She's 4. He's 50. But they're friends who share a unique and potentially tragic bond.

Posted at 10:09 PM, Jul 26, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-29 21:05:10-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Skyla Travis is an adorable four-year-old little girl. Kelvin Douglas is a hard-working 50-year-old Marine who now works with children with special needs.

Despite their obvious differences, the two are friends and share a unique bond.

Both need to have their lives saved through the generosity of others.

"I need a kidney," Douglas said. "I have Stage 4 Renal Disease.”

Skyla needs a liver.

"The liver is functional but it has several lesions on it," Skyla's father Brian Travis said. "They’re 95% sure it is not cancer but they don’t want to take any chances."

August is National Minority Donor Awareness Month. It's a time to educate people on the need for more organ donors from minority communities.

It's also about making sure people know to check the organ donation box on their driver's license and get tested to see if their organs can one day help others. 

"My sister passed away January 14 and my mother told me, about a month ago, that her eyes were donated and somebody right now has my sister's eyes," Brian Travis said. "For you to donate a part of your body for somebody you don’t even know, that says a lot about you as a person."

For Kelvin Douglas, staying alive has become a full-time job.

"I go [to dialysis] Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays," he said. "Some days it's OK, a lot of days, you come out wiped but I still have to work full time because I have to make a living.  So I have to push through, no matter what."

He also wants to share the importance of getting tested.

"A lot of people out here that need help," he said. I’m one of them.”

Both Skyla and Kelvin are on an organ donation waitlist.

While Skyla’s wait is almost over, Kelvin understands how tough it is to be on that list.

"I’m glad that she’s so young and doesn’t understand everything that the magnitude of everything going on," he said. "Sometimes it weighs on you and you’ve got to talk yourself back up to keep going on."

Kelvin Douglas and Brian Travis share of long-time love of motorcycles. Together they will use that love to spread awareness about the need for more organ donors.

Their charity ride gets underway at Noon on Saturday at Colonial Harley Davidson and all proceeds go to Donate Life Virginia.

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