Homeless man pleads for kidney transplant help

December 19, 2011 3:18:52 PM PST
There's a race against time for a man who desperately needs a kidney and pancreas transplant.

Right now he's homeless and to get a transplant he has to have a residence.

It's a financial domino: He lost his home after he lost his job, after he was diagnosed with kidney disease.

Now there's a campaign to save his life.

Octavio Estevez begged for help on the steps of City Hall Monday afternoon.

He says if he doesn't get a kidney and pancreas transplant, then it's only a matter of time before he dies, leaving his 4-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son fatherless.

With tears filling his eyes, the US citizen from the Dominican Republic says that he needs a permanent home to be eligible for the transplants.

Estevez has been waiting for more than two years. He has diabetes, depression, kidney, pancreas, and heart disease.

Mr. Estevez says he was forced to quit his job because of all of his health issues. He then couldn't keep up with the rent, so he, his wife, and two children have been homeless ever since.

They are now staying in a shelter in the Mount Hope section of the Bronx.

His story caught the attention of half a dozen local politicians who have sent dozens of letters to the Housing Authority, hospitals, and job recruitment centers, but still nothing.

"Truly this could be the best Christmas present that this gentleman could receive," New York City Councilman Fernando Cabrera said.

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