PORT CHARLOTTE, FLA — According to the National Kidney Foundation right now 100,000 people are waiting for a kidney transplant.
And right here in Port Charlotte a 25 year old is in need and actually living without both kidneys for the past 4 years.
FOX 4’s Elyse Chengery sat down with Daniel Matteson to hear his plea for help and how his holidays look a bit different.
As many of us will be gathering around loved ones for the holidays and Thanksgiving - Daniel Matteson will be staying home… “I have dialysis tomorrow so I can’t leave this area and my sister is very pregnant and she is over in Daytona Beach so the family is going over to spend Thanksgiving with her and I have to be home so I can get dialysis and make sure everything‘s OK. It bums me out for the regular reasons it would bum most people out because everyone’s going to be having a nice thanksgiving and I’ll be here,” says Matteson.
Dialysis is what’s keeping Daniel alive…
“They stick two pretty big needles in my arm and one needle takes out all the blood from my body and puts it in the machine and it cleans it and adds nutrients, potassium, calcium and stuff your kidneys usually regularly do and the other needle puts it back in and it’s a fancy Brita filter for your blood." Matteson adds...“You feel like you got hit by a truck when you get up.”
Which is why it’s hard for Daniel to keep a job because the dialysis and hours take a toll on a regular schedule. He’s actually had more than 60 surgeries throughout his life so far.
You see this all began when Daniel was 7 years old and was told he had chronic renal kidney failure. They removed both of his kidneys. When he was 10 his mom donated her kidney as they found her to be a match. It worked!…up until 4 years ago when Daniel’s body rejected that kidney.
“It was a very shocking moment for everyone,” says Matteson.
It’s been difficult for Daniel - not only missing out on trips but also favorite activities or hiking with his girlfriend because he always has to be near his dialysis center.
Honestly after meeting him you wouldn’t be able to tell from the outside looking at Daniel as he was smiling and seems to have a positive outlook but when asking about the future he knows doctors say his time could be limited.
“People live for a long time on dialysis but you know if you don’t follow the rules or follow your diet something to a T, then to know it depends but 10-15 years is about what people look at,” says Daniel.
Elyse: “So that’s like 35 years old for you?”
Elyse: “And that scares you?”
Daniel: “Yeah it scares me it scares my girlfriend because you know we’ve been dating for a couple years now and we don’t see anything ending anytime soon and that worries her when we talk about kids. She cries when she talks about it because she’s scared of losing me to something we can’t stop.”
Daniel says for a donor match... his blood type is B+ or a universal blood type would be his match as well.
Tonight he’s hoping to pull together funds so he can get back and forth from Port Charlotte to Tampa to get more treatments and back on the kidney donor list.
Daniel explains...“Having a kidney would substantially help how long I live it will definitely increase any chance of seeing 60, 70 or older. I want to get a kidney so I can grow my future and move, build a house have kids you know the whole American dream.”
If you would like to help Daniel out here's a link for his GoFundME https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-danny-get-a-kidney-transplant?utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet&utm_medium=copy_link_all&utm_source=customer