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Father Of 3 Needs Kidney To Live, Battle Genetic Disease

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(credit: CBS) Holly Wagner
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A Minnesota father of three, suffering from a rare genetic disease, is praying someone will help save his life.

In just a matter of months, 33-year-old Bryan Weiss of Coon Rapids went from being healthy and active to struggling with kidney failure.

“You realize how fragile we are, how fragile life is,” Weiss said.

He has Alport syndrome, a genetic disease that affects mostly men.

“It’s quite a rare condition. It’s prevalence in the U.S. is estimated to be 1 in 50,000 people,” according to Dr. Raja Kandaswamy from the University of Minnesota transplant team.

Weiss says the disease is on his mom’s side. His brother went into kidney failure when he was just 19-years-old, and his father was able to give him one of his kidneys.

Now Weiss is on dialysis, waiting for a kidney transplant.

“It would be really amazing to get that phone call to have that happen; it would be life changing for sure,” Weiss said.

His illness has put a lot of stress on his family. His wife, Kahla, said they’re “just worrying about how we’re going to get from one day to the next.”

The disease has left Bryan struggling to get out of bed, go to work and spend time with Kahla and their three kids, Connor, Caitlyn, and five-month-old Keiran.

“I don’t want to lose my house or the things we’ve worked really hard to get; but most importantly, I don’t want to lose my life,” Weiss said.

Kandaswamy says Weiss’ blood type should be easy to match, but his blood has antibodies, which can make it more difficult to find a donor.

Kandaswamy says he needs a transplant as soon as possible.

“If he gets one, he could get an additional 20 to 30 years out of a kidney transplant,” Kandaswamy said.

The Weiss family is getting the word out on Facebook, hoping to connect with someone who could be the perfect match.

Kahla Weiss said she hopes her husband sees his children and grandchildren grow up.

“That’s all we’re asking for,” she said.

For information on the University of Minnesota’s Living Donor Kidney Program, click here.

To see the family’s Facebook page, click here.

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