Kevin Gray is a desperate dad searching for a kidney. The father of three girls, (ages 2, 12 and 17) found out one year ago that he has nephropathy, which is a kidney disease. He has needed a kidney transplant since then and has not been able to find a match. Now, Gray has taken to the streets in hopes of finding someone kind enough to donate one of their organs so that he can survive.
When the 35-year-old from Newberg, Oregon, found out his wife was not a match, he came up with a unique idea to try and find a donor for his failing kidney. Gray decided to “panhandle” for his needed organ by holding up a sign near Highway 99W that says, “Living kidney donor needed.”
In addition to trying to find a donor for himself, Gray is aiming to help others in need of a kidney transplant. He is educating those who are willing to listen about kidney failure and dialysis. Gray has directed many people to help Michelle Saddoris as well, who is a friend of the family and also in need of a kidney transplant. Saddoris created a Facebook page to raise awareness about kidney failure called Are You My Type in hopes of finding a match. One of the main goals is to spread the word so that more people’s lives can be salvaged.
Dawn-Marie Gray, Kevin’s wife, said that Gray stands outside with the sign for as long as he can, but often gets tired because of his deteriorating health. He was even promoting his cause on St. Patrick’s Day for five hours before returning to his part-time job at a manufacturing company. She stated that her husband can receive either A or O types as a donor, and that the Rh factor (Rhesus factor is either positive or negative in blood types and refers to whether a blood type contains the D antigen) does not matter.
If Gray is not able to find a living donor, he will have to stay alive for three more years because the waiting list is so long to receive a kidney from a cadaver. Many people have signed up to be a donor through Saddoris’ Facebook page, striving to aid Gray’s cause. Others have petitioned to help Saddoris. Either way, Kevin Gray is still a desperate dad searching for a kidney. With any luck, he will find a compassionate person that is a match who is keen on assisting in keeping him alive.
Gray has to undergo dialysis treatment every night and oftentimes does not have the physical strength to pick up his youngest daughter. He said he has his good days and his bad days.
Dawn-Marie stated that those who donate organs touch many people’s lives and can make a huge difference for their act of kindness. She mentioned that if someone is able to provide a kidney for her husband or Saddoris that they are not only saving her husband, but also her children’s father as well as the mother of her daughter’s best friend.
Gray is going to continue to walk the streets with his sign in hand, searching for potential donors and determined in making miracles happen. Kevin Gray is a desperate dad searching for a kidney, but he will not give up until he has found what he is looking for.
By Amy Nelson