GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – There are hundreds of people across the Upstate waiting on the gift of life.
Matt Justice has been living with kidney disease for more than two decades now.
“Started late 1999 early 2000 I was diagnosed with a kidney disease IgA nephropathy,” he said.
The slowly progressing disease meant he had to retire early from his law enforcement career and give up coaching.
“I really enjoyed coaching and volunteering as a coach I had to step away from that,” he said.
With the help of his wife Christie, Matt maintains his health with at home dialysis four times a week.
“You have moments that you’re very tired and you have days that you feel better than others,” Matt said.
But, what he really needs, is a new kidney.
“Though he may look like everything is great on the outside having that living donor come forward and improve his way of life or anyone else’s way of life,” Christie said.
Friends and family have stepped up but were ruled out as matches, and Matt has been on the transplant list for more than 4 years.
Just to have one person‘s life so dramatically changed by such an amazing gift is incredible,” Dr. Keith Superdock with the Prisma Health transplant team said.
He said living donors are the best option for people like Matt.
“Those kidneys tend to work immediately sometimes deceased donor kidneys from sitting on ice for a while can be slow to kick in,” Superdock said.
He and his team are trying to find donors for hundreds, after Prisma opened the transplant unit in October.
“In general people have two symmetric kidneys that provide 10 times as much kidney function that they need to stay well,” Superdock said.
Now, Matt and Christie are hoping someone out there could be a match.
“My heart fills up because it’s overwhelming,” Christie said.
“The best gift that you can give someone is an opportunity at life,” Matt said.