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Loved ones to host benefit for Amherst man who needs a kidney

Jason Batch has had to quit his job, and the transmission on his 2007 Dodge Nitro SUV is about to go, but those setbacks pale compared to his need for a kidney transplant.

Batch, 29, of Amherst, was born with a kidney condition – peripheral glomerulonephritis – that has slowly sapped both his kidneys.

He was forced to go on dialysis in January, take a leave this month from his maintenance job at Walmart in Clarence, and turn most of his attention to trying to find a donor before his kidneys fail completely.

His loved ones will look to the community this weekend when they host a benefit for Batch. The event will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday at St. Andrew Catholic Church, 1525 Sheridan Drive in the Town of Tonawanda. The $25 cost includes food, soda, beer, door prizes and music. Tickets are available in advance by calling Batch’s mother, Lynda Gibson, at 939-6718; they’re also available at the door.

Gibson, a single mother of two, lives in Black Rock and works as a bookkeeper at a nearby grocery store. She and Batch’s sister, Caitlyn Gibson, 13, have led the charge to help him find a new kidney.

“It’s all over Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, the back of my minivan,” Batch’s mother said. The sign on the back of her navy blue 2005 Dodge Caravan includes her phone number and reads, “Please help save my son. Kidney needed. Type B blood. Serious inquiries only.”

A stroke of fortune for both kidney transplant recipient and donor

Batch’s kidneys are operating at less than 5 percent of normal capacity. He undergoes dialysis three times a week as he waits for a kidney. His nephrologist recommended he leave his job so he can withstand replacement surgery should a donor be found. An adult with Type B or Type O blood could potentially end up being a match.

Six weeks ago, Batch was close to receiving a kidney from a cadaver donor, but the kidney couldn’t be used because it contained a large mass.

As he waits, Batch stays hopeful.

“I don’t let it bother me,” he said. “It bothers my family more because they’re in the anticipation of really wanting it. I take things day-by-day. I get things done that I have to get done. When the time comes, it will happen. There’s nothing I can do now to make it go faster.”

Those interested in becoming a kidney donor are encouraged to call Alicea Wirth-Gonser, in the Erie County Medical Center transplant program, at 898-4931.

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