Brad Vernet, a 48-year-old husband and father of two, needs a kidney transplant. He has been diagnosed with Stage 5 Kidney Disease. Vernet’s family and friends are helping him search for a live donor via a Facebook page.
A Connecticut dad has taken to Facebook to find the kidney that will save his life.
Brad Vernet, 48, a middle school science teacher in Groton, Conn., is facing late-stage kidney disease. He was born with only one kidney, and the one he has is in rapid decline, currently functioning at just 14%.
The father of two hopes to find a living donor before his function reaches 10%, forcing him to go on dialysis. His doctors say he needs a kidney transplant within the next two years in order to survive, Vernet told local ABC News affiliate WTHN.
Though Vernet didn’t have a personal Facebook account, he and his family decided to set up a page to get the word out – and hopefully find the perfect match he needs.
The ‘Help Find Brad A Kidney’ Facebook page already has hundreds of followers, and several people have called Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital to be screened as potential donors.
The “Help Brad Find A Kidney” page was started September 15 and already has over 800 followers, some of whom have contacted Vernet’s transplant coordinators at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital with offers to help.
“I’ve had people call from Michigan; there’s a person who called from California,” Vernet said.
“The [donor process] itself takes more than a month, so I’m just waiting, hoping a match will be found soon.”
Vernet has been a teacher for 22 years.
Vernet – who has a wife Katy, a first grade teacher, and children Emmye, 16, and Martin, 12 – has taught seventh grade science at West Middle School in Groton for 18 years, and has been teaching for 22 years total. His biggest symptom right now is feeling tired, he said.
Though the positive response on Facebook has “given me a lot of hope and comfort,” he told ABCNews.com, he tries not to think about the emotional moment when he finds a matching donor.
“I have a contact person at the hospital who’s my first person, a nurse on the transplant team. If I see her number on my phone, you think in the back of your mind, ‘Is this the call that they found a match?'” Vernet said.
“I’m sure I’m just going to be unbelievably emotional when that happens.”
To learn more, visit the Facebook page. People interested in donating must contact Brigham and Women’s Hospital at 617-732-8683.