LAYTON, Utah (ABC4) – According to the United States Health Resources and Services Administration, there are currently 106,000 people on the national transplant waiting list. Last year, 90,000 people (about the seating capacity of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum) were waiting for a kidney transplant.

Of those, less than 25,000 were able to get one. Those waiting for kidneys made up 83 percent of all the people on the national transplant waiting list.

One of those on the list now is a 25-year-old man from Layton. His name is Hayden Brown. His family told ABC4 he needs a kidney in the next three to five months and they’re asking the community for help.   

“It’s one of my favorites of Hayden, right there,” Danette Hanagarne said while swiping through pictures on her phone of her nephew. 

“He just loves his family and is the most generous person ever,” said Danette’s daughter, Abigail Bequeaith. “He’s hilarious.”  

Abigail is Hayden’s cousin. She is six years younger than him but said he never made her feel like they weren’t friends despite the age gap. It’s their close relationship that has Abigail doing all she can to help Hayden during his time of need.  

Hayden is going through kidney failure and couldn’t attend an in-person interview with ABC4 because he wasn’t feeling well. However, he wrote a letter to describe what is happening to him.  

The letter, in its entirety, continues below: 

My name is Hayden Brown. I am 25 years old. I lost my first kidney at the age of four and have had several surgeries on my remaining kidney. Those surgeries bought me a good amount of time before that one began to fail.  

I am glad that I was lucky enough to have that remaining kidney while I grew up so that I was able to enjoy those years with my family and friends.  

I love to read, watch movies, play video games, play the guitar, and play Dungeons and Dragons with my friends.  

I also love to spend time with my family and friends, especially my nephews who provide endless entertainment; as well as my aunt, uncle and cousins. The amount of happiness and hope they bring to me can’t be overstated; I feel very fortunate I have them in my life.  

During COVID, the number of people on the waitlist for an organ donor has only grown and the wait time has gotten much longer. Starting this process has shown me how lucky I am to have so many people who love and care for me. It has shown me the need for people who are willing to help others and raise awareness has only grown with time.  

Regardless of what happens in the future, I am glad that people have started to become more aware of these needs through what has happened to me. It comforts me to know that good things can come out of my situation and potentially help others as well.  

I am incredibly grateful for the amazing amount of support that I have received not only from my family and friends, but the community I’ve grown up in. There have been so many people who have reached out willing to help that it leaves me speechless every time. But, the need is still there. I still need a kidney. So, I ask that you please become a kidney donor.  

With luck, I will have a kidney match found. But, imagine if we found donors for many people by your willingness to not just donate for me but for ANY person on the list.  

Share your spare and give the gift of life here.

ABC4 would like those who are interested in registering to note that they need to enter Hayden’s name (Hayden Brown) and his birth date (03/28/1997) on the Intermountain registration form in order to register as his donor and begin the matching process.  

Danette told ABC4 that kidney problems affect quite a few people in the family which means they cannot donate. Family members who are able to donate, like Abigail, have already gone through the process.

“It’s hard to see someone you care so much about struggling because there’s not really anything you can do,” said Abigail. “I was already ruled out as a donor. I can’t be, his sister can’t be either. Actually, neither of his sisters can.” 

To help find him a match, Abigail and Danette are spearheading a social media blitz. They’re sharing his story on almost every social media platform. They say it’s just the beginning to gain some traction and has even been shared by people from out of state. Not only that, but just recently, a local firefighter messaged them to say he’d started the donor matching process after seeing Hayden’s story online.   

“It’s hard,” said Danette. “My sister has really struggled. Hayden has really struggled with having to reach out and ask other people to do something of this magnitude to save him.”  

According to Danette, Hayden needs the transplant in the next three to five months.   

“He’s always a happy person,” she said. “He’s always going to show you that happy side, but it is a stress on him. He knows time is limited and the question of ‘Will we make it?’”  

Ultimately, the family hopes to find Hayden a match, but like he said in his letter, they hope there are many more matches as a result.   

“If we can find a kidney with another person and make a trade and to help someone else out, that’s what we’re looking for, is kind of the bigger picture,” added Danette.  

You may not be able to donate, but please share this story however you can to help get the word out. Abigail emphasized the power of sharing in a statement: “Please, help us give him more time. More time to make his family laugh, spend time with his nephews, fall in love, become a husband, and father. Please take a moment and help save a life. Thank you.”