Everywhere we go, there are things we see that may spark our attention; whether it’s something we read, or someone we saw. Sometimes, it’s both. For a freshman out of Grand Canyon University, her trip to Costco would become an eye-opening cause for action.
Karen Aguayo and her friends were out for a shopping stroll at their local Costco in Arizona, and upon navigating the aisles, they came across a man who had caught their attention. Operating a motorized shopping cart, the fellow consumer was out shopping just like they were. This particular man, however, had been wearing something that had caught their eye. It was a black t-shirt, and it had a message written on the back of it that immediately had Karen and her friends whispering about.
Robert Duran, aged 67, and his wife had grown all too familiar with the reactions and attention that this shirt has brought upon them. Though they try to ignore the stares, they aren’t opposed to discussing what the message on the shirt says. The shirt, in bold white letters, has a set of words that the couple hoped would trigger someone’s attention, and lend a helping hand. Experiencing kidney failure, and having to endure dialysis three times a week, four hours at a time, Robert had finally been placed on an organ transplant waiting list after being diagnosed by doctors with stage five kidney disease.
Passing by this man, Karen and her friends noticed the bold white lettering that read “Kidney donor needed, Type B+. Ask me how.” Immediately, they decided to stop and ask him questions. They felt as though they wanted to take action on the matter. Taking to Twitter, Karen snapped a photo of the man with his shirt, with a mission to help Robert get the transplant that he truly needs. The results, to their surprise, have certainly been overwhelming.
The posted photo tweet has been retweeted over 260,000 times now, with people noticing it just like she and her friends did. Karen told AZ Central: “Once I read his shirt I felt something in my heart…I decided to post it on social media because I thought maybe someone out there that has a Twitter can donate theirs or just help with a simple retweet to find him a donor.” A truly kind-hearted initiative by a young woman hoping to make a difference.
Unfortunately, in Arizona, Robert is not alone, joined by another 2,100 individuals needing an organ currently, according to the Donor Network of Arizona. As per the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, there are over 95,287 Americans on the waitlist for a kidney transplant currently, which is more than any other organ. Although all the treatments and pain are a challenge for Robert and his family, the hardest part is certainly the waiting game.
Confessing his thoughts to AZ Central, Robert revealed that his wife is having a difficult time, and it is “tearing her apart”. They patiently wait and hope that every incoming phone call is perhaps the lucky call they have been eagerly waiting for. He admits that he can’t believe a simple visit to Costco led to such a remarkable initiative that may end up saving his life. Now, he refers to Karen and her friends as saints, and says “I think the Lord brought them down for me.” Robert continues to await the call that will prolong his life, further encouraging everyone to consider becoming an organ donor and make a difference.
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