WEWAHITCHKA, Fla. (WMBB)–A Wewahitchka man is in end-stage renal failure. Now, his wife is on a mission to find him a new kidney, and she’ll stop at nothing until they get it. Jason Richter was diagnosed with Polycystic Kidney Disease four years ago. But he says the past two years have been the hardest.
“His kidneys are this big, regular kidneys are the size of your fist, they’re full of cysts, they rupture and cause debilitating pain,” said Suzanne Richter, Jason’s wife.
The disease runs in Richter’s family, but he says it’s something no one can fully understand until they go through it themselves.
“Things that used to be easy are hard, and things that used to be hard are just impossible now. So I’m just biding time, just waiting,” said Jason Richter.
Richter is currently on a transplant list through the Mayo Clinic. But finding a perfect match is a challenge.
“It’s going to take eight years for him to receive a cadaver kidney,” said Suzanne Richter.
That’s why she is determined to find that match on her own, from a living donor. Humans have two kidneys, but only need one to survive. Her husband needs one Type O kidney. If someone is a match, Richter’s insurance will pay for the entire procedure at no cost to the donor.
“Just got to do everything we can, we can’t stop at ‘no’,” said Suzanne Richter.
Taking advantage of technology, Suzanne is working hard to spread the word.
“Facebook has been a huge platform, Instagram, we have the t-shirts, I made pins, I have yard signs, I have a big digital sign outside the Piggly Wiggly in Port St. Joe that’s flashing,” said Suzanne Richter.
They have even placed QR codes all across Wewahitchka and Port St. Joe. When potential donors scan them, they’re taken to the Mayo Clinic’s website where they learn everything they need to know to become a donor and get on the transplant list.
The couple will be heading to New Orleans, Pensacola, Tampa, and Birmingham in the coming months to hopefully get on more transplant lists. This requires a substantial amount of time, missed work days, and money. If you’d like to donate to assist the couple’s efforts, you can donate to their GoFundMe.
To become a kidney donor and check if you’re a match for Jason, visit the following link and use Jason Richter (DOB:11-05-1973) as your intended recipient.