Former NFL player in need of kidney

It's been quite a few years since Willie Blackwell has suited up for game.

The now 64-year-old recalls the years he played in the National Football League.

"I was number 60," Willie Blackwell said. "It was 1977. I went to Morris Brown college at the time and remember the exciting new that I was going to be an outside linebacker for the Washington Redskins."

Blackwell said he learned a lot throughout his NFL career like finding the strength to fight through whatever came his way.

Now Blackwell that lesson is coming into play again after getting devastating news from doctors.

"In 1999, doctors told me they found a tumor on my left kidney," Blackwell said. "They said I had kidney disease and they would need to remove it."

Blackwell said doctors also told him his right kidney wouldn't last forever.

"That's what brings us here today," Blackwell said. "It's lasted a whole lot longer than expected, but now it's failing and only working at about 15 percent."

Blackwell's wife of 38 years, Kathy, reached out to FOX 5 to share her husband's story in hopes of finding him a living donor.

"He has done so much for the community through volunteering, in ministry and creating ESOL programs," Kathy Blackwell said. "Now we hope someone will help him."

For more information on  how you can help Willie visit his Facebook page.

Blackwell can also be reached by email at: