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Frank

In Ohio, when a 6’ 4” former college football player looks you in the eye and starts talking about heroes, you’re inclined to listen. When you realize he speaks with great humility, reverence, and wonder about heroes who save and transform lives, you’re captivated.

I have been on dialysis since 2012, and in 2014 I began waiting on a kidney for transplant,

In Ohio, when a 6’ 4” former college football player looks you in the eye and starts talking about heroes, you’re inclined to listen. When you realize he speaks with great humility, reverence, and wonder about heroes who save and transform lives, you’re captivated.

And when you figure out that nearly anyone could become a hero for this extraordinary man, an athlete once coached by Jim Tressel, you ask yourself what it takes to become a registered organ donor.

Early in their marriage, Frank and Nicole Young went out to dinner. While at first having a pleasant evening, Frank became suddenly and violently ill. The symptoms didn’t lessen, and he was admitted to Hillcrest Hospital. He spent the next six weeks hospitalized. After extensive testing and symptom management, medical specialists still called Frank’s case a medical enigma.

The former football hero considered the possibility of never being discharged to home. “I resolved that same day that I’d trust in God to pull me through the ordeal,” Frank says.

The next day Frank had a kidney biopsy that allowed doctors to identify the genetic marker for systemic lupus erythematosus, referred to as “SLE” or simply “lupus.” That disease had significantly impaired Frank’s kidney function which shut down entirely in July 2012.

“I have been on dialysis since that time, and in 2014 I began waiting on a kidney for transplant,” says 45-year-old Frank today. Between diagnosis with lupus and being listed to receive a new kidney, Frank learned that the nerve damage from an old back injury had progressed to a point where he needed a below-the-knee leg amputation to be healthy enough for a transplant. He and Nicole conquered this challenge together, while both working full-time.

The home hemodialysis that has sustained Frank for the past few years is a seven-and-a-half-hour process occurring five days a week. Even with all the challenges, the Youngs remain grateful, positive and hopeful, both still helping others whenever possible.

Radiating peace and joy, Frank enjoys life with his wife and volunteers at his church. Although it has been a long wait, he is confident that he will receive the gifts of long-term survival and health from a kidney donor.