May I ask you a question? It’s kind of a weird question. In fact I’m asking for a friend. No, really, I am asking for a friend. It’s not one of those things where I say “asking for a friend,” but I really want to know if it’s weird that I still sleep in my Dana Scully pjs.

No, I have a real question to ask on behalf of a real friend. Not a friend from camp that lives in Canada, that is totally real. This is about a real person. Who is really my friend, and my brother-in-law.

Anyways, I’ve gotten way off track. Let me start again.

I have a question for you. I see there that you have two functioning kidneys. I bet you’re really enjoying the way they are cleaning the waste out of your blood. That’s pretty sweet right?

Well, I am wondering, can my friend Kevin can have one? One of your kidneys? You know, technically we only need one healthy kidney, and Kevin has zero healthy kidneys, so he needs someone to let him have one of theirs.

I would give him one of mine. I have two, they’re used, but they still work. However, just because we don’t have blood types that match, and because of other science factors, I can't give him one of mine.

I've been assured that that is the scientific truth, and it's not because his body thinks it’s too good for one of my kidneys. At first I was all, ‘Fine, be that way. Don’t take my kidney, see if I care. Is this what I get for having you in my wedding?’

Kevin with this dialysis machine. Photos: Brenda Kuhns

But, seriously, here’s the deal. My friend and brother-in-law Kevin Dunn is 36 and needs a kidney. He is on the organ donor lists, but waiting for a matching cadaver donor could take years. The longer he has to wait, and the longer he is on dialysis, and the less of a chance for a successful transplant he has.

"I was diagnosed with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD)," Kevin said.
"This is a fancy way of saying that my kidneys stopped working, they stopped filtering the poisons out of my blood stream, they stopped producing a hormone that tells my body to make more blood cells, and stopped helping with controlling of my blood pressure and my body temperature...I am on dialysis, every night, for 10 hours, I hook up to a machine that pumps fluid into me which filters my blood and keeps me alive."

So, my beautiful wife Brenda (his sister) and I, along with Kevin’s friends and family are helping him search for a living kidney donor. Doctors say that a living kidney donor is his best bet. They say that transplants from living donors are proven to have better outcomes.

Kevin currently lives in Lincoln, Nebraska to be close to his medical team and attend graduate school. He is a Nebraska native; born in York, NE and graduated from Axtell High in Axtell, NE. He served with the Army Reserves as a generator mechanic and was deployed to Iraq in 2004-2005, just after high school. After his service, he attended the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, completing his bachelor degree in 2016. He was ready to continue post-grad work when his kidneys decided that were done doing kidney stuff. So, everything changed.

Shortly after he graduated from UNL, doctors discovered that Kevin’s kidneys had failed. He was immediately put on dialysis.

When your kidneys fail, dialysis keeps your body in balance by: removing waste, salt and extra water to prevent them from building up in the body; keeping a safe level of certain chemicals in your blood, such as potassium, sodium and bicarbonate; and helping to control blood pressure. -National Kidney Foudnation

Kevin needs a new kidney. Soon. He is a wonderful, smart, special person on the verge of doing great things. Kevin is a loving son, trusted friend and a brother his siblings cherish. His nieces and nephews dearly love their uncle Kevin and want his presence at the milestones in their lives.

So, this is what is needed. Kevin needs a living kidney donor with Type O blood. If you or someone you know is interested in helping, go to https://secure.nebraskamed.com/livingdonor.

If you want to learn more about what being a living donor is about, go here: nebraskamed.com/transplant/donating-organ.

If you want to connect with Kevin and the Kidney 4 Kev group, find us on Facebook here: Facebook.com/Kidney4Kev or email: Kidney4Kev@gmail.com.

The Facebook group also has a link to Kevin's GoFundMe for his medical and living expenses.

You can also help by sharing this with the people you know, online and in real life. Spread the word. Please.

On behalf of my friend, thank you.


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