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Friday, November 27, 2020

Top Stories > General

Still hasn't found what he's looking for

Search for a kidney continues

Oct 22, 2020

By Patricio Robayo - staff writer

By: PATRICIO ROBAYO | DEMOCRAT
Friends and family came out to the Hurleyville Fire Department to show support for Jim Kaufman, who is in need of a kidney. From the left, Cheyenne Barrett, Victoria Kaufman, Jim and Mariah Kaufman, Charles Payne, and Peter Micheletti.
HURLEYVILLE — Hurleyville firefighter and chaplain Jim Kaufman still hasn't found what he is looking for, a kidney donor to save his life.
Earlier in the year, Kaufman was diagnosed with Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis (FSGS).
When not treated, FSGS can lead to disastrous kidney failure, and Kaufman was told by doctors that his condition is too far gone.
Kaufman says he is already starting to feel its effects after a recent heart biopsy revealed that the heart is filling up with fluid.
On Saturday, October 17, the Hurleyville Fire Department members got together to honor Kaufman and invited those who wanted to be tested to sign up.
The event was kicked off with the firefighters, friends and family igniting colored smoke bombs in honor of Kaufman.
People also came to donate money to help with Kaufman's medical expenses.
After the smoked clear, about 15 people signed up to see if they could be a potential match.
One of those potential donors was Kaufman's sister, Victoria.
After hearing her brother's diagnosis, she said she had to do something. After hearing her brother say after his last bodybuilding competition that he just wanted to “expire,” she said, “I'm not letting this happen. I'm just not gonna let him die.”
Unfortunately, Victoria will have to wait two to three weeks to see if she is a match herself.
Besides blood work, potential donors will need to pass a series of medical tests to see if they do not have any underlining conditions that will prevent them from becoming a donor, according to the American Kidney Fund.
State Senator Jen Metzger recently visited Kaufman and said her office would do what they can to help the firefighter in his journey.
“Jim Kaufman has served his community as a dedicated volunteer firefighter in Hurleyville for 30 years, and it is heartwarming to see so many from the community step up to help him in this time of great need," said Senator Metzger. “In these situations, the more people who can be tested, the faster a determination for a successful match can be made.”
T-Shirts were created, and on the back of the shirt, it reads, “Jimmy's Angels.”
Kaufman's sister said they were made to help bring awareness to the cause, and with the hope that someone might see it, ask about it, and sign up to be a potential donor.
Kaufman's wife, Mariah, said it has been tough to go through the diagnosis and find out that she is not a match for her husband.
“It's been tough,” said Mariah. "We're hanging in there, taking it one day at a time."
If you want to help, call Miranda Behan at (845) 434-3908 or (845) 701-9292.




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