Easton man hopes to beat the odds a second time, searching for a kidney
EASTON, Md. – An Easton man who once thought his health was in great shape is now fighting for his life and is in dire need of a kidney donor.
“But it is frustrating, to the point where you think – is there an end to this? You hear nightmares about people being stuck on dialysis for 6-7 years,” says Jason Lee.
A nightmare Jason Lee is living through after beating the odds and becoming a cancer survivor at just five years old. Now finding himself fighting for his life yet again. “I had leukemia, and that’s what got me in this position now. My mom and dad were told there would be later conditions, and consequences down the road,” Jason adds.
Cancer treatments that ultimately saved his life, led to side effects that have now caused his kidneys to fail. It’s clear Jason needs a new kidney, but right now his only option is a temporary solution, Dialysis. ” I’ve been on dialysis for about 3 months now, I go twice a week, the standard is about 3 days a week, but since I’m small of stature, I only have to do 2 days a week. Currently if conditions worsen high phosphorous, high potassium, and dirty blood, then you have to up that frequency,” Jason explains.
Dialysis is a treatment that: “A machine is hooked up to the patient, blood is removed from the patient, it goes through a filter in the dialysis machine and the machine acts as the kidney and then the clean blood is put back in the patient,” says Jessica Lewis, Jason’s Living Donor Kidney Recipient Coordinator at the University of Maryland Medical System.
This allows Jason to keep going while he waits for a life-saving call. A match that could take a little longer because he has a rare blood type, O negative.
Jason’s hopeful that his kidney is out there but says if you aren’t a match for him you still could save two lives. “So someone like yourself could donate a kidney even if it has nothing to do with me or matches me and that kidney will go to somebody else and in the good faith system, like an honor system, my name goes further up to the top of the list,” Jason says.
It’s a list that people can spend up to five years on waiting for their kidney according to the American Kidney Fund.
For now, Jason is waiting for his turn at the top of the list “My position is I want to not be on dialysis forever and try to have another 40 years of regular life,” says Jason. He is the “longest living survivor in the U.S. with a living recipient that I’m still in contact with.”
Jason tells 47 ABC he is remaining hopeful throughout his journey. “I don’t thik there’s any other way to be, every day is a gift, to begin with in my life so I want to continue along with what I am doing.”
Jessica Lewis says making sure you have your annual doctor’s visits and getting your blood work can detect kidney failure. To donate your kidney or learn more information, click here.