BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — The owner of Sno Shack, the popular shaved ice spot in Bakersfield, is gearing up to undergo a kidney transplant. Shawn Barton has suffered from kidney failure since 2009.
He was able to live a normal life until recently, because his doctor told him his condition is worsening and he needs a transplant right away. finding a kidney donor is normally never easy. The national kidney foundation says the average wait time can be 3 to 5 years. Barton is one of the lucky ones, he found a friend able to help.
"It's another day for me. Like if I can help him continue to live on with his family, that's what my main goal is. I just want to see him prosper and live his life to the fullest," said Heather Sanders, who is donating her kidney to Shawn.
over two decades, Sanders has been a close family friend to the Bartons. Now she'll be known as the person who saved Shawn's life.
"I'd give him both kidneys if I could and still live," Sanders said.
Barton's problems stem from a car crash that damaged his kidneys in 2006. He was diagnosed with kidney failure in 2009, a condition that can sometimes rob him of his energy.
"(I'm) sluggish, slow reaction time, just real lethargic sometimes," Barton said.
"Shawn has slowly been just gaining more fatigue and not feeling well. This last week he's been super swollen," said Shawn's wife Kara.
And the sluggishness not only makes it difficult to run a shaved ice business, but it also makes it hard to be a husband and a father to three daughters.
"I want to see him be able to go out and function and not be tired. I want to see him enjoy his days again," Sanders said.
Sanders will miss 6 weeks of work while she recovers. Still, she didn't even think twice about offering her kidney.
"No one should have to live on dialysis or live with the condition that Shawn has," she said.
An event is being held at Sno Shack's Brimhall Road location on November 2nd. It'll be a tacos and movie benefit raising funds to support Sanders and Barton as they recover. You can find details here.