A Huntington family is appealing for help to find a live kidney donor for their 23-year-old son.
Matthew Goodman suffers from a kidney disease called focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, and is on a transplant list.
He was diagnosed with the disease in 2015. While still a student at Walt Whitman High School, he underwent a thorough medical exam in preparation for attending nursing school. High protein levels led to the diagnosis.
Because he was adopted from Guatemala, the family has no medical records showing a possibility of inherited problems that could have led to the disease.
At the time of the diagnosis, he was told he would eventually need a transplant in about 10 years. But in 2019, results of tests showed that he would need a transplant sooner, and in 2020, he was placed on the waiting list.
Goodman has been doing a variety of jobs since his diagnosis, which has limited some of his activities. While he previously played soccer and tennis, Goodman said, “I feel okay day to day but certain things I can’t do any more such as sports, not being able to play soccer. ”
He anticipates a wait on the list of five to seven years, and believes that a live donor is the fastest and best option. He expects to start dialysis in about a month and said the disease has made him very tired recently.
His mother, Regina, said the family has been trying to get the word out, hoping to find a donor. She said the Dix Hills Soccer Club, and a church bulletin have circulated information about his need, and she has been posting to Facebook and other social media.
“I’m just staying positive and trying to keep myself healthy and keep hopes up high,” Matthew Goodman said.
New York ranks at the bottom of organ donation participation rates in the United States, with an estimated 10,000 state residents awaiting transplants.
“These are our neighbors, friends, teachers,” said Ali McSherry of LiveOn New York, which works to support organ donation recipients. “It is imperative that more New Yorkers sign up to be donors to save people’s lives. We encourgage people to have end of life conversatoins with family about donations. It’s very helpful to give clarity to relatives” about the potential donor’s wishes.
“There are so many misconceptions about donation. You should never self-rule out as a possible donor,” she said. “We have people over 95 who have donated, people who donate corneas. Don’t worry about your fear and let doctors make the determination” about eligibility.