Mebane resident Shirley Crisp is on a mission to find a hero - an individual who would be willing and able to provide her husband of 42 years, Pete Crisp, with a kidney.
“Pete has been on dialysis for six years and was diagnosed as a diabetic 12 years ago. Two year ago, both of his kidneys were removed after cancerous cells were detected and he has been on the wait list for a kidney for eight months but has needed a kidney for six years,” Shirley Crisp told us in a recent interview.
Only 9 percent of the population has Pete’s B+ blood type, which has made finding a donor a challenge for the Crisps. B+ organ recipients can receive donated platelets and plasma, and can receive blood from individuals with B+, B-, O+, and O- blood types.
“Unfortunately, we have been unable to find a family member to be a match,” Shirley said. “Therefore we have to rely on either finding a living donor or remain on the transplant list until we are notified about a possible donor.”
“Our biggest fears are the stats around African Americans and organ donations,” she added. “The number of organ transplants performed on African Americans in 2015 was only 17 percent of the number of black Americans currently waiting for a transplant. The number of transplants performed on white Americans was 31 percent of the number currently waiting. Many African-Americans chose to not be organ donors out of fear and unawareness.”
Despite the challenging circumstances, Shirley has not given up hope. Far from it, in fact.
When she goes out in public, she makes sure that anyone who sees her can learn that she is searching for a kidney donor for her husband, providing contact information and details about her family’s situation on her car and on her backpack.
Her hopes are that someone out there will see her and be willing to help out.
“I am constantly sharing the information on social media,” she said. “In addition, I have the information on the back of my car window and I wear a backpack with a sign that says her husband needs a kidney. It reads “Looking for his hero!!”. I am always sharing this information as much as possible. If someone join the list and is not a match for Pete, maybe they will be a match for someone else and be their hero.”
Shirley’s simple wish to extend the life of her friendly, generous husband.
“Pete is a quiet and gentle soul,” she said. “He would do anything for anyone. He has given so much to the community. We simply pray that someone will provide the gift of life for him.”
If you are a B+ blood type and are willing to be a living kidney donor for Pete Crisp, please contact UNC Hospital at 919-843-3670. Living Kidney Donor Applications are listed below:
Please email completed forms to Megan.firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Become an organ donor,” Shirley Crisp said. “Have your driver’s license updated and let your family know your wishes. You could save someone’s life.”