Columbus couple seeks rare kidney match after two failed transpl - WNCN: News, Weather

Columbus couple seeks rare kidney match after two failed transplants

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Grant during a dialysis treatment Grant during a dialysis treatment

Michael Grant has had to put life on hold because of his condition.

He was born with a partial functioning kidney and has had two kidney transplants that both failed. He now goes through dialysis treatments three times a week, three hours a day to deal with his end stage renal disease.

The 28-year-old graduated from college with a Biology degree. He has dreams and goals to become a molecular biologist, but he can only work part time because he spends a lot of time in dialysis as the waste, fluids and toxins are removed from his body.

The excess liquid builds up in his lungs, making it tough to sleep, the toxins make him experience mood swings and the excess fluids limit what he can eat and drink.

“It takes a lot of freedom away,” said Grant. “You don't realize how much you take for granted until, like what they always say, until it's taken away.”

He longs for a kidney so he can live a normal life, but when he met Shelby Harrell, who is now his fiancée, the pain became a little more manageable.

“We're built for communication, we're built for human touch, we're built for interaction with other people and she's exactly the type of person that I need,” said Grant.

A few months ago, she began an online fundraiser account to raise money for medical expenses and to raise awareness in hopes of finding a match.

“When I see someone that's donated and they've written a little note, even if it's an anonymous person, it makes me happy that someone out there understands,” said Harrell.

Shelby’s support, attitude and passion for helping has called Grant to keep things in perspective.

“We're both able to look past the dark side of things and look past the negative stuff and just take appreciation with what we do have and what health we have and just kind of count our blessings,” said Grant

Because Grant’s body has rejected two kidney transplants, his body has built up so much immunity that only 1% of the world's population could be a possible match. The couple understands the chances of finding a kidney, yet they wait with hope.

“We're both optimistic, we're both so positive that it will be and there is a positive match out there we just have to find it,” said Harrell.

The transplant surgery would cost about $1 million. Insurance would cover most of it, but they still would have to raise about $10,000. They’ve raised about $3,000 online so far.

Donations for the surgery can be made at http://www.gofundme.com/7zszhs.

If you would like to get tested you can call the Atlanta Kidney Transplant Program at 404-727-8466.

David Hurst

David Hurst, a graduate of the Univ. of Georgia, focuses on how your tax dollars are being spent.
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