BUTTE — Sometimes it’s really hard for people who are so giving of their time, energy and even resources to ask for help in return and that’s certainly true for Doug Ingraham—a Butte man who is turning to the community out of necessity as he’s looking for a kidney donor to match his rare blood type.
"To ask for something so personal from people, It really takes somebody special to share it with you and I feel like I’m asking so much from people, so much, just to even consider it," says Ingraham.
Since birth, Ingraham has been living with a rare genetic condition that misappropriates the proteins that he consumes into acid that has damaged his kidneys and joints over time.
"It’s a lot different than most kidney-related diseases, which means that it is not as treatable," he says.
By changing his lifestyle and using medication, Ingraham has been able to manage with his kidneys, but it has come to the point where he needs a kidney transplant within the next couple of years. And the search is complicated by his rare blood type.
"I’m a type O negative blood type, and blood type isn’t the only factor, but I’m a universal donor but not a universal recipient," says Ingraham.
He says the process to find a donor is lengthy but going through the screening process might help others understand their own health in addition to possibly saving his life.
"What’s really neat is that my insurance will pay you to get screened for your health and see if you qualify and if they find something, that way, you know, to address it too," says Ingraham.
Most healthy people can give a kidney and not have any ill side effects, and the donor would have to spend about two weeks in the hospital in Salt Lake City which Ingraham says he will be willing to offer compensation for in addition to the coverage that his insurance provides.
"We would help pay for that, my insurance would entirely pay for that but we would help pay for their time down there," says Ingraham.
Ultimately, Doug hopes a new kidney will help him get back to being a foster parent with his partner Caleb Boelman. The pair is looking forward to their wedding date at the beginning of the New Year.
"I had the best experience with my foster kids you could possibly imagine and I’m still lucky to have them involved in my world and I think I could help another couple kids like that if I’m able."
If you are interested in learning more about donating a kidney to Doug Ingraham you canvisit The University of Utah’s website and use Doug's birthday (Oct.14, 1977) to link to his information. You can call 801-587-8816 to speak with a living donor team member for more information.