Menomonie (WQOW) – It’s a medical mystery for 20-year-old Jacob Yaeger.
“Back in December, last year, I found out I had kidney failure, and they don’t know what caused it. Too scarred to tell,” Jacob said.
“As soon as he walked into the emergency room, they basically said you’re too young for this to be happening,” Jacob’s mother, Gerilyn Pickerign, said.
He had been experiencing high blood pressure and swelling in his legs for months, but the symptoms kept being dismissed by doctors as a result of working long shifts.
That is, until what was supposed to be a happy night out celebrating Jacob’s two-year anniversary with his girlfriend ended with him in the ER.
“He was instantly put on the transplant list,” Gerilyn said.
Jacob is working on barely any kidney function at all, causing him to quit his job, land him in and out of the hospital unexpectedly, and to go in for dialysis three to four times a week.
“It gets to be pretty boring sitting there and staring at the clock, because I got a big clock right in front of my face,” Jacob said.
Dialysis helps, but Jacob still needs a kidney as soon as possible, because although he may feel fine most days, everything could take a turn for the worse at any moment.
“It’s a very limited pool he gets to choose from,” Gerilyn said.
Jacob had a potential donor lined up, who ultimately decided now was not the right time to donate.
In a desperate attempt to find another donor, Gerilyn made a post on Facebook seeking someone who may be interested with Jacob’s same rare blood type, O negative. They weren’t expecting it to go viral.
“Actually, I had a friend a few days ago point out to me, she’s like, ‘Did you know that has 1000 shares?’ I’m like, ‘What?!’” Gerilyn said.
As of Sunday night, the post had been shared over 2500 times, with comments flooding in asking to help.
“I’ve had some people private message me, telling me that they’re O negative blood type, and that they would like to know how to go about seeing if they’re a match,” Gerilyn said.
It gave some hope to the family, and gave Jacob a chance to potentially look at life beyond this disease.
“Average life span is five years on dialysis. I know he can live longer than that,” Gerilyn said.
If you are interested in seeing if you could be a match for Jacob, you can message Gerilyn on Facebook via her profile.
Gerilyn added that even if you are not a match for Jacob, you could possibly be one for someone else.