CRESTVIEW — Gary Johnson, founder of New Way of Life Outreach Ministry, is raising funds for his upcoming kidney transplant.
Johnson, who has diabetes and has been on dialysis since the summer of 2016, said his doctor estimated he has seven months to live without the transplant.
Johnson said one of the most difficult parts of the transplant, a donor kidney, is already covered. One of his children is a close match and has volunteered for the surgery.
Now the family needs to raise $9,500 for the required surgery, which must be paid in advance. The money also funds the medical stay afterward to ensure his body does not reject the kidney.
An initial fundraiser for the first $7,500 is at https://www.facebook.com/donate/142669536418450/.
"Whether you donate $5 or $500, every little bit helps," Johnson said. "I have put my all into helping the community for 16 years and I am hoping to be able to help all in need for many more years to come, and be able to watch my grandkids grow up.
"That is why I am asking for your help to help me live and be able to see those years. If I don't get this transplant, I may not live to do these things. Dialysis can only work to do so much," he said.
"Thanks in advance for the ones (whose) hearts the Lord will open up to help me through this journey, and may God bless (your) life as he has blessed mine over the years. Thanks again and to God be the glory."
Johnson had to attend a six-hour class in Pensacola as preparation for the surgery.
"They were just telling me about the complications and what all you have to go through and about the medication. It's a certain medication you have to take to make sure your body doesn't reject the kidney. It's an ongoing (thing)," he said.
His wife, Doris, will soon have to attend a caregiver class.