A Southern California woman is pulling out all the stops in an effort to save her life.
She has taken to social media to spread the word. She needs a new kidney. And as KCAL9’s Cristy Fajardo reports, Rachel Young is still keeping her sense of humor.
“But I still have two feet and a heartbeat,” says Young. “I still can look for a kidney.”
She put the stickers and her phone number on her car about a month ago.
Young finds strangers now either speed up or slow down to read the message.
“What else do I do?” Young asked, matter-of-fact.
Her friends are also spreading the word. There is a sign on her neighbor’s semi-truck.
“If I had a kidney, I’d go back to normal life,” says Young.
For the past year, the 41-year-old from Victorville has been traveling to Pasadena for dialysis.
“It drains me so much,” Young says, “that I have to come home and sleep for three or four hours.”
It was two years ago that she suffered a rare complication from weight loss.
“Both of my kidneys failed,” said Young. “I used to weigh over 300 and something pounds.”
She is the only child of parents who have both passed. None of her friends are a match.
The list for a cadaver kidney is 12 years long, she says.
Young said everyone in her unit thought she was crazy to advertise for a kidney “including the nurses in my unit. They came out and called me nuts.”
Maybe the plan isn’t so crazy after all. She’s pulled over many times to accept calls from strangers—and cried.
“Because a complete stranger willing to give me a kidney is wonderful,” she says.
So far there have been no matches. But Young’s friends, like Billy Martin, say the kindness of strangers has been a gift.
“She’ll get calls almost every day,” Martin says, “and she has just gotten so much more livelier and happier and positive. Cause she has really rough days.”
Young is hoping the sign will get her a kidney but organs also for those in her dialysis. Her sign is bringing awareness for the need for organ donation.
The sticker on her vehicle has given her something the doctors have been unable to—hope.
“I feel that there is humanity left in the world,” she says, “and it makes me very happy.”
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Written by Cristy Fajardo, CBS Los Angeles.
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