Woman seeks living organ donor after devastating diagnosis

Rylee Wobio, 22, just graduated from Michigan State University with big plans.
Updated: May. 25, 2023 at 5:30 PM EDT
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SAGINAW, Mich. (WNEM) - Rylee Wobio, 22, just graduated from Michigan State University with big plans.

“I want to go to medical school and become a physician,” Wobio said.

But those plans are on hold after Wobio got a devastating diagnosis. She remembers that day all too well.

“It was overwhelming. It was the first time I got blood work done and I didn’t expect anything to be wrong,” Wobio said.

Doctors told Wobio she has stage four chronic kidney disease, and her kidneys are failing.

“My kidneys are smaller than typical kidneys and they’re heavily scarred,” she said.

So instead of Wobio celebrating graduation and moving one step closer to being a doctor, she is not even sure what her future will look like.

“Med school, I want to go but I’m not able to go right away. It’s not looking like it. I’m going to have to wait,” she said.

Wobio is patiently waiting even though every day is a challenge.

“I’m tired all the time. I could sleep for a day if you let me,” she said.

Wobio is hoping her chronic kidney disease doesn’t get any worse before she finds a living kidney donor match.

“The best option is kidney donation. Getting a living donor and having a kidney transplant would increase my kidney function and allow me to live a normal healthy life, Wobio said.

The owner of Valerie’s Downtown in Saginaw, Juliana, is a living kidney donor. Juliana says she would do it again in a heartbeat. Her recipient is forever grateful.

Aristeo Robelin, 54, is Juliana’s recipient. After months on dialysis, and getting weaker and weaker, Robelin said he got a second chance at life from a perfect match.

“It’s wonderful. I feel great. I have more energy and I’m just thankful. I thank God every day. I thank my family, my donor Juliana and her whole family. We are all in this together,” he said.

“All in this together” are words Wobio hopes encourages more people to get tested and see if they are her perfect match. She is trying to stay optimistic.

“Hopefully this donation will happen soon and I can get back to my plans,” Wobio said.

For now, Wobio’s plans are spreading the word about organ donation.

“I understand living donation might not be right for everybody, but you can help me by spreading the word and become an organ donor on your license for after death,” Wobio said.

To see if you are a match for Wobio, click here.