BEAUFORT CO., SC (WTOC) - At 11 years old, Aaron Fields was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes.
Now 22 years later, this Lowcountry husband and father of six children is fighting for his life. His kidneys are failing and it's going to take a stranger to save his life.
He's so desperate, his doctor sent him to social media in hopes of him finding a living donor. The good news: there's hope! One of you could hold the key.
About five years ago, diabetes caused Fields to start losing his vision. His retinas were detaching from the back of his eyes. He had 2/3 detachment in his right eye and 1/3 detachment in his left eye.
He fights back the tears as he explains what happened.
"They would do surgery on that I first, but after having surgery on my left eye. I went completely blind," Fields said.
"When everything started, I was a stay at home parent. It all flipped. Now, he stays at home," his wife, Denise Fields added.
Fields is still blind in his right eye. Although his vision returned in his left eye, his eyes are very sensitive, so he must avoid the sun and the lights in his home must remain very dim. He has also been battling the most serious health challenge of his life- stage 4 kidney failure. His kidneys are only functioning at 15 percent.
"It's emotional. I work right up the road. Every time I see an ambulance go by, I'm like oh am I going to get a call? Is it him?" Denise explained.
Aaron is in desperate need of a living kidney donor.
"With a living kidney donation coming from a healthy person, you would give that backup kidney to someone in need. Giving that kidney, you are still healthy, and you give someone else a chance to live as healthy as you are," Aaron explained.
Most recipients live well over 20 years. That would mean the world to Aaron and his family.
"I would love to see my kids go through school graduate can become fathers and mothers themselves. Have kids have great careers. I would love to see them to that. Wouldn't you want to see your kids grow?"
Because of health issues, no adults in Aaron or Denise's families are healthy enough to donate. Denise has been very honest with her young children about what's going on.
"Explaining to my kids that if daddy doesn't get a kidney, daddy is going to die and that is hard. Tell your kids, 'Hey, your dad's life belongs to some stranger. We just need some stranger.' There's no one else that can help us," Denise said.
As Aaron teaches his son to play "Amazing Grace", grace is what the whole family's praying for more than ever these days.
"Imagine you about to lose a spouse or child for that matter and somebody can help them. If you can help somebody, you should. I could, I would give my kidney to him in a heartbeat if I could," Denise added.
Aaron is O positive, but you can help him even if you don't have his exact blood type because he's part of the Medical University of South Carolina's Transplant Exchange Program. If you're interested, call the Medical University of South Carolina's Transplant Unit at 843-792-1594. Remember to tell them you want to help Aaron Fields.
Once the transplant is done, Aaron will have to remain in Charleston for three weeks. If you'd like to help the family with medical expenses, you can click on this link to make donations.