Right now, more than 114,000 Americans are waiting for an organ transplant. One of those Americans on the list is a central Ohio woman who took a unique approach to trying to find a donor.
NBC4’s Elyse Chengery says as she was going to Cleveland for Thanksgiving, she noticed a white car with a message written on the back stating ‘I NEED A KIDNEY.’ So, she gave the number a call and wanted to share Jeanne’s story.
Jeanne was diagnosed 10 years ago with chronic kidney disease. She says she’s gradually losing kidney function and was placed on a waiting list two years ago for a kidney. She needs an O positive or O negative kidney.
Family and friends have not matched so she turned to social media, church bulletins and now her car for help.
“You got to take charge and find a kidney,” says Jeanne.”Somebody shared with me well put it on your car! And so I thought why not. I was a little embarrassed at first but I thought the more people who see it the better chance I have of some special, wonderful person coming forward to say yeah I can do this.”
With the help of her support person, Katie Cicero, who is also her best friend of more than 20 years, she’s starting dialysis and doing it inside her home saying, “Maintain some kind of function until I’m able to get a live kidney.”
She is on the waiting list along with 2,900 people in Ohio, hoping she can find a live donor.
Tisha Reynolds, the executive director for the National Kidney Foundation here in Columbus says often, transplanted organs from living donors have greater longevity than those from deceased donors.
Jeanne says her sons are 10 years apart and she loves her boys dearly.
“I want to be there for them. I want them to have grandkids, when they’re ready, of course. I want to live a little bit longer, see grandchildren and help them with directions of their life even though they’re grown adults, they still depend on mom.”
So she’s hoping someone will give her a call.
“Waiting and doing your best to try to stay healthy so when that kidney comes your ready,” says Jeanne.
If you think you’re a match for Jeanne and would like to contact her, call 614-843-1247
If you have a different blood type and still want to try and help one of the other 2,900 people on the waiting list, visit https://www.kidney.org/.