NEW JERSEY — April is National Donate Life Month: A Burlington County man and his family are asking for the public’s help to save his life.

Mark Klayman, who lives in Marlton, is in desperate need to find a kidney donor — and time is literally running out.

Mark, who was diagnosed in 2009 with kidney cancer, has Stage 4 Kidney Disease. He also has diabetes, restless leg syndrome and high blood pressure. Because of his condition, he gives himself dialysis treatment seven nights a week for at least eight hours at a time. In addition, Mark’s wife of 44 years, Hope, is also battling mesothelioma. Despite all of this, Mark continues to work 5 days a week as a mortgage consultant in customer care.

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“Mark is the kindest, most honest, loving and funny person ever,” Hope told TAPinto. “He keeps working 40 hours a week to keep his mind busy and help support us. We both need each other and our family’s help so much at this time.”

Because of Mark’s age, time is literally running out to find a donor. This week, Mark was told at an appointment at Robert Wood Johnson Hospital in New Brunswick that he needs a kidney transplant no later than November 20, or he will be deemed ineligible because he will be turning 75 years old.

Mark, who is a Veteran who served for 10 years in the Army, has 12 grandchildren and one great-granddaughter. He loves the Philadelphia Eagles, classic cars, dining out with friends and family and spending as much time as possible with his grandchildren.

“I’m at a loss as to what to say a donor would mean to us,” says Hope. “It would mean life, optimism for our future, the ability to travel and to spend more time with our children, 12 grandchildren, our 8-month old great-granddaughter and friends.”

According to the National Kidney Foundation (NKF), the organ most commonly given by a living donor is the kidney. Living donors can live normal lives with only one kidney, and as long as the donor is evaluated thoroughly and cleared for donation, he or she can lead a normal life after the surgery. When the kidney is removed, the single normal kidney will increase in size to compensate for the loss of the donated kidney.

According to the NKF, living donation does not change life expectancy and does not appear to increase the risk of kidney failure. In general, most people with a single normal kidney have few or no problems.

If you are interested in seeing if you are a match for Mark, contact the two programs he is registered with:

  • Jefferson Hospital, Philadelphia. Contact Jean Berte, RN, Living Donor Coordinator, at 215-955-6486. You may also click HERE to fill out a form online. 
  • Virtua-Lourdes Hospital, Cherry Hill. Contact Living Donor Coordinator Jenny at 856-796-9370 or Shannon Abbot at 856-796-9374.

Although Mark is Type O Positive, any blood type from a healthy donor would be acceptable, as potential donors do not have to be a blood match due to a program called “The Paired Exchange Program.”

All expenses will be paid through Mark’s insurance.

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