SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– John Chisholm lives in a quaint cabin, nestled in the heart of Springfield’s Milsap Farms. He’s got just about everything he needs: peaceful surroundings, fresh produce, and his dialysis machine.
“We have a pretty close working relationship, me and that machine,” Chisholm joked with reporters.
Chisholm has been on peritoneal dialysis four years now.
For a while there, Chisholm says he was driving into town for treatment three to four times a week. These days, he can manage it all from home.
“This way, I do it all right here at the house. and most of it at nighttime,” Chisholm explained.
“My machine…I hook up for the first ‘exchange’, as they call them, and then often take a nap.”
But now, Chisholm is hoping to eventually end his relationship with the machine and get a permanent fix to his issue.
On his car, which he occasionally feels well enough to drive, there’s a magnet.
“KIDNEY NEEDED,” it reads. “We’ve a pair perhaps to share/Any blood type can save many”
He lists his first name and phone number. Then, he hopes and prays for any help that might come his way.
“People call, and I tell them I will answer their questions and thank them,” he told reporters. “Even in the gesture, a very generous gesture… I mean life and death for me but the person who is giving, its hard to fathom that kind of generosity.”
While a best-case scenario would end in John receiving a kidney, he uses the sign to educate those who turn out not to be a matching blood type.
“There are a lot of us out there who have this need,” he said.
“Traditionally you had to have a blood match you had to have a certain tissue type,” Chisholm explained.
“Now what they are doing is, if you have a friend or a relative who wants to donate, it will go into a kidney sharing program where my kidney does not match you, but it might match someone else.
So, my kidney will go to that person who receives the kidney also has to have a kidney available so it’s basically a criss-cross of matching.”