'I need somebody to help save his life.' NJ Army veteran, wife plead for help with kidney transplant
An Army veteran from Marlton, along with his wife, are now putting out a plea for help. Mark Klayman may only have five years left to live, that's if he doesn't find a donor for a kidney transplant.
"It would mean everything because I need somebody to help him save his life,” says Hope Klayman.
Klayman, 74, and his wife, Hope, have been married 45 years. They share 13 grandchildren. Despite his situation, he remains ever positive.
“We push forward,” says Mark. “I have to have a positive attitude for my kids and my wife."
But Hope has watched the realities of Mark's struggle through dialysis three days a week since 2019, when his kidneys failed. It's a five-hour process that leaves him completely wiped.
"He's such a great guy,” says Hope. “He had such energy, we used to have a lot of fun. We still have fun, but now it's not the same. I worry about him every day."
Klayman enlisted in the Army when he was 18, serving from 1966 to 1976. His father was in the Navy and served in World War II. Klayman is currently working from home as a consultant with Freedom Mortgage.
"I'm still working with veterans which makes me feel good,” says Mark. “Working with veterans to stay in their house."
Klayman has recently enlisted with a new organization, Donor Outreach for Veterans, also known as DOVE. Their mission is to match veterans with kidney donors. The organization says there are 2,000 veterans nationwide awaiting a transplant at VAs or military hospitals.
Klayman says he is on the organ donor lists of three hospitals -- Hackensack, Jefferson and Virtua. But the lists may be too long.
"One hospital said we've got about four years,” says Hope. “At that point he'd be close to 79-80."
By then it may be too late. So, Mark is reaching out for a living donor because as he says, he's got a lot of life left to live.
"I think getting a donor would be just ... they'd be my hero if someone came forward,” says Mark.
Klayman says he has actually had some hospitals turn him down to join their donor list because of his advanced age.
Anyone wanting to help can contact the nonprofit, DOVE.