Oregon Man Takes to the Streets to Find a Kidney Caragh Poh

Earl Martinez, 28, is a street beggar. He’s not looking for cash, drugs, a place to stay or some food to eat — he wants something a little bit more more personal. He wants a kidney.

Martinez suffers from Alport Syndrome, which causes mutations to part of a structural component that is important to membranes in the kidney, ear and eye. It also makes you pee blood, just in case kidney failure wasn’t enough. Because Alport is hereditary, no one in his family can donate.

He has two very young daughters and a wife, who he hopes to grow old with while watching his daughters become adults. Things were not looking good for Martinez – as of 18 months ago, he started to go through the grueling dialysis. Three times a week, Martinez sits in a chair for four hours, hooked up to a machine that takes his blood, filters out impurities his kidneys can no longer handle and pumps it back in.

The good news is that Martinez’s efforts have garnered so much attention both on the street and over the Internet that he now has had several offers for a kidney donation. He reports on his Facebook page, Earl Needs a Kidney: “I am still receiving messages from people who would like to donate and I am trying to get back to everyone to let them know I appreciate their support and hope that everything works out for the best.”

It takes an incredibly brave person to donate one of their organs, even if they have twice the amount of that organ than they technically need. Such a selfless act, especially when it is on the behalf of a complete stranger, is an amazing gift to offer. Earl sounds like he might be set, but he’s not the only one out there. Visit his page to see other stories from other people who are looking for a donation.

Visit LivingDonorsOnline.com to find out more on how you can follow through. Remember – many insurances in the US cover not only the kidney recipient’s medical bills, but the person who offers as well. So it won’t cost you an arm and a leg, just one kidney.

Featured image via ThinkProgress.com

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