PASADENA, Texas- Beneath the shuffling, sliding and slamming of dominoes, the Stockton family is holding their breath for a stroke of luck. No, not the kind of luck that wins the game; they’re praying for the kind of luck that will save Steven Stockton’s life.
“I was diagnosed in October of 2014 with end stage renal disease,” said 38-year-old Steven Stockton. “Which means I have less than ten percent kidney function left.”
Stockton’s health decline started when doctors diagnosed him with type two diabetes 20 years ago. He called it ‘a superman complex’ that kept him from properly treating his diagnosis.
“It’s not a smart way to go because it’s what got me in my situation now,” said Stockton. “It got me there a lot faster, not paying attention to what doctors told me to do. So I ended up with kidney failure at 38.”
According to the National Kidney Foundation’s most recent numbers, there are more than 100,000 people waiting for kidney transplants. The median wait for a kidney is 3.6 years. Stockton has been on dialysis for two years. He says, on average, he will survive another three years on dialysis.
“It changes your perspective on everything,” said Stockton.
Mentally overcoming end stage renal disease brings the family of four together at the dinner table. Exchanging smack talk, talking about their day and sliding dominoes across the table is Stockton’s therapy.
“It just gives me an escape from life,” said Stockton. “I don’t have to think or worry about anything. I just enjoy what’s happening right now.
After two years of waiting, the Stockton’s started taking matters into their own hands. Like other families desperate for an organ transplant, Alicia, Madison and Clay started writing on the families Ford Explorer.
‘My Dad needs a kidney.”
“My husband needs a kidney.”
“I thought, I’m always driving around,” said Stockton’s wife Alicia. “Why not?”
People wanting to help and sending prayers called and text the number listed on the side of the Explorer. So far, the family has not found a kidney transplant match.
After three games of dominoes; the family called it quits.
“Guys, it was a good game,” said Steven Stockton. “Everybody won but dad,” he said with a smile.
For the Stockton’s, the game continues. Waiting in line with more than 100,000 others who are also searching for a new lease on life.
The National Kidney Foundation says, of the 17,000 transplants in 2014, the majority came from deceased donors.
To learn how to become an organ donor, visit here.