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Community offers hope to teen in need of kidney transplant

Updated: May. 24, 2021 at 9:20 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Doctors at AU are researching how they can improve kidney transplants for hundreds of patients waiting their turn. One local teenager has been waiting three years for a transplant and now the community is stepping up to help search for a donor.

It’s been a long road for Parker McDaniel.

“I just wanted to be like a normal 20 year old haha,” said McDaniel.

At just 18 months old his kidney failed and his dad was a perfect match to donate. But three years ago things went south again.

“I got put on dialysis when I was 17 and I have been on it for three years and I’ve been looking for a kidney for that long,” he said.

That’s where social media comes into play. Parkers step-mom reached out to the community for help. And in just two weeks more than 2,500 shares and hundreds of comments of people saying they’ll get tested to see if they can donate.

“To see that that many people are willing to share it just touches our hearts and we’re just hoping that one of those people that decides to go get tested will be a perfect match for him so he can start living his own life,” said Pamela McDaniel, Parker’s step-mother.

But here locally kidney transplants were not even happening. Because of the pandemic all elective surgeries stopped and visitors were limited.

“Someone going through such a big surgery and being able to have family or loved ones around is huge,” said Michael McDaniel, Parker’s father.

But seeing the community come together for a complete stranger is a sign of hope.

“He gives people hope. He gives us hope,” said Pamela McDaniel. “It’s just been a huge blessing too in a way.”

The family says they have raised more than $100,000 for the National Kidney Foundation. That goes towards educating and helping people in the community who are in the same situation as Parker.

If you are interested in getting tested to see if you’re a match visit: Piedmont Transplant or MUSC Transplant. For the form you must list his legal name Michael Parker McDaniel and his date of birth 10/31/2000.

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