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Virginia man waiting for kidney transplant says pandemic has 'really taken a toll'

Darrell Jackson: 'If I were to get a transplant now, maybe it would last the rest of my life'
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Posted at 8:47 PM, Feb 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-11 20:57:46-05

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- Darrell Jackson dreams about finding a kidney donor every single day.

“It could be life-saving to me and change my life tremendously,” said Jackson, who suffers with End Stage Renal Disease.

WTVR CBS 6 shared the Henrico man’s story last year as he ramped up his search for a donor. But around that time COVID-19 forced us into shutdown and Jackson believes it deterred people from testing to see if they were a match.

Jackson, who undergoes dialysis three times a week, said it is becoming too much.

“It’s grueling. It’s a grueling experience," he explained. "[I've] been doing it now for five years and it’s taken a toll on my body. It’s a major problem. The older you get and are on dialysis, it’s hard because your body can’t take it like it used to when I was younger. So that’s the problem I’m having.”

One of the most difficult parts is seeing the toll it is taking on his children, especially his 13-year-old daughter.

“She understands what is going on. She cries about it. She’s always worrying about me," Jackson said. "That’s too much for a 13-year-old to have to worry about. I hate the fact that I have to see her see me in the condition I’m in. I want to be around to see her graduate, go to college, get married and live her life. I just want to be a part of that.”

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Jackson said COVID-19 dealt him two setbacks. Last month he contracted it and was hospitalized.

“I stayed in there four days and when I got out, I couldn’t go back to my same dialysis center because I had COVID. It was hard on me as far as being on dialysis. There is no way I can miss a treatment. Doesn’t matter what the weather is. Doesn’t matter the situation. I have to go to dialysis” Jackson added.

According to the CDC, African Americans are nearly three times more likely to be diagnosed with kidney failure compared to whites. The disease touches 1 in 7 adults eighteen years and older.

Those at high risk include people with diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.

While Jackson wants to find a donor, he also wants others to understand how Chronic Kidney Disease affects the community.

He said he will continue to pray for a donor to give him a new lease on life.

“I’m 63 years old now," Jackson said. "If I were to get a transplant now, maybe it would last the rest of my life.”

There are certain requirements that potential kidney donors must meet in order to help Jackson.

Those interested in finding out more, can call 804-828-2762 and speak with his living donor coordinator.

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