Menomonee Falls man takes to social media to find kidney donor

NOW: Menomonee Falls man takes to social media to find kidney donor

MENOMONEE FALLLS, Wis. (CBS 58) -- A Menomonee Falls man whose kidneys are failing and is in need of a new kidney is taking to social media in hopes of finding a donor.

Tom Zachek is on more than one donor list, but it can take years to get the call a patient is hoping for about a donor.

In the meantime, he is hoping his new approach will help save his life.

Zachek is musician, published author and retired high school teacher who was enjoying his golden years with his wife, Amy, when a diagnosis almost three years ago stopped them in their tracks.

"Stage 4 Kidney Renal Disease. I have about a 16, 15-16% function now," Zachek said. 

News no loved one wants to hear.

"It was quite an adjustment and I was depressed for a long time thinking that my husband might be dying and our lifestyle would have to change," Amy Gavin-Zachek said. 

Now as Zacheck faces the reality of dialysis if he doesn't get a kidney transplant, so he decided to take action himself to find a donor.

He started making shirts that say, "I need a kidney (262) 415-8141."

"I told my daughter that I made one and she saw the photos and she said make one for me and then her husband said make one for me too," Zachek said. 

Zachek then took to social media and posted a picture of himself wearing the shirt and the post took off online.

The kind words came pouring in from family, friends, strangers and some people inquiring about helping Zachek.

Zachek's doctors say the method has worked for others, so he should hold out hope that a donor may step up.

"We do know there are people who have all kinds of problems and there's not much they can do about some of them, but this is one you can do something about and I think it's a very good feeling to be able to help someone," Gavin-Zachek said. 

Zachek says an organ donation is an amazing gift to give someone.

"There's all these things they need to take into consideration, but it's literally the gift of life," Zachek said. 

If you or someone you know is interested in donating a kidney, you are urged to either call Zachek directly or one of his kidney transplant coordinators.

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