DUNEDIN, Fla. (WFLA) – Joshua Tannen knows if he doesn’t get a kidney transplant, his days may be numbered.
“I don’t want to die,” said Tannen. “You know, I’ve always been scared of death.”
Doctors first diagnosed Tannen more than 18 years ago. In 2002, his mother became a donor and gave him one of her kidneys. That transplant failed in 2011. So for nearly a decade, he’s been on the hunt for a new one.
He spends 10 1/2 hours on a kidney dialysis machine and his room is filled with medication. He spends a lot of time on the computer, putting out information on social media about kidney donation, and set up his own Facebook page for users to interact.
Tannen says he’s experienced a range of emotions while waiting for another donor.
“Frustrated that I’ve had to go through all the things I’ve had to go through,” said Tannen. “I feel like I deserve to live a normal life.”
He calls his mission a journey, and he hopes that it will help others waiting for a transplant.
“I hope people understand that we need people to donate because there are just not a lot of people who are willing to donate,” said Tannen. “I mean they are out there, but it’s kind of a challenge to find.”