GASTON COUNTY, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - A Gaston County family needs your help getting results for a 25 year old in desperate need of a new kidney. He will celebrate his 26th birthday this Sunday and hopes a new kidney will help get him off dialysis.
"Without a new kidney, I'll never come off of dialysis," said Brian Armstrong.
Nine hours a day of dialysis along with bring and out of a hospital. This lifestyle is the new norm for Brian Armstrong after a health scare in February 2016.
"I was just a healthy 23 year old," said Armstrong.
He was healthy until a simple case of blurred vision sent him to the nearest emergency room. He was quickly transferred to the ICU. The "healthy 23 year old" had a blood pressure off the charts.
"23 and they thought he was going to have a stroke in the ER," said Jessica Burch, Brian's sister.
Jessica was by her brothers side when doctors revealed it wasn't a heart problem, but kidney disease.
"When they did catch it my kidneys were about 50% scar tissue and were at 20% function at that time. So my immediate reaction was looking at the doctor and asking am I going to die anytime soon," said Armstrong.
The diagnosis not a death sentence. Instead, Brian was put on the list for a kidney transplant. His sister was one of the first volunteers.
"So I've tried three times," she said.
But doctors say her kidney isn't healthy enough.
"I am the big sister, I am the protector. I try to take care of everything and with this being so out of control and so huge it has been really hard. We are trying everything to make his life a little bit easier because we know this part is not," said Burch.
Until a match is found, Brian will remain on dialysis for nine hours a day while balancing his 40 hour a week job.
Sunday he will celebrate his 26th birthday with his family. The best gift this year is something money can't buy.
"It would be awesome. It would be the best. I don't think any birthday gift could top it. When we get a kidney, cause I know we are at some point, there is nothing that can beat it," said Burch.
Brian's 26th birthday also means he will have to move off of his parents insurance. He will have to spend thousands of dollars on medical bills once again to meet his own deductible.
There are two ways you can help Brian and his family get results: You can donate to the GoFundMe, or you can see if your kidney is a match. The ideal donor has a blood type "A" or "O", is below age 45 and in good heath (No high blood pressure, no diabeties, can not be overweight, must be cancer free).