GREAT NECK, Long Island (PIX11) — An aspiring Broadway and TV star needs a kidney, and his friends and first donor contacted PIX11 News for some help. For Jamal Shuriah, from Great Neck, Long Island, dancing, singing and acting are his passions.
Shuriah’s dream his whole life was to make it to Broadway. But in 2017, Shuriah was given a devastating diagnosis. He had a rare kidney disease and would need a transplant to survive. He’s hoping to find a donor and be able to perform again.
Shuriah has received two kidneys since 2020; he needs another one to live. Shuriah has to undergo 12 hours of dialysis a week. He’s strong, thanks to being an extraordinary athlete and dancer, but his disease, he said, is taking its toll.
From TV appearances on TV shows like Pose and We’re Here and on stage, playing Simba in Lion King for Disney Cruise Lines and Little Richard in Shout Sister Shout. The audience of that show was Michelle Obama.
Shuriah is not alone in his journey today to find a match; according to the National Kidney Foundation, the statistics are alarming. Right now for a kidney 12 to 17 people die every day waiting for a kidney.
To help, In December 2022, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed legislation into law, enacting the New York State Living Donors Support Act. It’s the first state program in the country to allow individuals to be reimbursed for the costs of kidney and liver donations. Shuriah hopes someone who is reading who is a B-positive blood type will donate now.