Fmr. FCPS superintendent hoping someone out there can be his hero

Fmr. FCPS superintendent hoping someone out there can be his hero
Published: May. 5, 2023 at 3:25 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - There are thousands of people waiting on the kidney transplant list.

One of those thousands is former Fayette County Public Schools superintendent Stu Silberman. Silberman has a rare form of kidney disease, but he has high hopes that someone out there will be his hero.

Silberman was diagnosed in 2013. At that time, he says he went on a special diet that slowed down the disease for the past 10 years. However, his case has now gotten more complicated and his kidneys have worsened. His only options for treatment are dialysis or a transplant.

“The wait is kind of nerve-racking, but overall I’m still hanging in there right now,” Silberman said.

Silberman’s diagnosis is not for the faint of heart. It’s a lot of ups and a lot of downs.

“When I have family members trying to donate, it’s an exciting time, but then, when, you know, that doesn’t work out, then that’s one of the down portions of things,” said Silberman.

Silberman says his kidney function is down to 13%. He says, with the complexities of his case, his chance of getting a kidney off the deceased donor list is practically zero.

“The average life span on dialysis is so much shorter than it is with a living donor,” Silberman said. “That’s the reason that I’m really trying to push in that direction.”

At times, Silberman says kidney disease hits hard. He gets severely fatigued and has extreme swelling in his arms and legs. All of which hinders the memories he can make with his kids and grandkids.

“My biggest hope is about time,” said Silberman. “To have more time to spend with my family and friends and to make sure that that is quality time.”

This is why he says he turned to social media and its power to spread the word.

“Former teachers and former students are all trying to help. Lots of prayer. My church is praying for me,” Silberman said.

He says the support is overwhelming.

Silberman was the FCPS superintendent for 7 years. Before that, he was the superintendent of Daviess County Schools. He served as an advocate in this role, and now he needs people to advocate for him.

“Making that call doesn’t mean that person will end up being a donor,” said Silberman. “So, the more people that can do that the better chance of receiving the kidney.”

You can also follow his story on the ‘Kidney for Stu’ Facebook page.

Silberman says the best thing to do is call the Mayo Clinic’s donor program:

  • Rochester, Minnesota (866) 249-1648
  • Jacksonville, Florida (904) 956-3309
  • Phoenix, Arizona (800) 344-6296