By Kendall McGee | May 19, 2021 at 3:32 PM EDT – Updated May 19 at 8:17 PM
WHITEVILLE, N.C. (WECT) – The pandemic has slowed down critical medical procedures, including organ donation, but one Columbus County family on the transplant list isn’t giving up hope of finding a living donor.
Chris Beck is a Whiteville father of three and a grandfather, and needs a kidney. He has battled kidney disease for more than a decade, but he’s recently run into complications that led to five surgeries over the last six months, and that ultimately landed him on the transplant list.
“Well, there is a difference between living and staying alive. Right now, I’m just staying alive,” said Beck. “I’m having to depend on my wife for a lot of stuff that I should be doing. I have very little energy most the time, so I can’t really do a whole lot of the things I like to do. I have been a Boy Scout scoutmaster for many years, and I’ve had to give that up because I can’t do the activities that they need to do.”
The pandemic hasn’t made the process any easier and the need for donor organs has always been great. There’s more than 100,000 people on the waiting list for an organ right now, and 17 people die each day waiting for a transplant.
The average wait time for a deceased donor kidney can be more than five years. The wait is just one reason a living donor is the best option for Chris Beck.
“A living donor kidney lasts longer and we get more years with my dad. He’s only 48 — he’s got a lot left to live, so we want to keep him around as long as we can,” said daughter Katelyn Beck. “There’s a lot of people that need a kidney so even if we don’t find a match, maybe somebody else will.”
It’s not just the recipient’s life that’s forever changed. Giving the gift of life also has a profound impact on the family members that love and care for patients like Chris Beck.
“With organ donation after death, you never see the impact you make on peoples lives. If you’ve ever considered organ donation, reconsider it,” said Chris Beck.
If you’re interested in helping the Beck family, they ask that you call the Vidant Transplant Center directly at 252-744-2620.
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