Brigantine, N.J. - Pasquale Azzara Jr., 51, is a South Philadelphia native living with stage 5 kidney failure.
"As of my last visit, I probably have 5 weeks, 6 weeks before they start putting me on dialysis.” says Azzara. “I have three girls, I have a wife, we have a little baby grandson now. I found out that I had Kidney Disease five years ago, and it’s been the struggle all the way through until now."
Azzara is one of nearly 97,000 Americans on a waiting list for a kidney transplant, a list that is expected to reach 120,000 in the next few years. Less than 20,000 kidney transplants are performed each year with the need for living donors ever growing. Azzara and his wife, Ronnee Azzara, are reaching out through Craig's List and Facebook in the hopes of finding Pat a living donor.
A kidney donated by a living donor has two to three times the life expectancy of a kidney that is donated by a diseased or clinically brain dead individual, which has a life expectancy of up to eight to ten years.
“For the little Jewish girl who married the nice Italian guy," says Ronnee Azzara. "We just want our nice life back and just a kind soul. You hear of these people who don’t know you and sometimes they are a better match. And they’ll just donate out of the goodness of their heart.”
Ronnee Azzara posted this letter to the internet:
If you are interested in becoming a living organ donor, you can head to the United Network for Organ Sharing. If you or someone you know is looking for a kidney donor and need help understand your options, check out Living Kidney Donors Network.
To see if you are a kidney match for Pat:
Temple University Hospital Transplant Unit: (215) 707-8889 ask for "Iryna" and say you are calling for "Pasquale Azzara, Jr."
Head to his Facebook page.
BY: Lauren Berman/PHL17 News