Rev. Dr. Pointer is sharing his story in hopes of not only finding a kidney for himself but also to raise awareness and encourage more people to become donors.
- Kidney disease disproportionately affects the Black community, and it's something that a local pastor has been dealing with for the past 12 years.
WJZ is live for you tonight. Sean Streicher has much more on why that pastor is now sharing his story. Hey, Sean.
SEAN STREICHER: Hey, what's going on? Reverend Pointer doesn't know what caused his kidneys to fail. He was adopted, so his genetic history is unknown. What is known is he needs a kidney and he's hoping someone out there will be willing to help.
How was your day?
LYLE POINTER: Long but good, man.
SEAN STREICHER: Reverend Dr. Lyle Pointer is one of the nearly 100,000 people waiting for a kidney transplant.
LYLE POINTER: It's extremely difficult. It's a day by day thing.
SEAN STREICHER: It's a journey the Silver Spring native has been on for the past 12 years, when the seemingly healthy then 23-year-old found out his kidneys were failing.
LYLE POINTER: Walking from my car to the front door, or walking from the front door upstairs, just wore me out to the point where I had to take a break and I was like this is normal.
SEAN STREICHER: His first transplant came shortly thereafter.
LYLE POINTER: Unfortunately, that first year after you receive a kidney, the kidney is really sensitive, and the kidney didn't take.
Saints, I'm here to encourage you.
SEAN STREICHER: He was put back on the transplant list, where he's been waiting since 2010, relying on dialysis to keep him alive.
JENNIFER VERSBESY: In DC and Baltimore region, the need for kidney is very high because we have a very large African American community.
SEAN STREICHER: According to the National Kidney Foundation, Black or African American people are four times more likely than whites to have kidney failure.
JENNIFER VERSBESY: In that community you have a lot more diabetes and high blood pressure, and those diseases unfortunately lead to kidney disease.
SEAN STREICHER: So now Reverend Pointer is sharing his story in hopes of not only finding a kidney for himself, but also to raise awareness and encourage more people to become donors.
LYLE POINTER: I do desperately want a kidney, but to more broadly get rid of a lot of the stigmas that are there.
SEAN STREICHER: Now as you heard, that first transplant failed. It takes a lot longer to find a second donor because more things have to match up.
If you're interested in finding more information about becoming a donor and what that entails, we've put information on our website, WJZ.com.
Sean Streicher for WJZ.