American Ninja Warrior competitor Austin Gray joins forces with The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) to help kidney patients who need a transplant. Gray, who donated a kidney to a childhood friend, is a current finalist on the show which aired last night.
In a new PSA, which chronicles Gray’s journey to becoming a living donor to kidney patient Kaylee Adams, he discusses how he first decided to donate and how it affected his experience on the hit show airing on NBC.
“There are 100,000 people who need a kidney, and I think there’s definitely 100,000 people in the country who are willing to be donors but just don’t know it yet. Almost everyone has the capacity to do what I did,” says Gray in the PSA.
The new PSA with American Ninja Warrior Austin Gray is part of NKF’s living donor platform, THE BIG ASK: THE BIG GIVE, which offers free resources to kidney patients and families looking for a living donor, and free resources to those who are thinking about donating a kidney for transplant. THE BIG ASK: THE BIG GIVE is designed to increase kidney transplant and living donation through educational programs, direct patient and care partner support, and by teaching kidney patients how to share their story and make the “big ask” to their friends, loved ones, or community to consider making the “big give” of a life-saving organ.
“A kidney transplant, not years on dialysis, is the best treatment for kidney failure,” said Kevin Longino, CEO of the National Kidney Foundation and a kidney transplant patient. “To the National Kidney Foundation, people like Austin Gray are heroes, they selflessly donate a kidney to someone in need and by doing so, give this kidney patient a chance to live a long and healthy life. We’re so grateful to him for helping us raise awareness of living donation and we’ll be cheering for him during the finals,” added Longino.
“After my transplant, I was able to go back to a normal life, my job and school,” said Kaylee Adams. “By Austin donating his kidney to me, he absolutely changed my life and I’m truly so grateful.”
Austin Gray will compete in the American Ninja Warrior Finals airing next Wednesday October 28 on NBC. To learn more about becoming a kidney donor go to kidney.org/livingdonation, or call toll free 855-NKF-CARES. To share your living donor story on social media, use the hashtag #BigAskBigGive.
Adriana Chavez is the editor for Vacancy. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org