Single father turns to social media in search of a new kidney

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PALMYRA, Va. (NEWSPLEX) -- A young man from Palmyra was recently added to the kidney transplant list, and he's turning to social media for help.

According to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, he's one of 2,400 people in Virginia that need a kidney. It's a story you don't typically hear from a person in their 20s.

Ronnell Lewis says he's hooked to a dialysis machine for ten hours a day and he's in search of a special type of donor. His room has been turned into a hospital, and he's all too familiar with the stacks of boxes filled with liquid bags.

"I'm changing fluid through out the day," said Ronnell. "I have a catheter right here."

The 29-year old has Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis, or FSGS, a disease that shrinks your kidney. Now for ten hours a day, he is hooked up to a dialysis machine.

"I wouldn't wish my worst enemy, it pretty much restricts your life completely," said Ronnell. "When I first started dialysis, Hemodialysis is pretty rough, it takes your blood out, cleans it and it puts the blood back into you."

Not only is it time consuming and affected work, it's affecting his two young kids.

"I can't parent the way I want to because I'm kind of stuck to a machine a lot of the times," said Ronnell. "You want to do things for your kids and you really can't at the moment, and I guess it puts added extra stress to the situation."

In the meantime, Lewis' family has turned to social media in the search for a special type of donor.

"A living donor," said Evette Lewis, Ronnell's mother. "The kidney lasts longer, so a living donor is better at his age."

Ronnell says he's received some calls from people willing to help and while no one has reached the finish line just yet, he's staying positive.

"From all the support and love I got from just posting my campaign to social media," he said.

And his mother, who's been helping him take care of his kids, has already called on a higher power.

"I've been seeing my son struggle," said Evette. "As a mother, this is my prayer, by September 25th of this year, my son will have a new kidney when he turns 30, a new kidney."

Lewis matches with blood types A or O.

Along with seeking a donor, doctors visits have been piling up along with medical expenses.

To see if you are a match or to learn more about his campaign, click the link alongside this story.

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