Watch CBS News

Family Seeks Kidney Donor, Uses Unconventional Way Of Looking For Living Match

By Mark Taylor

DENVER (CBS4) - This Giving Tuesday, one Colorado family is going the extra mile to get a husband and father a new chance at life.

With four kids under six, Steve Kostiuk and his wife Jackie have their hands full. But these last few weeks have  been something else.

For more than a decade Steve has managed his Lupus successfully, until recently.

"At the end of October, things really took a nose dive and I ended up in renal failure," Steve said.

His kidneys are operating at 6% of what they should be, and three times a week he has to have dialysis. He needs a kidney transplant, and with his wife not a match, he's now waiting for a donor. Steve has type-O blood and needs someone who matches that.

"I think it's harder now because it's so real … he could die," Jackie said of her husband's condition.

Instead of waiting for a donor, though, the family is taking action, using social media and even their vehicles to get his story out there.

His car window reads, 'I need a kidney, Blood Type O, Call Steve 720-985-7596.'

"I am going to ask 100,000 people if I have to, I just need one," Steve said.

Steve Kostiuk family
(credit: CBS)

It's a non-traditional way of looking for a donor, but not uncommon.

"We are seeing people do things like Steve is doing, because it works," Elle Powell with the American Transplant Foundation said.

According to the foundation, there are 122,445 people in the US waiting for an organ. In Colorado, the number sits at 2,707. Most donations come from deceased donors, but according to Powell, a small but growing number are living donors.

"As a living person you can donate your kidney or part of your liver," Powell said. She adds that after giving an organ, healthy donors do not have to change their lifestyle. In the last year the foundation organized 16 living donations.

"They talk about getting the call, and that's when they have a kidney available for you," Steve said of how they're told they have a donor.

kidney kids
(credit: CBS)

He and his family are hoping someone out there is generous enough to become a living donor, as waiting for a deceased donor can take 5-7 years, if it happens at all.

"They're saving my life, they are not helping my life, they are saving my life," Steve said.

You can find out more about becoming a living donor at the American Transplant Foundation Website.

To find out if you are a match with Steve Kostiuk specifically, contact Presbyterian/St. Luke's Medical Center at 720-754-2155, or 720-754-2164 and use his name.

Mark Taylor is a weekend morning anchor and reporter with CBS4 news covering a wide variety of stories. Follow him on Twitter @MarkTaylor_TV.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.