A search for a kidney donor hasn’t been easy for one Wellington Township resident, but a local 4-H group has thrown its hat into the fight.
Greg Younglas, 59, has battled diabetes since childhood and received a new kidney in 1991 that was supposed to last him a decade.
While the kidney lasted far beyond those projections until early 2016, he’s had to undergo dialysis treatment ever since.
Through a family friend, word of Younglas’ situation reached the LaGrange Sodbusters, a 4-H group that wore T-shirts emblazoned with Younglas’ face and donation contact information during the Lorain County Fair.
“Greg had made other shirts to try and drum up awareness for finding a donor,” said Adele Flynn of Wellington, whose children are in the Sodbusters. “My mom is one of the helpers that takes him to dialysis and she thought it would be a great for the 4-H club to wear the shirts around the fair. Greg’s been on the list to get a kidney for several years.”
Since starting dialysis, Younglas has continued working full-time as a safety consultant for the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation and undergoes three treatments after clocking out each week.
Two calls for tissue matching have so far not led to any possible donors, he said.
“I’m not looking for sympathy. I’m looking for a kidney,” Younglas said. “These kids helping with that makes such a big statement. Maybe if somebody calls it won’t match me but that person would be willing to donate to someone else as well.”
“It is what it is,” he said. “Dialysis is very difficult on the body and you just do what you have to do. There’s not a whole lot of people in the world who work during dialysis treatment. I just wanted to remain active and productive in society, so I chose to work and keep my health insurance until I get a kidney and afterward.”
If you’d like to be a donor, call University Hospitals donation coordinator Peggy Schuster at 216-983-5138.
Younglas’ insurance will cover all testing and procedural costs, leaving a prospective donor only responsible for transportation to University Hospital in Cleveland.
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.