kidney for her father. He’s on a donor list and losing hope. Can a little girl convince someone to help? It’s tonight’s Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.
There is cute, and then there is really cute.
Madison Johnson (in video): “Hi! My name is Madison, and I’m 4 years old.”
An adorable 4-year-old.
Kameisha Johnson, Madison’s mother: “She’s always smiling. She’s just always happy. She’s just like an angel.”
A smiling child with a very serious message.
Madison Johnson (in video): “I need your help. My daddy needs a kidney.”
Madison’s father is Delbon.
Delbon Johnson, needs kidney transplant: “I’m going through kidney failure. None of my kidneys are functioning the way they should.”
When Delbon and Kameisha got married, they were young, healthy, and their futures were bright. Then Delbon developed an autoimmune disease.
Delbon Johnson: “I’m thinking, ‘I’m young. I can easily bounce back.'”
But he couldn’t. He has had 15 surgeries to repair the damages, and three times a week, he has dialysis to stay alive after both his kidneys shut down.
Delbon Johnson: “Dialysis is very tough. After dialysis, a lot of times I have pain around the chest.”
There is a solution.
Kameisha Johnson: “For him to receive a kidney. A donor that is B positive or O positive.”
Delbon thought a family member would match, but no one did.
He went on a donor list hoping a stranger could help. He has waited four years and met many people who have been on the list much longer and still have not found a match.
Delbon Johnson: “Sometimes, it just causes me to want to lose hope, being four years, but four years feels like 10, 15 years sometimes.”
That’s why Kameisha decided to try something different. Instead of Delbon asking strangers for help, let Madison do it.
Madison Johnson: “I love to hug my dad.”
Delbon needs the kidney, but he also wants it for Madison.
Delbon Johnson: “I’ll be able to be here for my family.”
Kameisha Johnson: “To see Madison grow up, graduate from school, go to the prom.”
Well, Howard, are there other ways for Delbon to get a kidney?
Howard Finkelstein, 7News legal expert: “If a family member doesn’t match, the odds of getting a kidney from the donor list are, sadly, slim, but there is a third option. Delbon’s family or friends who don’t match him, donate to someone else who needs a kidney, and that recipient’s family member donates a kidney to Delbon if they match. That’s what’s called paired donation.”
Howard mentioned the difficulty of getting a kidney from the donor list. That’s because nearly 100,000 people are waiting for a kidney, a list longer than all other organs combined.
Nearly 13 people die each day while waiting for a lifesaving kidney transplant.
Kameisha Johnson: “I believe there are people out there who have good hearts.”
If you are B positive or O positive, you could be a donor for Delbon. It won’t cost you anything, of course.
Kameisha has set up various ways to contact the family.
Delbon is waiting, and so is Madison.
Madison Johnson: “Thank you so much!”
Good luck, Madison.
More than 100,000 people are waiting for a kidney, a liver or a heart. The solution: more donors. Not only can you give a kidney while you are alive, you can donate your organs after you pass away to save several lives.
Your patience failing and need an infusion of hope? Ready to transplant the problem from your lap to ours? Donate it to us. No one ever called us cute, but we care.
CONTACT HELP ME HOWARD:
Reporter: Patrick Fraser at firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact Info for the Johnson Family
Facebook: The Ultimate Gift – “My Daddy Needs a Kidney”
Organ Donor List
Potential Donor Information
Miami Transplant Institute
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