East Texas teen to receive kidney transplant

17-year-old Adam McCleskey
17-year-old Adam McCleskey
Adam's mother, Kelli McCleskey
Adam's mother, Kelli McCleskey
Brett Hartmann
Brett Hartmann

By Whitney Grunder - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – He's a familiar face to many East Texans.

For years, we've followed 17-year-old Adam McCleskey's search for a kidney.

Although Adam has undergone several unsuccessful kidney transplants in the last seven years, his family isn't giving up.

"Every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, we've gone during hurricane evacuations, we've gone during tornadoes, ice, sleet, we go," said Adam's mother Kelli McCleskey.

Nerves creep up on Kelli's excitement. She recalls donating her own kidney for her Adam and his reaction when doctors damaged the kidney.

"His first words were I'm sorry mom, I'm so sorry and that just hurt me so bad," detailed the tearful mother.

"It's so hard seeing him in his dialysis chair, just sitting and just waiting, and waiting for that kidney."

Kelli is hopeful Adam won't have to wait anymore. His cousin was tested as a donor, and failed. A friend, Brett Hartmann was a successful match.

"Whatever you can do to help somebody out, it's kind of like the pay it forward," said Brett Hartmann, a Lufkin native who now lives in Houston.

The Flood Sisters Foundation is helping to facilitate the match-up. It's an organization started by three daughters who found a donor for their father on Craigslist.

"They try to make it as easy on the donor as possible. You don't have to worry about the financial end, and you're saving some body's life in return," said Hartmann.

Brett has known Adam's story for years, but the two only met a month ago.

Their bond is special.

"He's pretty cool," said Adam.

Together, they're making light of an otherwise serious situation.

In September, they'll undergo surgery at Johns Hopkins in Maryland.

If the transplant is successful, Adam can focus on just being a teenager.

"I'd get to go to school every day and get a better education."

Something he and his family can't hope for enough.

The transplant is scheduled for September 13th.

While the family is hopeful it will be successful, they say financial help is still appreciated.

You can donate by visiting any Texas State Bank. You can also go to Adam's website at: http://www.cotaforadamm.com to make a donation.

For more information on the Flood Sisters Foundation and how to become a donor, you can visit www.floodsisters.org.

You can also go to www.donatelifeTexas.org to become a donor.

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