Local family searching for a kidney donor

HOLLIS — A local family is searching for a living kidney donor who will be able to assist with a life-saving transplant.

The family is that of 66-year-old Marty McLaughlin, an active member within the Nashua community who has stage five kidney failure.

Marty’s daughter, 29-year-old Marissa, used the words classy, quiet and respectable to describe her father.

“My dad is the nicest guy,” Marissa said. “He’s just an all-around generous person.”

Marty has worked at his family’s Nashua-based moving company for more than 40 years. His grandfather started the company, which was then taken over by his father, and now McLaughlin serves as the president of the firm, McLaughlin Mayflower.

Marissa said her father is still working for his company, but he’s tired.

“Kidney disease is kind of a silent killer, meaning you have a handicap, but you don’t have a broken leg. It’s silent where you can’t really see that he’s sick,” Marissa said.

To help out, Marissa and her brother, Tyler, have made their father a profile on MatchingDonors.com, with hopes that this will help locate a kidney.

According to MatchingDonors CEO Paul Dooley, 22 people die every day waiting for kidney transplants that most likely won’t come.

“The average wait is seven to 10 years, but with us, it is under six months,” Dooley said.

He added, “People need kidneys across the gamut. It’s nothing to do with age, race or size. If you need a kidney, you need a kidney.”

In the meantime, Marty’s family is watching him carefully by making sure he is following a strict diet. They also accompany him to appointments.

Marty has dealt with kidney disease for quite some time. Marissa said he has always been plagued by blood pressure, which can lead to kidney problems.

According to the American Heart Association, high blood pressure is the second leading cause of kidney failure.

Marty has gone through all the stages, but now, he is at the end stage, and suffering from renal failure.

“He won’t be able to survive unless he starts dialysis or gets a transplant,” Marissa said. The family prefers for him not to start dialysis.

“Dialysis wipes the life right out of you,” Marissa said. “It makes you lose your hair — it’s going to age him. Most people only survive five years at a maximum on dialysis. He has a lot of living left to do and he’s otherwise in good condition. It’s just the kidney failure.”

She added, “A transplant is really going to allow him to see both my brother and I get married and will allow him to one day be around his grandkids.”

The McLaughlin family remains hopeful that Marty will receive a kidney. Marissa said they have met with representatives from Massachusetts General Hospital who have told them that he is the perfect candidate for a transplant. They are searching for a living donor, Marissa said, because organs from deceased donors have a typical wait period of up to seven years.

Marissa said if her father receives a kidney, she and her brother plan on paying it back to someone else in the future.

“My brother and I are filming and fishing for the TV show Wicked Tuna and this is going to be our career for a few years. We put our bodies through a lot with lifting and sleeping weird hours. We wouldn’t be good candidates to donate right now,” Marissa said. “Later in our lives, when we are in our 40s, we will give back and donate to someone in need after we’ve had our careers.”

To see if one is compatible, visit https://matchingdonors.com/life/Donor/index.cfm.

Grace Pecci may be reached at 594-1243 or gpecci@nashuatelegraph.com.