Travelers heading southbound on Route 1 over the Nassau Bridge will see an unusual billboard in the beach area – one calling for help in saving a young man’s life.
Located on the northbound side near Delaware Beach Storage Center, the billboard references Lewes man Matt Barry, 21, who needs a partial liver transplant.
Just a few years ago while he was a Cape High student, Matt was diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver. Matt does not drink, and there is no family history of the disease, his father Rick said.
Matt was immediately placed on the national liver transplant waiting list at the University of Pennsylvania, where doctors say his best option is to receive a transplant from a living donor.
A living donor would give a portion of their liver to Matt. A few months after surgery, the donor’s remaining liver and the portion Matt receives will regrow.
Matt recently spent the weekend at University of Pennsylvania waiting for a potential donation, but the liver was damaged, Rick said.
To help in the search for a potential donor, Delaware Beach Storage Center owner Timarie Thompson donated funds to install the billboard close to her business.
“I was able to get Ad-Art Sign Company to graciously donate printing and installation of the graphics,” Thompson said. “Our community is coming together to help one of our own.”
In this highly visible location, travelers are asked to go to mattneedsaliver.com, where they can learn more about Matt’s story, how they can help and who could qualify as a donor.
Anybody who has O blood type, is vaccinated, in good health and between the ages of 18-50 can sign up to be a potential donor.
Potential candidates can call the Living Donor Transplant line at 215-349-8220 or go to the University of Pennsylvania screening intake portal at penntransplant.donorscreen.org. Make sure to put down Matthew Barry as the recipient.
Members of the Barrys’ church, New Covenant Presbyterian Church in Lewes, also launched a GoFundMe to help with medical and travel expenses. Go to gofundme.com/f/partial-liver-transplant-needed-for-matt-berry to donate and share the page.