Navy Veteran’s Friends Help Him Look for Kidney Donor

ELK GROVE -- Marques Washington is one of about 93,000 Americans waiting for a new kidney -- a wait complicated by the fact that his blood type is O-negative.

"I don't feel like I got time," Washington told FOX40. "It's like a ticking time bomb that you don't know when it's going to go off."

It is a foreign feeling for a former Navy aviation electronics mate.

Doctors still don't know if his high blood pressure first made his kidneys fail or if their failing caused his blood pressure to rise. After medication and diet weren't able to control the problem he started hemodialysis two years ago.

Washington's body is still struggling. His kidney trouble critically compromised his heart just last month.

"So in a week's span I had almost 2.5 liters of fluid taken away from my heart," he said.

Quickly slated for open heart surgery, doctors found the 36-year-old had a heart aneurysm that had to be fixed. His troubled kidneys were believed to be behind it all.

"During that time I think I had what they call a spiritual awakening. In the sense of like, I just got to keep going, just got to stay positive, you know," Washington said.

While Washington is not the kind to seek the limelight his friends have put his face on T-shirts and posted his cause on Facebook.

"One of the best people I know and one of the best friends I have," said Kenny Monceaux.

Washington was Monceaux's best man in August and his best friend since third grade.

"You know they say that bad things happen to good people. This is a case of that, for sure," Monceaux said.

"In your mind, you're just like can anything else happen? Like what more? It's scary but also at a point I was, 'You got to just do it 'cause I want to live.' You know there's still things I want to do," Washington said.

A living match was found early on in his wait but they were denied because the hopeful donor was taking anti-depressants at the time. It was one of the many factors that play into a successful transplant.

Marques is registered for a possible transplant through UC Davis. If you would like to find out what it takes to be a living donor and if you could be his match click here.