Mebane woman in search of kidney donor for husband

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MEBANE, N.C. (WTVD) -- When Shirley Benbow-Crisp, of Mebane, goes grocery shopping, she wears a backpack with a sign that says her husband needs a kidney.

It reads "Looking for his hero!!"

Benbow-Crisp, 62, has also been getting the word out on social media.

"It's been hard, very hard," Benbow-Crisp said.

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Pete Crisp has been on the wait list for a kidney for eight months.

Pete Crisp, Shirley's husband of 42 years, has been on the wait list for a kidney for eight months but has needed a kidney for six years. Both of his kidneys were removed after cancerous cells were detected two years ago.

"That was rough," said Crisp, who got both kidneys removed at different times. "I had the operation. It was supposed to be two-to-three hours. It turned into five. I lost a lot of blood."

Crisp is one of more than 101,000 Americans who need a kidney. But according to the National Kidney Foundation, only 17,000 get one annually.

There are 123,000 Americans on the waiting list for a lifesaving organ transplant. Every day, 12 people die waiting for a kidney, according to the organization.

Crisp, 65, undergoes dialysis treatments three times a week. He's been on dialysis for six years and was diagnosed as a diabetic 12 years ago.

Because of his kidney failure, Crisp doesn't work anymore. Benbow-Crisp works two jobs to support the couple, who have been married for 42 years.

Finding a donor isn't easy.

"They don't want to donate because they think if they lose one of their kidneys something could happen to them and they only have one kidney," Benbow-Crisp said about the lack of donors.

But the couple is hopeful Crisp will find a donor.

Crisp said he's not as active since he gets tired faster. He wishes he could mow his lawn again. Mostly, he dreams of traveling again.

"My daughter has promised to take me to Hawaii," Crisp said when discussing where he wants to go after he gets a kidney transplant. "That's where my first trip (would be). My next one would be Dallas, Texas. I've always wanted to go there."

Until then, Benbow-Crisp will keep looking for Pete's "hero."

"I hope someone donates us a kidney," she said.

Potential "living kidney donors" can contact the UNC Medical Center Living Donor Coordinator and mention Pete Crisp.

More Information:

(984) 974-7568

UNC Transplant

National Kidney Foundation
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