Marcus Albers was born with an extremely rare genetic disorder called Immunodeficiency 47, which destroyed his liver. Doctors say there are only 12 cases in the world. ABC affiliate WISN reports Marcus' 2-year-old brother also suffers from the same disorder.
Doctors told his parents he only had weeks to live unless he received a partial liver transplant.
No one in Marcus' family qualified as a donor, so his parents asked for the public's help, hoping a stranger would volunteer. A GoFundMe page was set up for the family, to explain how to get tested and how to make a donation, for those who wanted to help.
This message was posted on that page Wednesday morning:
"It is with immense sadness that I report that Marcus passed away this morning at 4am. He was comfortable and peaceful. These past 2 weeks Marcus' family has felt your support through thousands of donor inquiries, in addition to your charitable donations and countless thoughts & prayers. Thank you all for the care and concern you have genuinely expressed for Marcus. Please continue to keep Tony, Whitney, and Dominic in your prayers during this difficult time."
Officials from The Transplant Center, a joint program of Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin and Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, said in a statement that they are thankful for everyone who stepped up to help find a match for Marcus.
They said thousands of people signed up to be evaluated as potential donors.
Since there is no national database for living liver donors, officials said the transplant team spent hours and hours trying to identify someone who could donate part of their liver to Marcus.
According to Donate Life Wisconsin, nearly 114,000 people in the U.S. are waiting for a lifesaving transplant. To learn more about living donation or to add your name to the deceased donor registry list, visit donatelifewisconsin.org