Florida Family Turns To The Streets To Find Teenage Son A Kidney

Kidney Sign
Jill Brannen and her two daughters stood on the corner of Southwest Pine Avenue and Southwest 17th Street in Ocala in a bid to find her son a kidney. Courtesy of Jill Brannen

A Florida family has resorted to holding up signs on the streets in a bid to find a kidney donor for their teenage son. Nineteen year old Nico Rivera, who has a rare disorder, is on dialysis and both of his kidneys are 90 percent scar tissue.

Jill Brannen, her two young daughters and several family friends stood at an Ocala street corner on Saturday in the hopes of finding a kidney for Nico. The family held up orange signs asking for Type O or A donors.

Kidney Sign
Jill Brannen and her two daughters stood on the corner of Southwest Pine Avenue and Southwest 17th Street in Ocala in a bid to find her son a kidney. Courtesy of Jill Brannen

According to the Ocala Star-Banner, the family began looking for a donor in November but decided to hit the streets to find one over the weekend. Brannen told the newspaper that her son has a rare disorder called Alport Syndrome and that he needs a kidney "as soon as possible."

"We were having no luck so I said I was going to the street corner," Brannen told the newspaper.

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Jill Brannen and her daughters stood in the corner of Southwest Pine Avenue and Southwest 17th Street in Ocala, Florida in 90 degree weather in the hopes of finding a kidney donor for her son. Google Maps

The National Institutes of Health said Alport Syndrome is a genetic disorder that is characterized by kidney disease, hearing loss and eye abnomalities. A kidney transplant "doubles the life expectancy compared to staying on kidney dialysis treatment," according to the University of Florida Health.

After the first day looking for a donor by holding up the signs, Brannen told the Ocala Star-Banner that the family received six calls for donor information packets. The family plans to renew the street-sign effort at the Mojo Grill & Catering in Belleview next weekend, she told the newspaper.

"Nico is a kid that is more than deserving of a kidney," Brannen wrote on Facebook. "So next weekend we all stand together as a community…meet us at Belleview." The family is hoping to also spread the word by using the hashtag #Nico on Twitter.

Brannen did not immediately respond to Newsweek's request for comment.

According to the University of Florida Health, living donations can be made from a living related donor, living unrelated donor or a non-directed donor. Live donor organs are typically better than a non-living donor organ, the hospital said.

The family is urging potential donors to call 352-207-2885 or 704-213-5190 or visit http://x.co/aokidney, which leads potential donors to an informational site by the University of Florida Health on donating a kidney.

Florida Family Turns To The Streets To Find Teenage Son A Kidney | U.S.