Don Chris

Autistic New York Man in Desperate Need of a Lifesaving Kidney Transplant Loses His Only Organ Donor

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22 people die every day in the United States waiting for a kidney transplant, most waiting 7 to 9 years on the government’s deceased donor list. The team at MatchingDonors.com is working hard to make sure that doesn’t happen by finding altruistic living organ donors for people needing kidney transplants.  The average patient gets their transplant through MatchingDonors.com within six months of signing up on the website.
 
Charles Fike has always been full of love and a hard-worker, despite everything. When he was four, he was diagnosed as developmentally disabled with an autistic spectrum disorder, but he did not let that stop him from living and loving life. After graduating high school, he began working part time supporting his community and doing chores at home to help support his parents. When his father developed advanced Alzheimer’s, he stepped up for his family again by learning how to drive so that he could do errands.
 
Then, in May of 2016, Charles became light-headed and suddenly collapsed. When he regained consciousness, he was in the hospital. Doctors told him that he has polycystic kidney disease, something they had previously suspected but never tested for when he suffered a stroke a few years prior.  The doctors informed him that he would need a new kidney to survive. Until then, he must go on dialysis to help clean his blood and maintain a strict diet with low phosphorous, low calcium, and low sodium. His dieting started immediately, and several months later dialysis started three times a week, three hours per session. Dialysis is a very taxing process, coupled with his very strict diet; Charles lost more than 30 pounds and began struggling with stomach issues that occasionally makes him nauseous when he eats. Even as he is struggling with all of his health issues, he still works hard to contribute to his household and be responsible for taking himself to all of his doctor and dialysis appointments.
 
In 2019, three years of dialysis later, Charles and his mother found out about MatchingDonors.com, a nonprofit organization that connects those in need of organ transplants with living, altruistic donors. While the government’s deceased donor list takes an average of 7-9 years before receiving a transplant, MatchingDonors.com uses living donors, which means that donations through MatchingDonors can take place in as little as 6 months.
 
Charles’ obstacles did not stop there, his blood type is O, which means he can only receive a donation from an O blood type. This is extremely difficult because type O’s are universal donors, meaning they can give to any blood type. As a result, they are very in demand, so for a type O recipient, it can be very difficult to find one. Even still, after only 6 months, Charles had a type O donor that tested for him and matched. In mid-2020, they were moving forward with one final test before setting a date for surgery when the donor received quite a surprise for herself: she was pregnant!
 
This was good news for her, but it meant that she could no longer donate to Charles. Looking for a donor during the COVID-19 pandemic is extremely difficult, and type O blood donors are scarcer than ever.
 
Charles is currently still looking for a donor on MatchingDonors.com. If you are interested in donating to Charles or anyone else in need of a lifesaving transplant, visit and sign up with MatchingDonors.com.
 
Since 2004, there have been over 600 transplant surgeries facilitated between a patient and altruistic donor that found each other through MatchingDonors.com.
 
Charles put his profile on MatchingDonors.com; he wrote: 
 
When I was four, I was diagnosed developmentally disabled with an autistic spectrum disorder. Even so, I have made an independent life for myself. I completed high school, learned to drive, work part time jobs, have a credit card and bank account, and manage my money to pay my bills. I love exploring in the car. Whenever I am out in the car and see a street that I have not been down, I want to explore it and often do. My father and I used to share this hobby, but he now has advanced Alzheimer’s and I have to go by myself. I like helping my parents. My mother is 80 and I help with grocery shopping, laundry, mowing the lawn, putting out the trash, and feeding and cleaning the cat litter for our two cats Samson and Lily. In the morning, both cats are waiting outside my bedroom door waiting for me to feed them… One thing I really like is recycling things. I check the trash to make sure that we are recycling everything we can, and I put the recycling out for pickup. I also collect and recycle cans and bottles. I like to sew and I combine this with my recycling interest by making tote bags, aprons, place mats and potholders from recycled denim. All things of my own design. I sell some at our church fair. My mother says that some of the things are really beautiful. I like working outside, and to earn money, I mow grass and trim hedges for neighbors, as well as keeping our yard and walks neat. I love going to amusement parks and water parks. On the drive there I have another opportunity for exploring.
 
In 2016, I collapsed and when I awoke I had a diagnosis of polycystic kidney disease. Within 6 months I had to go on dialysis 3 days a week. Despite this I take care of all my own needs, my meals, laundry, prescriptions, and getting to dialysis on time. I take my blood pressure and weight daily, keep a record, and check all my food for low salt and phosphorus. Dialysis keeps you alive but not well. I have lost 30 lbs. since my kidneys failed. It is hard to eat without feeling sick, and many times I do throw up. I used to have a part time job for my village recreation department doing tennis court maintenance but had to give it up because of the dialysis schedule. Even though I have gotten good at finding the lowest sodium food, I really miss all the food I can’t eat. I really worry that I will keep getting sicker and won’t be able to help my parents or keep up with the things I am still able to do. A new kidney would mean I could keep going.
 
            MatchingDonors.com was launched in January of 2004 as an Internet service based in Canton, Massachusetts. Patients on transplant lists put their profiles on the website, and potential donors browse the site for a life they want to help save. Donors are not compensated, since it is against the law in the United States to have any financial benefit from organ donation.
 
