Arizona Hotshot is in dire need of a kidney and is looking for a living donor

FLAGSTAFF, Arizona – After more than 30 years of service, fighting forest fires and helping with natural disasters, a Flagstaff hotshot is now fighting for its life. He urgently needs a kidney transplant.

William Kuche was only 19 when he joined the US Forest Service and now three decades later he is the superintendent of T1 Flagstaff Interagency Hotshots in Arizona. 37 / html / container.html

“He’s a leader of the elite,” said Lyndsey Kuche, William’s wife. “There aren’t many who do what he does for a living.”

During his long career, William or Bill, as his friends and family call him, brought aid to areas affected by Hurricane Rita and Hurricane Katrina. He also fought the wildfires in Australia last year and even helped with the cleanup efforts after the Columbia Space Shuttle disaster.

He did all of these things while battling stage 5 chronic kidney disease.

Lyndsey Kuche said that when Bill was a kid he got a sore throat. The strep virus attacked his kidneys, causing a condition called glomerulonephritis, which resulted in “holes” appearing in both kidneys, she said, adding that Bill has been on high blood pressure medication since childhood.

On February 24, during Kuche’s 20th wedding anniversary and two years after he was on the kidney transplant list, Bill’s condition took a turn. His wife said he was ordered to start dialysis.

“His kidneys closed suddenly and abruptly within 36 hours,” she said.

Since the average waiting time for a deceased organ donor’s kidney is around five years, the Kuche family is focused on finding a living donor.

Lyndsey Kuche said family members on both sides had been tested as living donors but were out of luck.

“I’ve learned that I can never be a living organ donor because of underlying health problems I didn’t know about,” said Lyndsey Kuche.

As the family tries to find a donor for their loved ones, they also want to draw attention to the more than 107,000 people currently awaiting an organ transplant starting February 2021. com / safeframe / 1-0-37 / html / container.html

“I really don’t want to sit here and imagine life without him,” said Grace Kuche, Bill’s daughter.

With her father currently being treated at Flagstaff Medical Center, Grace said he was in dire need of a kidney transplant. She hopes his service life will inspire others to give a little of themselves, perhaps to save the life of their father or someone else.

“Not everyone will be a match for my father, there is no way,” said Grace. “I just want people to take into account that he’s not the only one.”

The family created a GoFundMe page to help out during this time of need. Lyndsey Kuche says they are incredibly grateful for the support they have received so far.

“We have the ability to change other people’s lives and enable people to live longer,” said Lyndsey Kuche.

How to Become a Living Donor

Becoming a living donor can be a lengthy but rewarding process.

Anyone interested in organ donation can fill out the Mayo Clinic questionnaire here.

It is recommended that you discuss with your own doctor that you are considering becoming a living donor.

According to, a US government organ donation and transplant information website, 17 people die waiting for an organ transplant every day. Every nine minutes, another person is placed on the transplant waiting list.

One donor can save eight lives and donate eight organs: heart, two lungs, liver, pancreas, two kidneys and intestines, the website says.

The United Network for Organ Sharing said that more than 5,700 people became living organ donors in 2020.

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