BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Kidney disease disproportionality affects the Black community. It’s something that a local pastor has been dealing with for the past 12 years.
Rev. Dr. Lyle Pointer doesn’t know what caused his kidneys to fail. He was adopted at birth so his genetic history is unknown, all he knows is he needs a kidney and he’s hoping someone out there can help.READ MORE: Police: 15-Year-Old Boy Injured In SE Baltimore Shooting Saturday Night
He’s one of the nearly 100,000 people waiting for a kidney transplant.
“It’s extremely difficult, it’s a day by day thing,” Rev. Dr. Pointer said.
It’s a journey the Silver Spring native has been on for the past 12 years, when the seemingly healthy then 23-year-old found out his kidneys were failing.
“I went back to school in the fall and I was so exhausted from just normal things like walking from the car to the front door, or walking from the front door upstairs, just wore me out to the point I had to take a break and I was like this isn’t normal,” Rev. Dr. Pointer said.
His first transplant came shortly thereafter.
“Unfortunately, that first year after you receive a kidney, the kidney is really sensitive and the kidney didn’t take,” Rev. Dr. Pointer said.READ MORE: Maryland Weather: Most Of The Region Could See Severe Storm Sunday Afternoon
So it was back on the transplant list, where he’s been waiting since 2010, relying on dialysis to keep him alive.
“In DC and Baltimore region, the need for kidney is very high. Because we have a very large African American community,” said Dr. Jennifer Verbesy, MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute.
According to the National Kidney Foundation, Black or African American people are four times more likely than whites to have kidney failure.
“In those communities you have a lot more diabetes and high blood pressure and those disease lead to kidney disease,” Dr. Verbesy said.
So now Rev. Dr. Pointer is sharing his story in hopes of not only finding a kidney for himself but also to raise awareness and encourage more people to become donors.
“The hope is, yes, I do desperately want a kidney but more broadly, get rid of a lot of the stigmas that are there,” Rev. Dr. Pointer said.
One of the reasons he’s been waiting so long is because it takes a lot longer to fid a kidney for a second transplant. If you want to know more about being a living donor, click here.MORE NEWS: Baltimore Students Build Memory Garden For Gun Violence Survivors
You can learn more about MedStar Georgetown’s Transplant Institute here.