It's been an incredibly tough road for 29 year-old Joshua Tannen. For most of his life he's been searching for a kidney donor. Tannen has run the gauntlet trying to get someone, anyone willing to help him. He's looking for a hero to give him a better chance at life.
Since he was little he has had to deal with kidney problems. But, a trip to the doctor when he was in elementary school would lead to several doctors visits, countless surgeries, medications, and dialysis treatments. He was in kidney failure and needed help. But through it all he keeps his head held high.
"I just try to stay positive," Tannen said.
It helps that his mom is with him every step of the way.
"He's my little buddy. We go through life together," says Karen Tannen.
So, when she had the chance to donate a kidney to her son in 2002 she did not hesitate.
"It's an amazing experience; giving the gift of life," she said.
Tannen says she would encourage everyone to consider organ donation because waiting for a deceased organ donor can take years. She says she was in and out of the hospital in no time and recovery was easy. Within a few weeks she was back in the gym working out with her son.
To her it was a no brainer, her son needed her and she was willing to do anything to make his life better and easier. And she can understand people's hesitation. But she says it is worth it.
In 2011, things took a turn for the worst. Joshua's body began rejecting his kidney. Since then he's been desperate to find a new donor and he's getting his plea out there by turning to the media.
He interviewed with a few newspapers in Florida, where he lived before he moved to Arizona, but still no luck. Here in the valley he is using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, even turning to Craigslist to find a donor. Planet Fitness -- where he works out -- even did a campaign for him to find a donor, and his mom drives an SUV with a large decal on the rear window asking for help with a number on who to call.
It's been five years of him trying and still nothing. The problem isn't getting people promising to donate but getting them to follow through. He has gotten quite a bit of responses, but never goes further than that.
For Joshua, time is of the essence. Next week he finds out if his failing kidney will have to be taken out. If it does his life will get much more tough.
"Please, consider helping," pleads Tannen.
If you would like to donate a kidney to Joshua call 850-557-3522.