The Legendary Phoenix Kidney Fund

Tuesday morning, one week after my 29th birthday, my girlfriend rushed me to the hospital after two days of not being able to hold down any food. On that morning, I woke up on an empty stomach and proceeded to vomit blood. While waiting in the ER to hear something about my stomach, the doctors came back with other questions. Does my blood pressure always run this high? Are you taking any major street drugs? Being a relatively healthy 29-year old I don’t check my blood pressure at all and don’t take any type of drugs, I don’t even smoke. They came back an hour later to tell me they ran my creatinine levels twice because they were so high. That day I found out that my kidneys were in failure. They immediately put a catheter in my chest and the next day started a dialysis treatment. I spent the next two weeks in the hospital being told that I had chronic kidney disease due to high blood pressure and I was in need of a kidney.

By the time I got out of the hospital I had begun to use all of my vacation and personal hours at work. Due to the physical demands of my job and having to go to dialysis for four hours three times a week, my doctor will not approve my return to work. I had no other choice but to apply for short term disability which gave me 50% of my average weekly wage. That lifeline ended in June.  My partner has been a major help and is now fully supporting me.

Being diagnosed with end stage renal failure at such a young age has caused me to slow down. As young people, we move so fast and focus on what’s in front of us. This process has caused me to look ahead. That means taking care of myself and planning for the future. My education is very important and my school, University of Holy Cross, has been very helpful. They offer free counseling to students and that’s something I was taking advantage of even before everything happened. My counselor helped me a lot through this process and relit my passion for helping others. I'm majoring in social counseling at school with ambitions to finish my undergrad and continue in their master's program to obtain a license to counsel.

I’m starting this campaign because I need help. I learned in counseling there’s no shame or weakness in asking for help. Not only are my medical bills a handful, but also my regular monthly bills are becoming difficult to maintain. My insurance covers a good bit of it, but there are still things that fall on me. Between prescriptions, doctor’s bills, hospital bills, and regular monthly bills it’s becoming hard to stay afloat. Also with the pressure of some bills nearing collections I really need the help.  

My current medical bills total is $5,125. I say currently because there are some bills that are currently being reviewed because of being filed under "personal account" rather than my "transplant account" which is covered under insurance. So there's potential $1,200 to be uncovered and all on me. There's also still more bills to come.

My personal bills come up about $1,300 a month. Between rent, car insurance, car note, phone bill, and utilities. I have two roommates and they have been picking up my dead weight. (My words, not theirs.) They are the best roommates, Sam Bass and my partner, Annie Freitas, that anyone can ever ask for.

In June I was placed on the transplant list. The first three people that volunteer to get tested was my sister, Jasmine Phoenix, my best friend, Corey Hampton, and my partner Annie Freitas. The results came back and my sister and partner were a match. The average wait time on the list is two to three years and family members are not always a match. I’ve been blessed to have two matches. My sister will go through with the work up first to see if she’s capable of giving a kidney. If not for some reason then my partner will go through testing next.  

    So, there’s a possible light at the end of the tunnel, but even then things won’t be over. After I get a new kidney, I will be on certain medicines for the rest of my life and have doctors’ appointments every six months. It’s going to be a long road to recovery, but I’m ready for the ride. I just need some help with gas money and the occasional oil change to keep riding. I am asking for $20,000 to cover current medical bills $6,400, living expenses totaling 7,800 for six months my estimated transplant timeline, and $5,800 for anticipated medical expenses related to the transplant.  

Anything you give will be greatly appreciated.
Thanks for your time.

  • Michele, Elaine, and Hollis . 
    • $60 
    • 53 mos
  • Shelby Webb 
    • $20 
    • 55 mos
  • Sarah Balog 
    • $25 
    • 56 mos
  • Megan and Brandon Brunious 
    • $100 
    • 56 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $10 
    • 56 mos
See all


Leon Phoenix 
New Orleans, LA