Family takes to t-shirts, social media in search for kidney for their young son

Children all over Albuquerque are in need of life-saving organ donations and one local family is taking a new approach to finding a hero for their son. The Marquez family ‘Party of 5’ is in need of a kidney for their 15-month-old son Ethan.

With medical trips planned across the country and plenty of travel, they’re sharing their message on a t-shirt, hoping someone will see and answer their call for help.

“You see and hear things where people out there kind of do stuff like this and spread their story to hopefully find somebody that will help them out,” said Jared Marquez, Ethan’s father.

“We’re going to be traveling through airports, traveling through a couple different cities, why not wear a shirt that tells our story in a brief summary. Maybe somewhere out there there’s a hero, as I like to call them, that will see it and get in contact with us and essentially give a gift of life to our little boy.”

Ethan is a twin and at birth, he was diagnosed with minimal kidney function and chronic kidney disease.

“I say minimal, basically zero, kidney function so at birth, we knew it was going to go along those lines. We just didn’t know how far along he was going to make it until then,” said Marquez. “I can never give enough praise to UNM Hospital and the nephrology team and NICU team. They got our son to where he is today. It was a grim outlook from that point. What they did for us and what they did for many kids is phenomenal.”

Last summer, he started dialysis and was placed on the transplant list. He needs a donor with Type O blood.

Recently, the family made their first visit to Stanford University where Ethan will have his transplant.

“This was our first trip out to Stanford,” said Marquez. “Basically an evaluation, they check our son, do an MRI, check his vascular pressure and you know, check his blood flow to see how his body will handle a transplant of a kidney because it’s going to be a larger kidney than what he has.”

The Marquez family says even if someone may not be able to help them, there’s so many others out there that could use a hero.

“If nobody can help our son, in particular, and they feel like they need to help, that’s kind of our message is there’s children everywhere that have the same situation as our son and there’s adults,” said Marquez. “If you feel like you want to help, but you can’t help our case, there’s many more out there, many more here in Albuquerque, as well.”

Just in their first trip to Stanford, people have already started to reach out. He says it’s warming to see the good will of people all over.

“We’ve had a ton saying they want to help, they want to do this, they want to do that, they want more information. It’s beautiful, it really is. It’s warming to know that people are out there like that,” said Marquez. “It’s amazing what a shirt would do, what a little bit of print on a shirt would do. People just open up to you about everything.”

You can also follow their journey on social media through the hashtag #ThePrtyO5, with the ‘O’ serving as Ethan’s blood type.

If you are interested in finding out if you’re a match for Ethan, you can reach the family at ThePrtyO5@gmail.com, on social media at @PrtyO5 or contact the Stanford Children’s Health Pediatric Kidney Transplant program.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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