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Bronx man in need of kidney donation chronicles his perseverance on social media to inspire others

Posted: Updated:

A Bronx man needs help in getting a healthy kidney.

Isaiah Jenkins is telling his story on social media to not only spread that word, but also about everything he has been through to spread some hope.

Since he was born, Jenkins has faced one obstacle after another. Doctors told his mother that he would not live past five months. His heart stopped twice due to asthma.

He beat those odds, but then found out he had kidney disease at 14.

“Turns out I had strep throat for five weeks and it was attacking my kidneys,” Jenkins explains.

Then after experiencing painful, long headaches and seizures around 16, which caused him to pass out, he underwent two brain surgeries for a rare condition that resulted from a defect at the back of the head where the brain meets the spinal cord. His mother has been by his side through it all.

Despite the adversities, Jenkins has taken it with stride.

“I just deal with it. I not going to let it ruin my day,” Jenkins says.

The function of his kidneys has declined in the past two years to the point where they are not functioning. He recently got home from spending an entire month at Montefiore Medical Center and is now receiving dialysis treatment at home for six to eight hours a night.

While reluctantly at first, he posted his story to Instagram.

“Going on social media, it actually showed that there’s a lot more good in people than you think,” Jenkins says.

Jenkins hopes his strength and persistence inspires others.

“God forbid I don't make it. I want the story to continue to motivate other people so they can, I guess, fight for whatever they're going through. Just keep fighting” Jenkins says.

He is determined not to quit and he is going day by day, but is in need of a kidney. When he gets through it, he hopes to write a book about everything he has gone through to pay it forward.

“That’s all I need. Someone to be watching this can donate and decide maybe they want to donate, and maybe they’re the match, and maybe they could save my life,” Jenkins says.

Jenkin's blood type is o positive. He can only receive a kidney from a donor with the same blood type.

Residents who are willing to be a donor but do not have o blood type can enter the National Kidney Paired Exchange program.

For more information, follow this link.

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