PHILADELPHIA — It's hard to forget Allen Vickers. He was a reporter at Newswatch 16 for three years and was a favorite of our viewers.
Allen now lives and works in Philadelphia, but he recently opened up about very personal health news. It all started in late February of this year with a bad cough. Allen says he kept feeling worse until one night, it felt like his body was shutting down.
"My chest got tight, and I was very scared, so we ended up going to urgent care, and they said, 'No, you need to go to the hospital,'" Allen said.
Allen spent a week at Jefferson Health in the Philadelphia area. He went through all kinds of tests until his doctor told him something he was not expecting.
"My kidneys were failing. The functionality was less than 20%," Allen said.
The news hit this seemingly healthy 31-year-old like a ton of bricks.
"It took a toll. It took a mental toll on me in that hospital room," Allen said.
About a month later, Allen found out he would need a kidney transplant.
"That was the second shock. It was another punch to the gut. That was really depressing because it's like, well, what do you do?" Allen asked.
In October, Allen was put on the kidney transplant list at Jefferson Health. He was told it could take six to eight years to get a kidney. But if Allen finds a living donor, it could take less than two months. Allen's blood type is O+ so he would need a donor who is either O+ or O-. Jefferson Health also has a cross-match program.
"Somebody wanted to donate, and they weren't a match, and then on the other side of the world or something, somebody is a match for me, they can do a cross," Allen said.
Allen is a very private person, and he debated posting about his condition on social media for over a week.
"Putting so much of my personal, so many emotions out there. It just kind of sat there. Finally, I just thought I'm holding myself back, and somebody may be a match for me," Allen said.
And if you aren't a match for Allen, he said maybe you could help the thousands of others awaiting a transplant.