LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - 19-year-old David Spalding has always had dreams of joining the Marines, but renal failure is holding him back.
Spalding needs a kidney transplant to live, and his family has been searching to find a match for more than a year.
This isn’t the first time he has had health issues; when he and his twin brother, Trent, were 5-years-old, they both contracted E. coli and went into kidney failure.
“Where [Trent] got better slowly over time, I did not,” Spalding said, “and I had to get a kidney transplant.”
Out of everyone in his immediate family, his grandmother was the only one who was an O+ match, so she donated her kidney. Following the transplant, David was healthy for a while, but last May he entered renal failure again.
Spalding also became insulin-dependent due to his illness at the time.
The teen now undergoes dialysis every other day. He was put on the kidney transplant list a year ago, but his family said they have been looking to find a donor sooner so he can live like a normal 19-year-old.
“It would change him,” Brittany Earp, Spalding’s sister, said. “I know he just turned 19, but he’s almost living at home where he almost can’t live regular because of it.”
His family said a new kidney would save Spalding’s life and allow him to live out his dreams of becoming a Marine, similarly to his twin brother who just enlisted in the National Guard.
“It would mean a lot. I would definitely make the most of it,” Spalding said. “I’ve been sitting around which I’ve always done, but I never realized how more freeing I was able to be without having to do dialysis every other day. Every little bit helps. A kidney is the first thing out of everything, but we’re shooting for a kidney and pancreas, even just one organ is more than enough.”
David’s family said his donor would have to have an O+ blood type. For information on becoming David’s donor, call Madelyn Hunt at Kentucky One Health Jewish Hospital at (502) 560-8416, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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To donate to David’s GoFundMe, click here.
The Low Twelve Riders and the American Legion Riders motorcycle clubs will host a 100-mile benefit ride to raise money for David’s kidney transplant on Saturday, Oct. 10 from 9-10 a.m. at 805 E. Market St. in New Albany.
To learn more about becoming an organ donor for many others who need a transplant, click here.
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