EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — A man in the Poconos is making it his mission to spread awareness about the National Organ Transplant Waiting List.
Every nine minutes a person is added to the list totaling more than 106,000 people. That man Eyewitness News talked with is in need of a new kidney and is hoping more people get tested.
35-year-old Chris Vanatta lives in an Effort with his wife and two kids happiness radiates from their smiles – meanwhile, Chris is battling a medical condition and is waiting on the national transplant list.
“I was diagnosed when I was 16. The disease I have is IgA nephropathy and basically, the filters in the kidney are dying off, so all the proteins and all the waste that the body produced is settling at the base of my kidney,” stated Vanatta.
Four years ago his friend donated him a kidney.
Since then his health has declined and his wife shared put a request on Facebook, asking anyone to consider getting tested to see if they could be a match, and donate their kidney – that post was shared nearly 700 times.
“It was extremely overwhelming. Hundreds of strangers that I’ve never met before messaging me, sending prayers, not only reaching out saying that they’re willing to donate,” explained Vanatta.
now it’s a waiting game for someone with a perfect match.
“I did have a lot of people contacting me from there, but now when we call Temple and talk to them, not many people are actually getting tested,” said Ashlin Vanatta, Chris’s wife.
The kidney is the organ most in-demand – Ashlin says even if are not a match with her husband – you could help someone else.
Officials with the Gift of Life tell Eyewitness News about the most important step in helping us to register as organ donors.
“You can save up to eight lives through organ donation. Putting that designation on your driver’s license or having that conversation with their family, is really key,” stated Christine Radolovic, chief clinical officer at Gift of Life.
It takes just seconds to register as an organ donor. Chris is being treated through Temple Health. Anyone looking to see if they’re a match can call 215-707-8889 and email his wife at ashlinvaillant@yahoo.Com for more information that they’ll need for testing.