FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) -- A bodybuilder from Fort Wayne is in need of a kidney transplant.
Michael Fransen has been on the transplant list since 2017, and he’s been on dialysis since February.
He says it’s over four hours a day, three days per week.
“Just sitting there is a long time, but I know it’s going to save my life, and I have no options right now other than that,” Fransen said.
His fiancee said steroid use played a role in his diagnosis, but he is now using his platform to educate people about the effects of steroids.
Fransen said he can’t work out like he used to.
“On days on dialysis I usually don’t work out because I’m either wiped out or it’s late at night after I work all day and then go on the chair, I don’t want to come in here all the time,” he said.
But when he does, he’s welcomed with open arms at Spiece Fitness where he’s been a member for 20 years.
The gym hosted a blood drive Sunday to tell people about his need for a transplant, and to help the Red Cross with the national blood shortage.
Aleana Branigan at Spiece said people at the gym wanted to help Fransen in any way they could.
“He’s got a huge heart,” she said. “And so we just want to be able to give our heart to him as well.”
Branigan said Fransen is an important member of their fitness community and Fransen feels it.
“This is my home, my family, so much support here in this gym,” he said.
For now, Fransen and his fiancee are hoping to get the word out about the effects of steroid use, living kidney donations and organ donation overall.
All while waiting for that life-saving phone call.
“[I] keep going every day the best I can, and I’m doing what the doctors are telling me to do and following the plan, and hopefully it’ll work out,” Fransen said.
That call could come any day at any time.
Fransen said when it comes, he has four hours to get down to Indianapolis to get the transplant.
If you would like to learn more about living organ donations and specifically living kidney donations, click here.