Zombie bar crawl for young man in need of kidney transplant

Liam Budgell (Source: Facebook)
Liam Budgell (Source: Facebook)
Liam Budgell (Source: Facebook)
Liam Budgell (Source: Facebook)
Liam Budgell (Source: National Foundation for Transplants)
Liam Budgell (Source: National Foundation for Transplants)

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - You might not think zombies and transplants have anything in common, but that's about to change.

You're invited to "A Day of the Walking Dead Zombie Bar Crawl". It's all about saving the life of Liam Budgell, who's in kidney failure and needs your help raising money for his kidney transplant.

To see Budgell having so much fun with his family and friends, it's hard to believe that right now, he's fighting for his life. Born with kidney reflux disease and chronic kidney disease, at 22 years old, Budgell has endured 24 surgeries.

He's now in end stage renal disease and the one kidney he has is failing. People are rallying around him trying to raise at least $12,000 so he can get a kidney transplant. That is just a fraction of what he needs.

The average kidney transplant costs $335,000, and that's only the beginning.

"The dollars include monies for surgery expenses, medicine and long-term care and stay outside of the hospital," explained Craig Arcos, chairman of the "Ya Gotta Believe in Liam" campaign.

Craig Arcos and Brandi Brown have been working around the clock to help their friend.

"He's a sweet kid. He's a caring kid. He works hard and he's very appreciative of everything that everyone does for him," said Brown, Liam's best friend.

"He's a great kid who works hard and tries to do the best he can for everything and everybody," Arcos added.

Budgell is overwhelmed by the community's support.

"It just really means the world to me and my family that people really want to help me out because it is really saving my life.  Because without these funds, I can't get my transplant. If I don't get my transplant, I won't be here long," Budgell said.

His friends are laser focused on doing whatever they can to help. They're raising money for the transplant through the "Ya Gotta Believe in Liam" campaign. You can help this lifesaving mission by joining them on Saturday, July 15 from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. for "A Day of the Walking Dead Zombie Bar Crawl".

Make a donation of $15 and you'll be off to at least nine bars. They hope at least 300 zombies will join them and roam the streets of Savannah.

So, why zombies?

"We figured who doesn't like zombies? Who doesn't like dressing up as zombies? Savannah is a haunted city and the Walking Dead is pretty big. So, zombies kind of fit into that realm," explained Budgell.

In spite of his daily struggles, he has never let life get him down.

"Now that it's so bad, there are some days that I think about it. It's a serious issue. But at the end of the day, I am still going to live my life normally. Live like it's just another day. I am going to live it to its fullest because you never know when it could be your time so you just got to live life and be happy," Budgell said.

Very profound words from such a young man. He's certainly wise beyond his years.

For "A Day of the Walking Dead Zombie Bar Crawl", remember, you don't have to dress up like a zombie to join in the fun. Just meet them at 3 p.m. in Ellis Square on Saturday, July 15.

You can get more details and sign up by going to the "Ya Gotta Believe in Liam" Facebook page or call Craig Arcos at 912.665.5527.

For more information on Budgell or donations, please visit his National Foundation of Transplants page.

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