Jack Scobieis is 5, he's from Australia, and last year he had a kidney transplant. But he's not talking about his story. He's full of energy, hope and faith for a 7-year-old British boy who is looking for the same blessing.
Matthew Pietrzyk, from Glenfield, Leicestershire, was born with a rare genetic disorder that has damaged his kidneys. Matthew's mother, Nicola, has already donated her own kidney to Matthew, but the kidney failed. Because his second kidney was removed in May 2012, Matthew is now without any kidneys. According to his Facebook page, his chances to find another match are 3 in 10,000.
With odds like that, Nicola did the only thing she could think of and turned to her worldwide connections. In February, Matthew's mother posted a picture of him on a Facebook page with the hope of finding a donor for her son. The photo showed Matthew asking the world to get 1 million Facebook "likes." As of Wednesday, the photo had 258,685 likes and more than 19,000 shares.
People from all over the world began to react to the photo, including Jack in Australia. Having gone through the experience himself, Jack shares a heartwarming message with Matthew, someone he's never met.
Jack begins by stating that his parents had told him about Matthew's situation.
"I want to tell you to hang in there buddy," Jack said. "I got my new kidney after a whole year and, even though I am little, I remember how hard it was living on the machine and having injections every day until my new kidney came.
"But keep your fight and your chin up, Matthew."
Nicola spoke with a local newspaper, The Leichester Mercury, about the recent video and expressed that Matthew is planning to film a response.
"It just overwhelmed me and was so heartwarming," she said. "Jack might be only 5, but he summed it all up perfectly, what it is like to have to go through what he went through, and what it is like for Matthew. Matthew really liked it and because Jack is littler than him he thought he was cute, and his message was very sweet."
Although the video is just over two minutes long, Jack seems to touch on all aspects of encouragement, including trust in God.
"Keep your faith and your chin up, Matthew. God will find you a new kidney, too," Jack said. "Thinking of you, Matthew, and tell your mum and dad not to cry."
But it's no surprise Jack is confident in turning to God after the experiences he has already been through in his young life. Jack's own story can also be seen in a heart-wrenching YouTube video that describes his journey from the first day he felt sick. But continually throughout the video, Jack's parents express the trust they had to have in God.
They said in the video, "For the first time in his life we could not help him. We could do nothing to save him. Jack was in God's hands alone."
Because Jack was able to receive his blessing, his family now prays with hope for Matthew along with thousands of others around the world. More information regarding kidney donation can be found online at the National Kidney Foundation.
Sarah Sanders Petersen is an intern for Deseret News where she writes for Mormon Times and does other feature articles. She is a communications major and editing minor from Brigham Young University.
- Why one Mormon man left Hollywood to be a...
- LDS Church enhances web pages on its history,...
- Many Mormon missionaries who return home...
- Wright Words: Christmas Jars tradition...
- Ask Angela: I'm 24 and I think I'm headed to...
- One year since Sandy Hook: 'Evil did not win'...
- Linda & Richard Eyre: Ann and Mitt Romney...
- Mormon missionaries shine shoes, teach the...
- Many Mormon missionaries who return... 129
- Ask Angela: I'm 24 and I think I'm... 80
- LDS Church enhances web pages on its... 62
- Space and religion: How believers view... 24
- Mormon missionaries shine shoes, teach... 22
- In Our Lovely Deseret: Mark Twain and... 17
- Pres. Monson teaches Christmas is the... 11
- One year since Sandy Hook: 'Evil did... 10