Update: You can find Massey's GoFundMe page at https://www.gofundme.com/448g9c-life-saving-kidney-transplant.
Michael Massey is facing an expensive problem not of his own making.
The Gold Beach man is in end-stage renal failure — his one remaining kidney no longer works — and he’s only 27.
He’s been undergoing dialysis for years, having the blood removed from his body, cleaned through a membrane and put back into his body. It’s more often a procedure reserved for those with adult-onset diabetes — usually related to poor diet and obesity — and high blood pressure, according to the National Kidney Foundation.
According to his gofundme page, Massey had a blockage in his urethra when he was born, which caused urine to back up to his bladder and kidneys, ultimately poisoning and killing them.
“By the time I was 2 years old, I had to have my right kidney removed,” he said. “I lost 75 percent function of my left kidney.”
The remainder failed five years ago, leaving him in desperate need of a kidney transplant.
In the interim, Massey said, doctors put a tube in his abdomen and put him on dialysis.
“I have been living off a dialysis machine I hook up to every night to filter my blood in substitute of my kidneys,” he said.
After a few years of that, however, he developed peritonitis, which ruined the port to his abdomen and forced him off the dialysis.
“I recently had a catheter inserted in my chest, directly into my heart for emergency hemodialysis,” he wrote from his hospital bed at Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland. “Unfortunately, this type of hemodialysis is 50 percent more likely to be fatal and 5 times more likely to get infected as any other because it goes to my heart.
“After fighting this disease almost my whole life and doing whatever I can to get by, now I’ve been stopped in my tracks,” Massey said, “all due to money I don’t have to pay for the transplant cost.”
He has siblings and others willing to donate, but without the $33,000 needed for the surgery, housing, travel and medications needed after the surgery, he is not eligible for the procedure.
“There are many hoops to jump through in the process,” he said. “I understand, completely, and I’ve willingly jumped through all of them, but this has stopped me in my tracks.”
In five days, Massey has raised $6,879 of the $30,000 goal on gofundme.
“Words cannot describe how thankful I am for all of you and the support I have received thus far,” he wrote Friday. “The support I have been given has most definitely given me a second wind and a boost in motivation.”