Since the inception of MatchingDonors.com, directed living organ donations has increased to historic numbers. MatchingDonors.com is now the largest living donor organization in the United States. 
 
“We believe that if more people were better educated on the ability to be a live organ donor, and we add in the personal communication between potential organ donors and patients needing an organ, the number of donors will increase and so will the probability of a patient receiving their much needed organ.  We already have over 15,000 potential donors on our site waiting to find patients needing organs”, said Paul Dooley, MatchingDonors.com CEO.  “MatchingDonors.com is the most comprehensive searching system available. Other organizations concentrate mainly on the passive anonymous portion of finding organ donors – leaving little or no communication between patients and potential donors”.
 
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Since launching in 2004, over the past 16 years MatchingDonors.com has made historic strides in saving the lives of people needing organ transplants, and increasing living organ donation in the United States. MatchingDonors.com has won many awards and commendations for the work they do.
More information about MatchingDonors.com
•          In 2004, MatchingDonors.com was the first organization in history to facilitate an organ transplant through the internet.
•          MatchingDonors.com is a 501c3 non-profit organization.
•          MatchingDonors.com has over 15,500 vetted registered living altruistic organ donors, and growing daily, MatchingDonors.com is America’s largest living organ donor registry. Many new organ donors register themselves on MatchingDonors.com daily.
•          Many patients get their transplant through MatchingDonors.com within only 6 months, or less, of signing up on MatchingDonors.com, rather than waiting 7 to 10 years on the government’s deceased donor list.
•          MatchingDonors.com now has over 3,000 organ patients with active profiles.
•          MatchingDonors.com also has over 4,000 vetted registered living altruistic organ donors that are willing to be incompatible donors in paired exchanges or chains, and growing daily. MatchingDonors.com is America’s largest paired exchange living organ donor registry.
•          MatchingDonors.com is rated as A+ with the Better Business Bureau
•          MatchingDonors.com has made many medical historic strides in organ transplantation.
•          The MatchingDonors.com team has received many accolades and awards.
•          MatchingDonors.com is honored annually as one of the only two non-profit organizations of choice by the Hollywood Film Awards® at the Annual Hollywood Awards Gala in Beverly Hills. MatchingDonors.com and was chosen out of 1.5 million other nonprofits in the United States to receive this prestigious honor.
•          Many of our patient members have upcoming surgery dates with their donors found on MatchingDonors.com.
•          MatchingDonors.com can get over 1.5 million visits in a month. 
 
 
As of October 19, 2020 there are 108,849 patients waiting for an organ transplant in the United States on the government’s deceased organ donor list.  Yet, for the entirety of 2019, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing, www.UNOS.org a non-profit organization contracted with the US Department of Health, there were only 39,719 organ transplants performed in the United States.
 
Currently, patients waiting for an organ donation are placed on the UNOS national waiting list through the United Network for Organ Sharing.  A computer system matches patients to donor organs according to objective criteria such as blood and tissue type, immune status, medical urgency and time spent on the waiting list.  This ranking system determines which patients are offered available organs.  This process is extremely important in anyone’s organ search, but now MatchingDonors.com offers a way to enhance the search with a more active approach.  It also allows the patient to be proactive with his life.
 
MatchingDonors.com’s main objective is to search the United States to find potential live donors for people in need of organ transplants, also knowing the success rate of living donors as opposed to deceased donors is higher.  Patient members of MatchingDonors.com provide a personal biography as well as pictures of their choice to display on the website, which will create an interest in them and their life story.  When patients in need of an organ transplant place themselves into MatchingDonors.com database, their information will be promoted on the website.  MatchingDonors.com advertises and promotes its website in many different ways through extensive public relations networking to increase potential donors viewing the site.
The personal connection between donor and recipient is the key. MatchingDonors.com provides the opportunity to locate a potential live donor.  According to the National Kidney Foundation, “Nearly one out of four (23.4%) of 1000 people queried told pollsters that they would be “likely” to consider donating a kidney or a portion of their liver or lung to help save the life of someone they did not know.”  Many people feel more comfortable considering offering a live donation to someone they may have a connection with or a common bond.  
 
When patients provide their biography, and open up personally, the potential for live donors to respond is increased.  To help educate people about the option of live organ donation, MatchingDonors.com website provides extensive information regarding the safety and types of donations available.
 
Members of MatchingDonors.com and the MatchingDonors.com CEO, Paul Dooley, are available for interviews for print, radio and television.  
MatchingDonors.com is not an organ donor waiting list, and is not associated with any other organ donor organization.  It is a non-profit venue where patients and potential donors can communicate and hopefully expedite a live altruistic donor agreeing to donate a much-needed organ.  MatchingDonors.com gives patients and potential donors the important communication tools to correspond with each other, but once the contact between the parties has been made, the road to transplant surgery is their own. 
 
Based in Canton, Massachusetts, MatchingDonors.com is a non-profit organization with people based throughout the United States. Anyone interested in donating to support MatchingDonors.com services can do so by calling MatchingDonors.com at 781-821-2204. 
 
If you can please help us at MatchingDonors.com to save more lives of people needing kidney and other organ transplants by placing our professionally created Public Service Announcements (PSAs) for your audience. The link to download these PSAs for radio, television, print and website PSAs can be found here:  MatchingDonorsPSAs.com 
More information about the company is available at its corporate website, http://www.matchingdonors.com.