DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. (CBS46) -- A metro vet is in desperate need of a kidney, and CBS46 covered his story back in April.
DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. (CBS46) A local woman donated her kidney to her husband in hopes of givin…
After seeing Barry Presley Sr.'s story, a man living in Mississippi – who is a kidney donor himself – is celebrating his 80th birthday by raising awareness about kidney donation and helping our local vet find a donor.
“I know God wakes me up every day, and I have a purpose. I have kids, and I want to see them, and be here for them as long as I can,” said Presley.
Forty-year-old Presley is a Navy veteran, and he says he’s living on borrowed time.
“I’m thankful each and every day I wake up,” Presley said.
His wife, Marshina, donated her kidney to him a few years back, but it failed. They’ve been looking for a new donor ever since.
“I really need somebody to step forward to help me, and help me find a kidney,” added Presley.
After our story ran, a man living in Mississippi was so touched that he reached out to them.
“It broke my heart seeing that, and I thought, this is the person, so I wrote Marshina, so I asked if it was okay if I rode for him,” said Denny Behm, who is cycling across the country to raise awareness about kidney donation.
Denny Behm came to Atlanta this weekend to meet the Presleys.
Behm, his former students, and a few others are cycling from Iowa City to Minneapolis to raise awareness about living kidney donation and hoping to find a kidney donor for Barry.
“It’s going to be quite an adventure,” Behm said.
“When I heard about what Mr. Denny is doing, the bike ride, I was like, wow, he doesn’t even know me,” Presley added.
At age 67, Behm donated a kidney to a friend which kept him from having to go on dialysis.
“It was truly the most rewarding and most satisfying thing I’ve done in my life,” said Behm, “I’ve been living with one kidney for 13 years, there’s absolutely no difference in my health.”
To celebrate his 80th birthday, Behm is hoping to change another life, and raise awareness.
“I’ve kind of been on a high horse about it, trying to get other people to think about it,” Behm said, “I think maybe the donor gets as much out of it as the recipient.”
Presley says he was starting to have doubts that anyone would hear his prayers for help.
“It made me feel great, that there are still great people out there willing to help another person,” said Presley, “We need more people like him…If you’re able to, just think about it, if you’re able to save somebody’s life, how big is that.”
The ride starts on September 2nd, it will take about a week, and they will ride around 300 miles.
They’re hoping others will join them along the way.
Towns they’ll be stopping at on the ride include: Iowa City, Grinnell, Mason City (Iowa), Minnesota, Waseca, Jordan, and Minneapolis.
Behm has started a godfundme to help the Presley family meet their financial obligations while waiting for a kidney match. To donate, click here.