Mom desperately trying to find kidney donor to save daughter
BAY CITY, MI (WNEM) -
How far would you go for your kids?
A local mother is spending her days along a busy street in Bay City trying to find a kidney donor for her young daughter. Stacy Schwerin is on a mission to save her daughter's life.
But she's just one of hundreds across Michigan who needs your help.
Organ donation officials told TV5 the wait time for a suitable kidney is a matter of years. And even when a possible donor is found, making sure they are a match can take some time too.
"My daughter needs a kidney, she's 10 years old and I can't lose her," Schwerin said.
Schwerin's daughter, Jessica, is battling stage IV kidney disease and needs a transplant, a thought she said scares her.
"No, no, I'm not having the surgery, no, no I'm not," Jessica said.
"She's afraid of the surgery," Schwerin said. "The surgery is four hours, four hours I tell you!"
Even though she's scared, the surgery is needed as it would save her life. And now TV5 can report that viewers are stepping up to help Jessica.
Many of you emailed TV5 and posted comments on our Facebook page offering to be tested to see if you're match for Jessica.
"The best thing they could do is contact one of the transplant hospitals," explained Daryl Jensen, with Gift of Life Michigan.
For advice on how to best help Jessica, we reached out to Jensen, a hospital manager with the state's organ and tissue donation program. He said there are some things to keep in mind when it comes to organ donation.
"If she's [a] 10-year-old girl and fairly small, an adult would have to be a fairly small adult," Jensen said.
Jensen said Jessica's story is a good reminder of all the people who are waiting for that life-saving phone call about a match. Currently there are more than 3,000 people in the state waiting for an organ transplant, and more than 2,500 waiting for a kidney transplant.
"[For] People that want to help, the best thing that they can do is sign up on the donor registry," Jensen said. "The more people that sign on the donor registry, the more transplants we'll be able to do."
And that's the kind of news that can't come soon enough for Jessica.
"She's such a trooper through it all, she really is," Schwerin said.
And if you think joining the donor registry is right for you, we've made it easy for you to do so. Just register online at The Gift of Life Michigan or by going to the Secretary of State's website. There are several tests you must undergo before doctors can tell if you are a match.
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