We reached our goal and the billboard is up on Barrington and Mississippi in West LA!! It has gotten incredible attention on Reddit, followed by stories from multiple news outlets. We've received calls and emails from all over the world!
The fight is not over until Antonio has a healthy kidney. In the meanwhile, we will continue to raise awareness around this issue, and do our best to help others in Antonio's position. If you or a loved one is in need of a kidney donor, or if you are willing to donate one of your healthy kidneys, please reach out to us @ [email redacted].
Antonio is one of my best friends. He is an LA-native who lives for the Dodgers (though he has yet to see them win a world series), loves video games and It's Always Sunny, and has an impeccable sense of style. His parents immigrated from Guatemala and he has a younger brother and sister, as well as an older brother, who is in a wheel chair. He is one of the most generous people I know--he will give you the sneakers off his feet or buy you lunch without thinking twice. He is a gentleman and a thoughtful soul. He's a good person.
In 2009 Antonio got diagnosed with a rare kidney disease called Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis. The doctor said he had one failed kidney and one failing, and needed a transplant ASAP. It wasn't the result of poor lifestyle or nutrition. It wasn't anything he had done, at all. It was just one of those...freak things.
Antonio now has a catheter in his stomach. Every night he hooks the catheter up to a machine for dialysis, which removes the waste from his blood (something a healthy person's kidneys normally do). His room must be completely free of dust and bacteria, to avoid infection. While hooked up he cannot leave his room, not even to use the restroom. He needs to be home every night to do this, otherwise he'll get really sick. He does this for 9 hours, every single night.
Antonio just turned 31. No one should ever have to go through dialysis, but Antonio has his whole life ahead of him. Because of the dialysis he cannot have a normal social life or a regular job, which forced him to move back in with his parents. Because of the catheter he cannot exercise, for fear of ripping the stitching. It has affected his dating life and self-esteem. He often gets depressed and physically ill. He's been on the donor list for years.
What Antonio needs is a kidney donor. Several of his friends/family have tried to donate but were not a match. It is extremely illegal to buy or sell a kidney, and that is not what this money is for. Instead, it will be used to advertise: for t-shirts, car decals, and a billboard right here in Hollywood. To raise awareness and find Tony an Altruistic Kidney Donor.
Antonio is blood type O+. This means he is a universal blood donor, but he can only receive O+ and O-. A healthy person only needs one kidney, and I have seen miracles out there of people stepping up to help complete strangers in need. But it's about getting the word out. Please, please help fund this campaign so we can tell Antonio's story and get him healthy and happy again.
***IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN BEING A DONOR, please contact Miguel Can at [phone redacted] and give Antonio's full name and birthday (2/21/88)