Helping Howard: National Kidney Foundation gets big response to helping others

National Kidney Foundation gets big response to helping others (WKRC)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) – To start, there is a big “thank you” from the Local 12 team to all of you.

There was a remarkable response to the Local 12 story about helping good friend and co-worker Howard Ain, who is in need of a living kidney donor.

For weeks, many of you called the National Kidney Foundation and signed up to help Howard, along with many others.

The good news is that Howard finally met his match.

“Hard to believe that I could get my life back,” said Howard.

For months, Howard has felt the pain and the emotion that Perry Hall knows all too well.

“When I was 17 months old, I got a kidney infection,” said Perry.

Perry too was in the fight of her life when the only kidney she was born with went bad.

She now is so passionate about the donor that gave her life that she now works for the National Kidney Foundation.

You see, Perry says her donor not only gave her the gift of her own life, but now, “I am wonderful, actually I am getting ready to give birth to the fourth, we're really excited, receiving the kidney is really a second chance at life,” said Perry.

Perry works with Marsheen Campbell. Together they took the calls so many of you made when you heard about Howard’s need for a kidney on Local 12.

“We had a tremendous outpour from the community, which was shocking to us, that so many people wanted to get involved, and not just help us, but help so many other people that are in need in our community,” said Marsheen.

It was especially heartwarming to this team because Marsheen was actually a living donor for the woman who also went on to have her own family.

“It's a great feeling because I knew that was her dream, and so she's got this second chance at life and she's living out her dreams,” said Marsheen.

That's the one thing a young woman named Anita Farrell says she also would like Howard to have: A second chance.

She stepped up to be tested at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center to see if her blood type and health profile would allow her to be a living donor for Howard.

“That will determine compatibility,” said Tina Stanley of the UCMC Transplant Coordinator.

“The more I thought about it, he’s helped a lot of people, for decades, literally I think he's saved some people from financial ruin, and I wanted to pay it back a little bit," said Anita.

Anita admits the tests were stressful, but then she knows a thing or two about overcoming stress working as a producer at Local 12. Howard’s Troubleshooter stories often air in her show.

And sure enough, Anita got the word she was a good match for Howard. “I was very shocked when they called me,” said Anita.

“My biggest fear is that there would be a complication for Howard, not for me,” said Anita.

“I've known Anita for years, she is a woman of uncommon grace,” said Howard.

Howard has a little bit of that fear, too, but what do you say to a person that saves your life?

“You know what she said to me? Because you know, the producers are always saying 'can I give it a little bit more time, a little more time, my story is going to run a little long’ while she said it's the first time a producer has ever given a reporter more time, okay I’ll give you more time and it's not minutes, it's years,” said Howard.

Years that Howard and everyone at Local 12 are praying will be the best years for life.

Howard and Anita have surgery scheduled for Monday. Local 12 and Liz Bonis will be there and will share an update with you as soon as possible on this ultimate gift of life.

If you would like to learn more about giving this gift to someone else, here is a link to the National Kidney Foundation.

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