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Finding a kidney donor on your own

AURORA. Colo. -- When you learn that you need a kidney transplant, it can be overwhelming, especially knowing that the wait to get one could be several years.

But University of Colorado Hospital has a unique program called Donor Champions that teaches loved ones how to search for a living kidney donor on their own, using things like social media.

Sarah Blackney attended the class. Her husband, Dalyn, has failing kidneys and needs a transplant.

The 37-year-old is a father of three boys, and Sarah wants to be proactive.  “They told us people die from kidney disease everyday unless they get a donor, and I’m not willing to let that happen,” she said.

At the Donor Champion class, Dr. James Cooper and team,  teach families about the transplant process and how to use social media to get the word out about their need.  “We’ve found this is a very effective way of reaching out to people,” he said.

T-shirt for Dalyn Blackney

The program has had success.  Since it started, almost 90 possible donors have come forward to be screened.  That’s resulted in 7 actual transplants.

Sarah Blackney  is hopeful.  She learned how to set up Facebook and GoFundMe accounts, and what to say on each page.

She bought t-shirts for her boys that say “Save our daddy Dalyn.”

The family has been amazed by the response, and the interest from people wanting to help. “We’ve had people helping us all the way from Maine to California. So it’s pretty amazing what Facebook dose for you,” Dalyn said.

If you would like more information, check out the "Save Our Daddy" Facebook page or the "Save Our Daddy" GoFundMe page. You can also contact the transplant program at University of Colorado Hospital.