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Benefit concert, fundraiser hosted for Idaho veteran in need of kidney transplant

The Godfrey Paul Band put on a show to raise money for AJ Mansfield, a Marine Corps veteran with a rare autoimmune disease.

BOISE, Idaho — Good music, and a good cause.

Those two things came together Saturday night for a benefit concert and fundraiser to help an Idaho veteran get a life-saving kidney transplant.

The concert was held to raise money for AJ Mansfield, who was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease last March.

"I found out I had Goodpasture's Disease, which is a one in a million autoimmune disease," Mansfield said.

A one in a million disease, and now, AJ is trying to become one of 25,000 Americans who get a life-saving kidney transplant each year. 

"They were able to save my heart, my lungs, and my kidneys completely just failed," AJ said. "So, they got me all signed up with dialysis and the kidney transplant team, and thank goodness to University of Utah - they got me on the list quick, and we're looking for a living donor."

AJ receives dialysis three to four times per week.

On Saturday, a One in a Million benefit concert at the Egyptian Theatre was held to raise money for the cost of travel and lost wages for Mansfield and a potential living donor.

"Godfrey kind of sparked the idea," AJ said.

Godfrey Paul, of the "Country Rockin' Blues" Godfrey Paul Band spearheaded the idea for the benefit concert. 

"It's a privilege. You know, it's a total honor," Paul said.

Godfrey Paul first met the fellow marine during one of his shows at Quinn's in Boise.

 "We just kind of started talking and hanging out, and then he'd come out to a few shows. Tonight kind of evolved, just with an idea," Paul said. "So, it's for a really good cause. AJ is just a stand-up guy, his mom is awesome. It's a really cool night."

The benefit concert also had a live raffle with donated items, including a vacation to Mexico, a fire pit, concert tickets and more. 

"This is truly a community event," Amy, AJ's mother said. "We have had so many contributors. 100% of everything happening tonight has been donated by people in the community."

Aside from raising money for AJ, the event also raised awareness for kidney transplants. AJ's medical dream teams from Boise and Utah spoke about how donors save lives.

"It's so awesome. I don't know how to describe it in words, but it's just amazing," AJ said. "If I didn't have Amy and my family, or any of these supporters. The community has come together really to support me and really get behind me. You know, my key is never give up, and just keep moving forward. Without them, I couldn't have done it."

If you are interested in becoming a donor, you can reach out to Yes Idaho, the state's organ, eye, tissue and living donor registry. 

While the benefit concert has ended, they are still accepting donations to help AJ. Donations to AJ can be made through this Venmo link.  

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