JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – A national tour by kidney donor, Brian Martindale, will kick-off soon.
Martindale will visit Kidney Foundation offices and hospitals in 15 cities, including Jackson, to recruit 100 people to donate one of their kidneys in order to save the lives of 100 children. This is part of the Kidneys for Kids tour.
In 2012, Martindale donated one of his kidneys to a 10-year-old girl in Michigan.
“Adults are able to donate their kidneys to a child as young as the age of two years old, depending on the size of the child,” he explained.
For patients, clean drinking water is an ultimate necessity. The City of Jackson’s water treatment facility is still undergoing daily repairs, and the city is under a boil water notice. This has caused issues for kidney disease patients.
“Kidney patients go to a dialysis center about three times a week. The dialysis center is choosing your treatments depending on the machine between one and three-hundred liters of water, which has to be very pure. The machines could purify the water if it was drinkable, but without that, they are trucking in water with tankers just to keep people alive. The water crisis in Jackson is literally a matter of life and death for people that are on dialysis,” said Martindale.
Doctors said kidney patients should avoid sodas and energy drinks, especially after a transplant.
There are 1,100 children in the United States alone that need to receive a kidney immediately, and there are more than 4,000 additional children who are on dialysis or additional treatment who also need a kidney.
“I am a living example. I can still do the same things with one kidney as I did with two. Your life will not change. If you are a healthy adult with normal kidney function, and you give away or donate your spare kidney, your life will not change. The functions of your body will not change. You can save a life even if you don’t meet the person who receives it,” stated Martindale.
Health experts said 5,000 people die each year while waiting for a donor kidney.