Winnipeg man takes to social media in desperate plea for living kidney donor

WATCH: A Winnipeg man has taken his health needs to social media, making a public plea in an effort to find a living kidney donor.

A Winnipeg man is making a public plea in an effort to try to find a living kidney donor.

Lewis Rosenberg’s kidneys have been failing since April, forcing him to get dialysis twice a week.

“I’m currently taking over 35 pills a day to mimic kidney function and all the things it’s not doing,” Rosenberg said. “So for four hours, twice a week, I have to lay flat with my arm still and have a machine clean my blood.”

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But dialysis is not a cure. Rosenberg needs a new kidney.

“My options are to find a donor and get a transplant,” he said. “My only option, really, is finding somebody that is kind enough and generous enough and altruistic enough to give me one of their kidneys.”

So Rosenberg put his pride aside and did the only thing he could think of. He put a plea out on Facebook for a living donor.

“It took me awhile to get up the courage to write that because it’s hard airing your life in front of people in a non-superficial way,” Rosenberg said. “I certainly was brought up not to ask something like that of strangers. It’s a very tough decision.”

In his Facebook post, Rosenberg shared that his kids had already lost their mother to cancer and he doesn’t want them to lose their other parent to kidney disease.

Living donation occurs when a person freely decides to donate one of their kidneys to someone in need of a transplant. It also provides the recipient with a longer life expectancy than when receiving an organ from a deceased donor.

There are currently 200 Manitobans waiting for a new kidney.

Finding a living donor willing to help, means patients don’t sit on a wait list, a process that can take more than five years.

RELATED: Over 200 Canadians died in 2016 waiting for an organ transplant

In 2016, there were 25 living kidney donor transplants done in Manitoba.

Living donors are healthy people with good kidney function. They cannot have diabetes or high blood pressure. Potential donors need to be tested and pass a number of key areas, testing that is specific to that person. This is to make sure it is safe for them to donate.

If you would like to consider being a living donor for Rosenberg or others you can contact the program at the Health Sciences Centre directly by emailing livingkidneydonation@hsc.mb.ca

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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