VIDEO: Facebook appeal to find kidney for Matthew Pietrzyk, seven, from Glenfield, Leicestershire, attracts global support from 300,000 people
An online appeal to find a kidney for a poorly seven-year-old boy from Leicestershire has attracted support from almost 300,000 well-wishers from around the globe.
Matthew Pietrzyk, from Glenfield, was born with a rare genetic disorder which has damaged his kidneys.
In a bid to find a live donor - and raise awareness of donation - his mum Nicola uploaded a picture of Matthew to Facebook, appealing for one million people to ‘like’ the image.
In less than a week 293,547 people have ‘liked’ the photo and more than 38,000 people have joined a Facebook page supporting Matthew’s search.
“It is absolutely overwhelming and I never believed for a second that I would get this kind of response,” said Nicola, 33.
“I would love if this campaign found a kidney for Matthew, obviously I would, but if it encourages more people to join the organ donation register, and helped even one more person, that would be amazing.”
Matthew was born with congenital nephrotic syndrome which means his faulty kidneys get rid of protein through his urine that would usually transport fluids around his body.
He had his first kidney removed in October 2007 to prepare him to receive a donor one from his mum, which he had in January 2008.
But the new kidney failed immediately and Matthew was put on the national waiting list, along with hundreds of other children.
His second kidney was removed in May this year, to help ease his condition.
His family have been tested to see if they could donate a kidney, but Nicola recently found out none were a close enough tissue match, so took to the internet to widen the search.
To support Matthew online, or find out how you can help, visit www.facebook.com and search for ‘A million likes for a kidney for Matthew.’
For more about Matthew and his family’s search for a kidney, see tomorrow’s paper.