A SWFL Army veteran needs a new kidney, here’s how you can help

Reporter: Taylor Wirtz Writer: Jasmine Singletary
Published: Updated:
Dave Crist (CREDIT: WINK News)

A Southwest Florida veteran needs a kidney to stay alive.

Dave Crist lives on Fort Myers Beach and is on the transplant list.

But right now, he is on home dialysis 10 hours a day, every day. And he fears a hurricane will wipe out power.

Crist is waiting for that important phone call telling him he has a match.

Crist wears many hats. He’s a husband, father, grandfather, army veteran, and a friend to so many.


He and his wife Pat moved to Southwest Florida to live the dream retirement with sunshine and a condo near the beach.

“I haven’t been to the beach in a year and we’re how many couple blocks away,” Crist said.

Kidney disease was not part of Crist’s dream.

Now he spends his days in his chair watching the world go by and his nights hooked up to a dialysis machine.

“You don’t sleep very, you get woken up. If you’re laying wrong, it literally talks to you and says, move. There’s an obstruction. Well, and you’re awake,” Crist said.

Tamara Bernal, Crist’s daughter, said it’s a hard way to live.

“It’s a hard way to live. He’s still a young, you know, young 75, he’s not ready to just be old and give it up. He needs to live and he needs to give and keep telling jokes to his friends and grandkids and making everybody smile,” Bernal said.

Bernal said family and friends have all been tested and no one’s a match.

So she started a Facebook group in hopes of reaching someone willing to be tested and donate their kidney.

Bernal knows it’s a big ask.

“It’s a sacrifice on your part, but you’re literally giving life, years of life to a grandfather who loves his family whose family loves him,” Bernal said.

Despite the hardship, Crist said he will not give up.

He will not stop smiling.

“We’ve got to be positive. No, no, no. Can’t moping around. But I’m eager to get back at it. And, you know, see family and friends,” Crist said

If you are interested in being tested to see if you might be a match visit, Dave Need A Kidney.

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