It's a simple procedure that can mean lifesaving results like they have for Marty Longshore.
The Lexington father of two said his kidneys began to fail him when he was a teenager. He had his first kidney transplant - donated by his stepdad - when he was 21 years old and all was well for about 20 years.
That's when his wife, Sarah, says he began experiencing, "swelling in his ankles and in legs and he was very tired and just not feeling well all around - having trouble with his blood pressure and different issues. After visiting several doctors, he was re-diagnosed with kidney failure. So, then the search began for a new kidney donor."
With the search underway, Sarah said it soon became clear her husband's life depended on the results.
"During that time, we were just waiting," she recalled, "and he was becoming sicker and sicker and sicker by the day. We knew that he just didn't have a lot of time."
Dialysis and blood transfusions were temporary solutions to Marty's declining condition.
"He would go three times a week for dialysis and it would be several hours at a time. It really did cut into his work time, to his family time and it is emotionally draining," said Sarah.
Eventually, Marty was able to be treated at home, but this still meant that "he would just have to stay hooked up to it between eight to 10 hours a night," according to Sarah.
The search for a kidney donor continued for nearly two years.
Sarah said things took a turn for the better when in, "early June of 2017, we got the call that they had found a match. You're just thanking God and you're nervous, you're excited, you're scared, but then you're finally thinking maybe this is getting ready to come to an end."
The Longshore family said they want those who donate blood to know the impact they have on families like theirs.
"Each time he received a blood transfusion, it gave him the opportunity to hang on a little longer until that organ could become available," said Sarah.
She expressed the same gratitude to the donor who agreed to give Marty a kidney.
"I'm so thankful that they made that decision," she said, "because that decision saved his life. Without that organ I don't know that he could've gone much longer. He needed help."
According to the Red Cross, at least 200 blood donations are needed each day in the Palmetto State to keep up with the demand from hospitals.
Thursday's Count on WIS Blood Drive in partnership with the Red Cross will run from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. You can find a list of locations you can donate blood by clicking here.
To make an appointment to donate, use the free Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Use sponsor code: WIS
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