• Jacksonville father, business owner searches for kidney donor

    By: Danielle Avitable , Action News Jax

    Updated:

    A Jacksonville business owner and father is now a walking billboard in an attempt to find a kidney donor.

    As one picture shows, while Jamil Farhat walked around Disney World holding his little girl’s hand, he wore a t-shirt that read ‘in need of kidney, B positive’.

    “I’m out there asking for somebody to give the gift of life,” Farhat said.

    Two years ago after routine blood work, he said he found out he had polycystic kidney disease.

    “They were like you’ve got kidney failure, major kidney failure,” Farhat said.

    In between running a business and taking care of his family, Farhat goes to dialysis three days a week.

    “Life ain’t good -- three days a week, four hours a day on dialysis,” Farhat said.

    He has been on Mayo Clinic’s kidney donor transplant list since January.

    His wife, Lena, said at this point dialysis is keeping him alive.

    “But it’s also draining him completely,” Lena Farhat said.

    Farhat said the wait for a kidney donor could take up to five years.

    And his biggest concern is to get matched with someone soon, so he could be healthy enough to watch his little girl grow up.

    “When I get home, she takes all the worries away,” Farhat said.

    According to Mayo Clinic, the life expectancy for patients with polycystic kidney disease is 53 to 69 years, depending on the gene mutation and Farhat is 39 years old.

    “I worry a lot. I try not to show him that I worry because I need to be the strong one,” his wife said.

    Even though Farhat is on the donor list, he said his life expectancy with a living donor is a lot longer. 

    To apply as a donor for Farhat click HERE.

    Next Up: