A Youngsville man is reaching out for help as he deals with a rare autoimmune disease.
Ryan Winkels said doctors have no idea how he got it. It started almost a year ago and he's on dialysis and needs a kidney transplant.
"I'm on the list and looking for a live donor," Winkels said. "It's just really hard to come up with one."
A match would have to have the same blood type and also be pretty healthy. With those conditions, Winkels said it makes it difficult to find anybody.
Costs are also pretty high, Winkels said, as he has to take protein supplements everyday. Prescription drugs are also expensive.
For the rest of his life, Winkels will have to be on anti rejection drugs. Although he does have insurance, it only covers 80 percent of costs.
For care, Winkels goes to Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh. Gas can get to be expensive from trips down there.
Since he's sick, Winkels is no longer working either. The normal things he would do are now out of reach for him.
On Sunday, Oct. 21, a benefit for Winkels will be held at the Eagles Aerie #313 at 2101 Pennsylvania Ave. in Warren. There will be spaghetti and meatballs served at $8 a plate with tossed salad and rolls included.
Take out orders will be available and there will also be a silent auction. The benefit will run from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
At the event, Winkels is hoping to see at least 300 attend. However, it's hard to tell how many there will be.
"You just don't know if people really want to help you and support you," Winkels said.
His local church has helped Winkels and people there are doing a lot for him. But he would also love to see a good turnout at the dinner.