A marine veteran and 9/11 responder needs your help this Veterans Day weekend

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Family man Don Pritchard served proudly as a Marine – and was on ground zero on 9/11

He says,  “I’m used to being on the other side of helping people.” 

Now the Guilford man needs your help.

“Right now,” says Don, “I’m in end stage renal failure, basically my kidneys have stop functioning.” 

A condition which doctors at the World Trade Center Health Program at Mount Sinai suspect is linked to the EMS responder’s actions the day terrorists targeted the twin towers and days after.  

Don says, “Even though it’s not a certifiable condition, they are looking into it right now.”    

The founder of Kidney Matchmaker is trying to find Don a living donor.   

He explains, “She runs the organization out of Brooklyn, NY.  She donated a kidney maybe 7-10 years ago and really knows how hard it is to match donors with recipients.  She’s put this together.” 

Waiting is a struggle, spending three to four days a week at a dialysis center. 
Veterans Day is a lifeline. 

 “I served with a bunch of great marines and I look forward to this time of year because every year we get together,” he says.     

High school classmate Milford Fire Battalion Chief Ron Wetmore — donated a kidney three years ago. 

“I used to play hockey in Hamden and I found out this hockey family needed a kidney,” says Chief Wetmore.  

He’s now on the board of Kid U Not, which provides financial assistance for donors, “That’s a huge help for people who are thinking of donating a kidney and possibly they can’t work or they might not get income while they do it.”    

Don is optimistic someone will give him the gift of life, “If all this had to happen again, 9/11, and I knew exactly where I would be today.  I wouldn’t change a thing, I would do it all over again.”  

Don says it comes down to embracing the time with his wife Angela of 23 years and their 15 year old daughter. 

For information on how you can become a living donor, visit kidneymatchmaker.com.

For more info on Kid U Not, visit kidunot.org

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