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Long Island Eagle Scout In Search Of Kidney Donor After Sudden Organ Failure

SEAFORD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- A Long Island man who spent years helping his community as an Eagle Scout is now hoping that community can help him.

Tyler Donohue's kidneys suddenly stopped working earlier this year and he needs a transplant, CBS2's Carolyn Gusoff reported Monday.

His life of community service changed instantly in his kitchen in February.

"I collapsed. I had the seizure right then and there," Tyler said.

"Never sick. We had no clue. It was out of the blue. We just heard a big bang," said Katherine Donohue, Tyler's mom.

The accomplished Eagle Scout, now 26 years old, was mysteriously in complete renal failure.

"It means my kidneys have no function left, and at 25 years old that's a lot to take in," Tyler said.

Diagnosed with the sudden onset of a rare autoimmune disease, Tyler was put on emergency dialysis and chemotherapy. He lost 40 pounds.

Now his life revolves around hours of kidney dialysis three days a week.

"It's not easy. I come home very drained and lethargic, and having a transplant will put this to an end," he said.

Finding a kidney can take a decade. When the recipient is as young a Tyler, it may not last a lifetime.

His parents, more than willing to donate, are not candidates. Tyler is seeking a kidney donor that is blood Type O.

"Unfortunately, Tyler is adopted and we got a late start in life. So, we are older," said Peter Donohue, Tyler's father.

They even tracked down Tyler's birth family. But they're not candidates either.

It's possible to donate a kidney on behalf of Tyler, even if the donor is not a match with him. That donor would be paired with a matching recipient and Tyler would receive a kidney from a different donor.

Paired exchanges make it possible for many more to save lives.

"If you wish to be a living donor, number one, don't need to be related or connected to a recipient in any way. We will find someone who can benefit from your gift of life," said Dr. Matthew Cooper of the National Kidney Foundation. "And number two, donor safety is always a top priority.

Cooper is also director of Kidney and Pancreas Transplantation at MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital.

A family used to giving - for years, Tyler refurbished his community - must now ask for help.

"I've had a lot of growing up with learning how to handle things myself and never asking for help, but unfortunately now I do," Tyler said.

"We've always been out there helping. We've never asked for help and this is a big thing to ask," said Tyler's mom.

"Hopefully, there is somebody out there that sees this and, through the grace of God they will make a donation," said Tyler's dad.

There are nearly 100,000 Americans currently waiting for kidney transplants.

Click here if you'd like to help.

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