Mom using billboards to find kidney donor for son

A Tri-State mom is hoping to find a kidney donor for her son who is struggling with a rare disorder.
Published: Oct. 16, 2023 at 7:55 PM EDT
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AMELIA, Ohio (WXIX) - A family in Amelia said they are desperately searching for a kidney donor for their 20-year-old son as his kidney function begins to run out.

Devin Cheek was born with a rare genetic disease called Alport Syndrome. The disease attacks a person’s kidneys, hearing and eyesight.

According to his mother, Elizabeth Eppens, Cheek’s health has declined in the last year because of the disease. His kidney function is only at 8 percent. If the family can’t find a kidney donor soon, Cheek will be put on dialysis.

“I don’t want him to be stuck in a hospital bed four or five hours at a time, three days a week, every single week,” Eppens said. “I don’t want him to have the implant put into his body. He’s 20 - he needs to be a 20-year-old.”

Billboards have been plastered around the Tri-State looking for a donor, but due to Cheek’s rare Type O Negative blood type, it’s been a difficult search.

Cheek is hoping to find a donor so he can avoid dialysis and get back to the things he enjoyed - basketball, sand volleyball and fun with his friends.

“I feel like I grew up faster than most people,” Cheek said. “I just hope we find one soon so we can get back to a normal life.”

Anyone who would like to see if they’re a potential match for Cheek can call The Christ Hospital’s Transplant Coordinator at 513-585-1440.

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