Folding Mr. Lincoln: "Missing Her Pretty Green Eyes"
David Ybarra — electric bass | Harry Mestyanek — vocals & acoustic guitar
“I am asking my friends to help me at this scary time,” says bassist David Ybarra. The 51-year-old South Park resident has been a mainstay of San Diego’s music community since the early 1980s, a full-time musician performing with Playground Slap, the Wild Truth, and Folding Mr. Lincoln. A diabetic for the past four decades, Ybarra was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease in 2013.
On March 11, Ybarra will be having a kidney transplant. “I am going through the last set of pre-op tests and it is down to the wire. My kidney function is only at 11 percent, which is considered stage 5. Not too good.”
Playground Slap funks it up for the first time in 18 years at the Casbah. The 'Slap are: Marcelo Radulovich- Guitar, David Ybarra- Bass, Ray Dezonia- Keys and other sounds, Bill Ray- Drums, Mike Keneally- Guitar
Following the surgery he expects to be out of commission for a few months. “The surgery will have an immediate impact on healthy body function,” he said. “Healing could take from 4 to 8 weeks, and I will be isolated from general contact for a week due to anti-rejection medication.”
Ybarra has insurance, but rent and day-to-day dollars are scarce. “I am a great budgeter,” he said. “At this stage of the game love and support are important, but I have had to decline work because of the illness so finances are slim. At this juncture money will help sustain me.”
To that end, Ybarra is asking for donations from the many friends he’s made in the local music community over his decades on San Diego stages. Ybarra is utilizing the Help Hope Live website as a platform for donations. “They are assisting with fundraising to help cover living costs during and after the transplant. Work, even music work, has been very difficult, and I really need a hand.”
Ybarra’s new kidney is a gift from a longtime lady friend, Bay Area singer Hudson, who also happens to be a nurse.
“Honestly, at first I was joking, I said, ‘You know, David, I’d give you a kidney!’ Well, he took me at my word.” She got tested last August and found they were compatible. “Since then, I’ve never regretted my decision to be a living donor. I’m humbled at the opportunity to help improve David’s life. I can’t think of anyone more deserving of a shot at being healthy.”
Hudson has cared for many diabetics and patients on dialysis. “I know firsthand the devastating effects of the disease and how much quality of life is compromised once they go on dialysis. I didn’t want that for David,” she said.
While performing is difficult, Ybarra plans to play one more gig, pre-surgery, with cover band AM Gold at Winstons on March 7. “I am not out of the game,” says Ybarra, “but I am not as busy as I could be if [I was] healthy.”
For more on David Ybarra’s condition and to donate, visit: m.helphopelive.org/campaign/5416.