CLEVELAND (WJW) -- Since introducing Skyler Gordon to our FOX 8 viewers, the number of people who have come forward willing to help the 11-year-old Akron boy has been overwhelming.
Skyler was diagnosed with a genetic kidney disease which left him on a waiting list for a donor kidney. He often has to isolate himself from others due to risk for infection. His room has been transformed into a medical facility.
Children's Hospital of Cincinnati, where his transplant is hoped to eventually take place, tells FOX 8 that since his story aired, the phones at their transplant center have been inundated with calls from people hoping to help.
Skyler's mother knows it will take only one person to do that and knows if there are others who for some reason are not compatable with her son, that there are thousands of others like him who need the same thing.
Dr. Kenneth Chavin of University Hospitals said there are more than 117,000 people on waiting lists and the number of donor kidneys in any year does not match that.
Transplant hospitals are part of multiple networks that share information about donors hoping to find life saving matches.
Cincinnati Children's Hospital said their preferred donors are 18-55 years old with a body mass index of under 35 and a blood type compatible with the transplant recipient.
"Obviously they are giving a part of themselves and so we do all this meticulous medical screening, testing and all to make sure that when it’s all said and done you can live a full life with one kidney," said Dr. Chavin.
Dr. Chavin said the evaluation of a donor is thorough to make certain they will also be able to live a long and healthy life.
"There are people out there who are willing to donate something that they have two of and our job as medical professionals is not to say no but to say yes in a structured manner to be safe for them that ultimately, other than the risks around the surgery they will live a normal healthy productive life," said Chavin.
Those who can't donate can still help by advocating for transplant recipients, spreading the word of the need and encouraging others to consider becoming donors.