Lifebanc: Ray Freeman - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

Lifebanc: Ray Freeman

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(WOIO) -

Two years ago 50 year old Ray Freeman was diagnosed with kidney failure two years ago.

"I do dialysis three times a week.  I go Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday."

Freeman knows a lot about money and helps people get financing for mortgages but until he was diagnosed with kidney failure, like most of us, he knew next to nothing about it.

"I was losing weight.  I was very thirsty and I was just couldn't hold food down.

His sister made him go to the doctors, who told him his kidneys were functioning at only 17 percent.

When 19 Action News Reporter Harry Boomer asked Freeman how his life changed when he found out that his kidneys were failing, here's what he had to say.

"It was really rough.  It was the hardest day of my life."

Freeman has no family history of kidney problems has changed a lot in his life, trying to reduce the effects of his kidney failure.

"They said it was years of diabetes.  They said maybe bad eating habits in the 90's.  I've cut out a lot of ingredients as far as fries, fried food and friend chicken.  I eat more like, egg whites.  I eat granola.  I eat oatmeal."

Freeman, whose blood type is "B positive," has learned a typical patient will live 10 to 15 years longer with a kidney transplant than if kept on dialysis.

About 30  people have been tested.  So far, no matches found. 

But Ray is an optimist and he's encouraged that somebody is going to come through...maybe you."

"You never know until you get ill if you're going to need somebody to lean on and I do," said Freeman.

Lifebanc is asking more minorities to sign up on the donor registry to help the many that are awaiting the match that could mean the gift of a longer and healthier life.

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