PHOENIX -- The Valley man you're about to read about doesn't look sick. But the truth is Remy Marceau needs a kidney. We show you his fight to live and why he's hoping social media will be his answer.
“My biggest thing is maintaining as much normalcy as you can,” Marceau said.
Marceau was an active child. But at the age of nine, he started feeling tired, dehydrated and experienced a lot of muscle cramping.
“The bigger muscles in your body would just cramp and then my potassium would get so low I would paralyze,” Marceau said.
His symptoms got worse over the years. He was finally diagnosed in his late teens with Bartter Syndrome. A condition caused by a defect in the kidney's ability to retain sodium.
“He just loses salt and water throughout the day and that's what gives him his symptoms,” said Dr. Irvin Cohen with the Mayo Clinic in Arizona. “And the only way to permanently fix that is to replace the kidneys.”
Marceau has been coming to the clinic for almost two years to get potassium hydration infusions. A daily four-hour process that has now been bumped up to six that he can also do at home.
“He's able to fight through this and pretty brave about doing that, but it's tough on him,” Cohen said.
So tough, the 25-year-old now needs a kidney transplant. Family and friends have set up a Facebook account called Remydy to help him find a living donor.
“The average wait time is three to five years,” Marceau said. “I know I don't have three to five years. So I just encourage people out there that are able to be a donor to do it, help another person.”
But it's more than just about living a normal life again. Marceau wants to be around for his mom, to carry on the memory of his dad, who passed away and to help others faced with similar situations.
“I think my journey is to be that voice for everybody out there about donation,” Marceau said.
If interested in seeing if you’re a donor for Marceau, please call the Living donor kidney team at the Mayo Clinic, 480-324-1010. This department gets a high volume of calls, so please be patient.