Utah family searching for a kidney donor

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

SPRINGVILLE — A longtime Springville family is desperately searching for the kindness of a stranger to help save their family member's life.

"The thing is, nobody would know (I need a kidney transplant)," said Andrew Fullmer.

With such a big love for life, Fullmer said he has a lot of life left to live.

If you ask Fullmer what one of his favorite things to do is, you can bet his answer will involve family. And music.

That's why he and his family, including his sister, Mae Hawes, are sharing his story in hopes he'll be around for much, much more of what — and who — he loves most.

"You know, without the kidney transplant, my brother will not survive. His life has so much to be lived, and he has so much to offer this beautiful world. He really has a passion for life that has inspired me," Hawes said.

Fullmer said he's lived with Type 1 diabetes basically his entire life. A run-in with COVID-19 last summer, on top of diabetes, put enough strain on his kidneys that it likely caused them to fail. In December, he had bypass surgery. Then, dialysis started.

Even still, somehow, his family said he always sees the glass half full.

"You know, considering everything going on, I feel pretty good, so I can't imagine having a kidney that's functioning. I'll be unstoppable," Fullmer said.

Hawes said her brother has taught her life lessons.

"I've learned that life is short and life is long at the same time. You know, you could really be a hero to us," Hawes said.

Fullmer said he's still got life lessons to live out.

"Enjoy every day because you never know when it's gonna end," he said.

Intermountain Healthcare's kidney transplant medical director said, on average, a kidney transplant doubles the amount of life compared to living on dialysis.

If you're interested in learning more about screening to become a donor, or want to learn more on how you can help their family, click here.

Currently, Intermountain Healthcare said 883 Utahns are waiting for an organ. Of those, 626 people, including Andrew Fullmer, are waiting for a kidney.

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Karah Brackin


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