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'I want my dad to walk me down the aisle': Family of Sinton man with kidney disease searches for donor

After a diagnosis with Polycystic Kidney Disease, 60-year-old Donald Columbus discovered his family is ineligible to donate due to the disease being genetic.

SINTON, Texas — A Sinton man's family is reaching out to the community for a kidney donation that can help save his life.

After a diagnosis with Polycystic Kidney Disease, 60-year-old Donald Columbus found out his family is ineligible to donate. Since it is a genetic disease, his family can not donate because some also have the disease or are a carrier of it.

Since there is no cure and to find more options, they made a Facebook post to reach even more potential donors.

*Please Read and Share* -In Need Of Live Kidney Donor- I am writing this post on Facebook about my Husband Donald "...

Posted by Mary Garza Columbus on Monday, June 5, 2023

"The unknown is the scariest part, I think," said Marissa Prado, Columbus' daughter. "And what, of course, could happen if he doesn't get it, because that is also scary."

Columbus is a field service technician with about 40 years of experience. After getting hurt on the job one day, he went to the hospital. By coincidence, doctors discovered he had a life-threatening kidney disease unrelated to his injuries. After finding out he had cysts on his kidneys and would need a transplant, his family reached out for help.

"I mean we love our dad," said Grace Columbus, Prado's sister. "We love our dad. I want my dad to walk me down the aisle. I want my dad to see his future grandchildren, yes, to grow old with us, to make memories." 

Grace works in a hospital lab and Prado is a nurse, which they said gives them more insight into what is happening to their dad. They said the cysts could grow inside his kidneys to the size of a football. It could also eventually lead to kidney failure. If her dad gets a donated kidney, Grace said it could extend his life by at least 10 years.

"I could never even think of a way to repay anybody for this and someone has to go from like, be as selfless as possible to do something like this. To give the gift of literal life," Grace said.

They said doctors are not sure how long Donald can live with the disease since it depends on his kidney output, which is checked every few weeks. A kidney donation would not cost anything since they said Methodist Hospital and the family's insurance are handling it. The sisters said a donation could improve his quality of life and give them more time with him.

"We need years with our dad," Prado said. "And that's really what we're asking for and for someone to have, just one person seeing this to have that tiny spark to change not only his lives, but the lives of our family and our future family means everything."

At least three people took an assessment to be potential donors so far but were deemed ineligible, the family said.

You have to be in good health to donate a kidney and for more information on how to help, visit livingdonor-methodistsa.com or email kidneysfordonnie@gmail.com.

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