Are You The Match? 9-Year-Old Kentuckian Needs a Kidney

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – For two years, 9-year-old Sam Kauffman has lived without his kidneys. His parents, Tara and Kenyon Kauffman, hope a living donor will give one of theirs.

“He’s been sick since he’s been six, so a third of his life has been spent with this disease. So at this point it’s pretty much what he knows,” Sam’s father, Kenyon, said.

In September 2017, Sam was diagnosed with a rare kidney disease so both of his kidneys were surgically removed, and he was put on a transplant list.

“A month or two before, we were having somewhat of a normal summer. So it was pretty life changing,” Sam’s mother, Tara, said.

“I mean it’s changed our entire focus,” Kenyon added.

During the day, Sam attends school and lives playing with his trains, sister, or outdoors afterward. However, at night he spends 11 hours on dialysis. The Kauffman’s tried to donate their kidneys but they weren’t a match.

“We were heart broken, and so we took the information and they said you need to go out to your community and try to find a living donor,” Tara told Spectrum News 1. So they did that, but they exhausted all of their contacts and haven’t found a match. Tara said the reason why her son needs a living donor is because the kidney lasts longer than when it comes from a deceased donor.

To help spread the word, some of Tara’s girlfriends started a Facebook page called Kidney for Sam. The page encourages everyone to call the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital donor program.

“It’s hard for us as parents to publicize our children and our family. We’re very private but this is a real call for help,” Tara said.

Anyone with any blood type can learn if or how they can help Sam by calling the donor program at 513-636-7201. If one isn’t a match for Sam, they could be for someone else.