Former Temple HS football player hopes the new year will bring a new kidney

Posted at 6:14 PM, Nov 19, 2018
and last updated 2019-01-02 10:59:19-05

If you are a Central Texas high school football fan, the name Darius Joiner may ring a bell.

"I've been playing football since I was four or five years old. That's the only thing I knew, and I wanted to continue doing that until I was not able to do it anymore," Joiner said.

He started 21 games on the offensive line at Temple High School. "Playing at Temple, that really helped me shape the person I am," Joiner added. 

After graduating, the Temple Wildcat went on to play football in college.

With hopes of eventually playing for the NFL, his football career was put to a halt when doctors found water retention in his legs.

"Both legs swelled up like a balloon," said Joiner. 

Then, he became a father.

"My first love was football, and then once I had my daughter, I was like this is another kind of love," Joiner said.  

In August of 2018, the day before he was supposed to sign a contract with the navy, Joiner found himself in the hospital yet again.

"They told me your blood pressure is through the roof," said Joiner. That was when he found out he had stage five kidney failure.

 "We had huge plans you know, and then it literally, the day we were told that it just it literally all just came crumbling down," said Jessica Moreno, Joiner's girlfriend.

Now, Joiner undergoes dialysis three times a week. "Dialysis is for life and the transplant, that's the fastest way to recover," said Joiner. 

The father of two said he is in dire need of a new kidney and hopes someone out there will be his perfect match.

Since we first shared Joiner's story back in November, the family says dozens of people have stepped up and registered to see if they could be Joiner's perfect match. 

"Last time we went in they said it was over 130," said Moreno. 

Joiner hoped the new year will bring him that lucky donor.

"I feel it. It's coming. Every time I go to the hospital they're always telling me, 'Hey you're Darius Joiner, you know we've heard so much about you.' You know so it's hearing that it's like... it's coming," said Joiner. 

If you would like to see if you are his perfect match, visit The website will ask for his name, Darius Joiner, and his date of birth, Sept. 21, 1995. 

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