There will be a barbecue fundraiser to help get a new kidney for a local man on March 18.

There will be a barbecue fundraiser to help get a new kidney for a local man on March 18.

Mike Moses, bus driver and owner of Mike’s A/C, Heating, and Electric, is a strong, caring man, according to his wife, Darlene.

“He is always reaching out and helping other people, even in his sickness. He has a big heart,” she said.

Friends and family, along with Rev.Roy Hoosier of Bethel Grove United Pentecostal Church, are coming together to help raise money for Mike Moses’ kidney transplant, said Hunter Johnson, Moses’ close friend.

Moses, a DeRidder native, has been in complete kidney failure for a little over a year. The disease is called polycystic kidney disease. It causes numerous cysts to grow inside the kidneys.

The cysts are filled with fluid. If too many cysts grow or if they get too big, the kidneys can become damaged. They can slowly replace much of the kidneys, reducing kidney function and leading to kidney failure.

“It comes and goes. Right now he is functioning on less than 1 percent kidney function.”

Moses found out he had this disease in his early 20s, but it wasn’t until about five to six years ago that he experienced kidney failure.

“He does dialysis eight hours a night, seven days a week,” said Darlene.

Dialysis keeps the body in balance by removing waste, salt and extra water to prevent them from building up in the body. It also keeps a safe level of certain chemicals in the blood, such as potassium, sodium and bicarbonate. Dialysis helps to control blood pressure too.

The kidney transplant waiting list is usually about five to seven years, said Darlene. But his half-sister, Sarah, who is not a carrier of the disease, has stepped forward and wants to donate a kidney, if she is a match.

If Sarah’s kidney is not a match for him, she will be put on what is called the donor swap program. If a donor who is a match for Moses turns up, she will trade her kidney for the one that he can use.

The family has tried experimental treatments using stem cells. “We went once to Lima, Peru, where stem cells from bone marrow was taken from his hip bones and inserted into his blood stream,” said Darlene.

This past January marked a year-long effort, going back and forth to Houston Methodist Hospital, trying to get on a kidney transplant list.

“We want the best, and Houston has some of the best kidney doctors there are,” said Darlene.

At the end of March, he will finish some medical tests there and finally be placed on the waiting list.

The barbecue fundraiser, on Saturday, March 18, will feature gospel music at 11 a.m., barbecue at noon, and an auction at 2 p.m.

The group is in need of items for the auction. Darlene suggested anything people think will sell, for example furniture, themed baskets of items, or artwork.

The event will take place at 18558 Johnny B. Hall Memorial Highway (U.S. 171), next door to Sweet Doughnuts and More.

For information, call Hunter Johnson at 401-7029 or Rev. Roy Hoosier at 825-0581.