Jackson family embarks on a journey to find a kidney donor


JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS)—For 24-year-old Nick Tomkins and his wife Kelsey every day is a waiting game.

“I’m just trying to take it day by day. That’s all you can do,” said Jackson husband and father, Nick Tomkins.

That’s because when Nick was ten years old doctors diagnosed him with Berger’s disease, a condition that causes his kidney to slowly lose function.

“It’s just a lot. It’s something that I feel like you shouldn’t have to think about this early in your 20s,”

Then in November, he had Covid-19 which caused his kidney function to plummet.

“I was at 25 percent kidney function and it dropped it down to like 15. And so now I’m floating between 10 and 15.”

Waiting to get a new kidney could take anywhere from one to three years, but through the wait, his wife Kelsey has been by his side the entire way, seeing both the struggle he faces and the strength he shows.

“He is always the rock for everybody, so it’s kind of like I need to. It’s my turn to be the rock. For him because it’s emotionally hard on him, mentally hard on him.  I’m more worried about how he’s feeling than anything else,” said Nick’s wife, Kelsey Tompkins.

Right now, Nick is going through dialysis. He says it is helping, but it takes a toll.

“It’s about three hours with set up and  then break down and what not and the two in a half hours of treatment.”

They say their faith and support from their church community keep them going.

“We’ve had random people during service and come up and just like I have a message. You’re going to find, there’s a plan for you,” said Kelsey Tomkins.

For now, Nick and Kelsey are looking forward to adding another boy to their family in a few months, while still holding onto hope that a match is coming, and when it does Nick knows it’s something he will forever be grateful for.

“Very appreciative of somebody you know if it’s somebody that doesn’t know me that wants to do it. To extend my life for my kids my wife just to help me keep going.”    

Anyone with A or O blood type could be compatible. If you are interested in becoming a donor or want to support the Tomkins family there is a link below. Be sure to include that you are wanting to match with Nick Tomkins.



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