Friday, June 1, 2018

An Open Letter to Save a Young Man's Life

Update of July 2, 2018:

My situation has rapidly worsened but I remain optimisitc.  Doctors don't have time now to create a fistula for me to use for the dialysis that I need if I don't get a kidney donor right away.  They want to insert a catheter in my abdomen in order to start peritoneal dialysis as soon as possible.

A kidney donor can save my life.  You can help simply by sharing this post.  Someone will come through, I am sure.


Help me by Sharing this Post:
I am Matt.  I am 19 years of age and I desperately need a kidney to live.  Not necessarily your kidney, but someone's.  You can help just by sharing this post with your friends on FaceBook or other social media.  Together we can find that angel willing to do the extraordinary to save my life.  It's easy to help me.

Matthew (Matt) Bustamante and Family
with my Mom, Lisa Largue (

I need your help to find a kidney donor so I can live.
with my brother Miguel
I have end-stage renal failure due to chronic kidney disease ("CKD").  I was born with undersized kidneys that are failing.  Others in my family have a similar problem but their conditions are not as advanced as mine.  I have a twin brother (Miguel) but doctors won't allow him to donate a kidney to me because of the possibility of a similar problem developing in him.

I need an angel to step forward to save my life by volunteering to give me a kidney (blood type A or O).  Tall order, I know.  It's a big ask.  So I'm not asking.

But I am asking for your help in another way.  There's something else that you can do to help me (and others with a similar need), even if you're not a donor: I need you to spread the word by sharing this request, and I'll show you how to do that in this post.  You can help me simply by getting the word out about my need for a kidney.

I am told that the more people who know of my need, the better my chance is of reaching a person willing to be an altruistic donor.  So, now it's all about getting the word out.  That's where you come in.

Who Am I?
with my Mom and my Grandmother Barbara Downing

I recently graduated from high school (Herbert Lehman in the Bronx).  I like to play basketball, and had many friends.  I moved to Florida to be with family, but I can't do much any more.  My disease makes me tired and weak, but a transplanted kidney could cure all of that. A new kidney could save my life.  I want to be a film maker someday.  Hopefully, I will make that happen.

I am very responsible about taking my medicines and would take good care of a life-saving kidney.  Please help me find a donor.  Just share this post.

People tend to notice my smile and positive attitude.  I always try to do the right thing and help others.  Now I need someone to help me.  Anyone.  Thank you for your consideration of helping to save my life.

How to Help Me:
I need your help to find a kidney donor so I can live.

Please give me 15 minutes (or more) and use that time to tell the world about this website (
  • Email: Send this website to your friends (all of them) by email.
  • Facebook: Post a small note on Facebook with a link to this website (icon above).
  • LinkedIn: Post a small note on LinkedIn with a link to this website (icon above).
  • Other Social Media Sites: Post a small note with a link to this website (icons below). 
And ask your contacts, readers, friends and acquaintances to do the same (to give this webpage exponential distribution).  
Why this is So Serious - My Options: 
Most people have two well-functioning kidneys but can lead a full and equally healthy life with just one kidney.  Both of my kidneys are almost fully shut down by CKD.  So, medically I now have only two options to continue living:
  • dialysis (life expectancy about 5 years)
  • transplant (a new lease on life)
According to USRDS data, Kidney transplant recipients fare far better than dialysis patients. I need those additional years in order to continue helping others.

Also, if a willing donor is not an exact match, through an arrangement called "Paired Kidney Donation" (kidney swapping) a donor who is not a match for me might be a match for someone else and I would be eligible to receive that person's donor's kidney that would be a match for me. 

If You'd Like More Information:
For more information, see Columbia University Medical Center's "Becoming a Kidney Donor" and/or watch this short video. 

Lloyd E. Ratner, MD New York Presbyterian-Columbia

To Speak with Someone Confidentially:
If you'd like to speak with someone confidentially (without disclosing your inquiry to me), please connect with:

Living Donor Transplant Coordinator
(407) 303-3624 Tel.
(407) 303-0681 Fax
Florida Hospital Transplant Institute
Living Donor Program
2415 North Orange Avenue, Suite 700, Orlando, FL 32804

Your questions will be answered by a qualified person who is familiar with my (Matt Bustamante) case.

Speaking with a staff member is much better than speaking with me.  They know far more than I do and you will get better information from them.  So please, feel free to contact them.

Keep in mind that a confidential phone call to the hospital does not come with any obligations to proceed further.

Note: For patients and families who are traveling more than 35 miles to Orlando for treatment, Florida Hospital's brand-new Bartch Transplant House provides patient housing and all the support and amenities they need at an affordable cost during their healing journey.  Costs incurred by donors may be reimbursed legally.  But payment for organs is illegal.

Help Me by Sharing.  Unfortunately, "Likes" are Not Enough:
So, please help me by Sharing this post with your Facebook and other friends.  Please do more than "like" or comment.  Likes and comments are the "hopes and prayers" of social media.  Shares = action; the action needed here.

I need your help to find a kidney donor so I can live.

Together, you and I can save my life.  Yes we can.

Thank you,


An Open Letter to Save a Young Man's Life

Update of July 2, 2018 : My situation has rapidly worsened but I remain optimisitc.  Doctors don't have time now to create a fistula ...