MUSKEGO, Wis. - A Muskego father is looking for a kidney donor and turning to the public for help. His disease has taken over his family's life.
At 24 years old, all Andrew Bahr wants to do is provide for his family. In reality, his family is propping him up physically and mentally as they hope for the most generous of donations that could literally save his life.
Inside their Muskego apartment, the living room doubles as a care center as this family deals with disease.
"Our lives are completely changed by this in so many ways," said Jamie Boneck, Bahr's girlfriend.
Andrew Bahr, Jamie Boneck
At 13, Bahr was diagnosed with IgA nephropathy which worsened with time to end-stage renal disease in 2021. His kidneys don't work.
"I get out of breath so quick," said Bahr. "I mean, going up and down the stairs is too much for me. I can't carry."
For four hours a day, five days a week, Bahr relies on a dialysis machine and his girlfriend to filter his blood. It isn't exactly how the 24- and 23-year-old man and woman would like to spend their days. Zaiyden, 2, Bahr's son, provides all the mental medicine he can take.
"That's what keeps me pushing," said Bahr. "That's why I like to do my treatments, do everything I can. I just want to be there for him."
It's why Bahr took to Facebook in December in search of a physical fix, writing: "I hate having to ask for help, but I am begging at this point."
He's already on the donor list.
"Because he has O-blood, he's only able to receive from an O donor, which also limits him, so they told him that he's looking at 5-7 years," said Boneck.
The post has more than 1,000 shares. The couple hopes sharing their story can ensure precious moments for another family in need.
"There's people out there that are willing to help me that don't even know me, just so I can live a better life," said Bahr.
More than 1,200 people in Wisconsin are waiting for a kidney transplant, according to Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin.