David Shakespeare, who grew up in Bryn Mawr and graduated from Radnor High School (1977), needs your help. And the title of his website says it all, in no uncertain terms.
Shakespeare Needs A Kidney.
David is the son of Sarah and Ted Shakespeare, who were both very active politically in the Main Line. David recently launched his own website (www.ShakespeareNeedsAKidney.com) in search of a living kidney donor. He suffers from Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD), an incurable hereditary ailment that has steadily reduced his kidney functioning throughout his adult life. PKD has claimed the lives of his brother Ted (Radnor, class of ’72) and his mother, and it now threatens David’s.
“My family has been stricken so terribly by PKD, I hope my son David’s life can be spared,” said Ted, who taught English, drama and biology for more than 25 years at several schools in the Philadelphia area.
David has embarked on a regional and nationwide media campaign to develop a social network focused on finding a suitable kidney donor. He has launched a Facebook page and is seeking exposure for his campaign through radio, TV, newspapers and his website.
Some of his networking is beginning to show results. Robert Picardo, a noted television actor (China Beach, Wonder Years, Star Trek Voyager) and one of Ted Shakespeare’s former students, has been tweeting regularly on David’s behalf.
This campaign is David’s only real hope. Kidneys from living donors last twice as long as those from deceased donors, and the wait time in New England for a kidney from a deceased donor can be up to five years.
David’s kidneys are currently functioning at about 18 percent. At 15 percent, he will probably have to undergo regular dialysis treatment, which is not a cure, but a life support with a high mortality rate.
health is deteriorating,” said David, 54, who lives with his wife, Leslie, in
Melrose, Mass., and works in Boston as an environmental analyst. “I get tired
all the time. With the help of a living donor, I know I can resume the active
life I once shared with my wife and others, as well as my work on behalf of the
environment and my advocacy for increased funding for PKD research and living