Kidney disease, which often results in a need for transplant, is an issue that disproportionately affects the Black community. In the U.S., 90,000 people are currently waiting for a kidney transplant and more than one third of those waiting are of African descent. Members of the Black community suffer from kidney failure at a rate three times higher than individuals from other races.
Christopher is unstoppable. Born with polycystic kidney disease, he knew from a young age that a kidney transplant was likely in his future. By 2015, his kidneys were failing and he was forced to undergo dialysis three days a week. The appointments were so disruptive to his life that he was unable to work and had to move in with his mother. Through all of this, he was worried more about being too sick to care for his daughter and aging mother than he was for his own health.
After waiting nearly five years, Christopher received a lifesaving kidney transplant in October 2019. Since the surgery, everything has changed for him. He began working at a hardware store in Brooklyn and got engaged. He was feeling good and his life was getting back on track. Then the pandemic struck. But that didn’t slow Christopher down. He continued working hard to help his neighbors get the tools and supplies they needed at the store, and he was able to have a small, socially distanced wedding.
“I’m thankful every single day that I got a second chance at life,” he says. “I hope everyone who is waiting for an organ transplant is as lucky as me.”
To learn more about organ donation or to sign up as a lifesaving organ donor, please visit LiveOnNY.org.