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Family and friends of Palmer “Ray” Duncan are raising money for the nonprofit Help Hope Live to fund uninsured medical expenses associated with transplantation.

Palmer has chosen to fundraise for Help Hope Live in part because Help Hope Live assures fiscal accountability of funds raised and tax deductibility for contributors. Contributors can be sure donations will be used to pay or reimburse medical and related expenses. To make a tax-deductible donation to this fundraising campaign, click on the Give button.

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December 22, 2020

Many of you may know that Ray Duncan has kidney disease caused by diabetes, destroying the left one, leaving the right one to do all the work. That one kidney has been working overtime and is now working at about 15-18%. At this point in time, he has not had to go on dialysis, which he is trying to avoid with medication.

He is now facing a kidney transplant which has been approved by the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). So, now he is in need of a kidney and the Transplant Team has told us a live donor is the best, so we are looking for a live donor. The first match is blood type, which Ray’s is O Negative RH Negative.

However, finding a kidney for a transplant is not easy. Just ask the 100,000+ people on the waiting list for a deceased donor kidney like me. Time is not on our side. Some wait for years; many die while waiting. The average wait time is five years or more for a kidney from a deceased donor. However, there is another option: receiving a kidney from a living donor, which was addressed in the above paragraph. Asking a family member or a friend to consider donating a kidney to me is difficult, but it greatly improves my chances of getting a transplant. A living kidney donation typically lasts longer and has
better function.

You might not know a lot about living donation – I know I didn’t before kidney disease affected my life. Understandably, some people are afraid about the surgery and what living with one kidney will mean for them. Here’s some basic information about kidney donation:

• You only need one kidney to live a healthy, long life.
• Most donor surgery is done laparoscopically, meaning through tiny incisions.
• The recuperation period is usually fairly quick, generally two weeks.
• The cost of your evaluation and surgery will be covered by my insurance. The hospital can give you extensive information on this.
• You will have a separate team of healthcare professionals to evaluate you as a living donor. Their job is to help you understand the risks and benefits and look out for YOUR best interests.

Thank you for taking the time to read Ray’s story. If donating a kidney to him is something you would like to consider, we would be happy to tell you more about Ray’s story and explore the process of determining if you are a match.You can also contact the MUSC Transplant center directly at 843-792-5097 or fill out a donor health history form at muschealth.org

However, I know living donation may not be right for everyone — but you can still help! Consider being an organ donor after death and also, help Ray by sharing his story with everyone you know. At the very least, we want to bring awareness to kidney disease and living donations.
We are hopeful our efforts will help Ray receive a kidney sooner and encourage others to consider helping the many people on the wait list.

We are working with the non-profit organization, HELP HOPE LIVE; they will be assisting in the fundraising area. We will need approximately $1,000 to defray the costs of food, gas, hotel rooms (if needed), etc. You ask why a hotel room, Ray lives close to two hours from the hospital and if the hospital deems it necessary for him to stay in the area. He will need a Caregiver with him at the hospital from 8 am to 8 pm daily and a Caregiver to stay with him at the hotel.

Personal History: In Ray’s 21 years of the US Navy: after Boot Camp in Orlando, three technical schools in Dam Neck, VA, then onto Groton, CT for Sub School; finally reaching the fleet his first assignment was to the George Marshall to the Woodrow Wilson, the Nathaniel Greene, Henry L. Stimson and retiring from the Frank Cable, a submarine tender.

After retiring from the Navy, he has worked in several different production facilities, Briteline Extrusion and Pegasus Steel in the Charleston, SC area, and also drove for J.B. Hunt, He has two daughters, and two grandsons he would love to see grow up and have families of their own.

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