Local family fights to find loving husband and dad a kidney - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Local family fights to find loving husband and dad a kidney

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KENNEWICK, WA - The last few months have been quite the journey for Phillip DeLaPena: just 39 years old, Phillip is in end stage renal disease.

What started as high blood pressure after fixing the hole in his heart 20 years ago, over the last five years, his kidneys have steadily declined.

With his kidneys only functioning at 3 percent, Phillip now has to be on dialysis four days a week.

"Through the years, it's caught up to me," Phillip said. "One of the number one causes of kidney failure is high blood pressure, besides diabetes, so the high blood pressure caught up to me."

The one constant, however, is his wife Nicole.

After going through a six-week intensive program to learn how to do his treatments at home, Nicole has taken the reins in making sure Phillip gets the treatment he needs.

Each dialysis cycle takes about four and a half hours, meaning that Nicole has to be by his side the entire time... something that isn't lost on Phil for a second.

"I'm supposed to... equal partnership, take care of responsibilities and you know, she's got to do everything now," Phillip said. "Take care of me, take care of the kids, so I'm very grateful for her efforts."

And Nicole's efforts go far beyond the home. After seeing a story about a man whose family wore shirts to Disney World to help their father find a kidney donor, she took that idea and ran with it. She designed a t-shirt that included a phone number where people could call in to help, even including his blood type just to make sure people got the message.

Even though Phil was embarrassed with all the attention, Nicole says she would do it again in a second if it means getting her husband back.

"I want people to know how amazing my husband is, and he's worth it," Nicole said. "He needs a kidney, he needs a better way of life, he's my everything and I'll do whatever it takes to find him a kidney."

There's a Facebook page where people can see pictures and hear directly from the family, just click here: https://www.facebook.com/Phils-Kidney-Donation-Page-1726104420960528/

Phillip can receive both O+ or O- blood types. For more information, people can contact Sacred Heart Transplant Center in Spokane at (800) 667-0502 or (509) 474-4500. They'll need to say they are interested in donating for Phillip DeLaPena..