How far would you go to get a kidney transplant?
The National Kidney Foundation reports that 100,791 people in the U.S. are in need of a transplant and the average wait for a first kidney transfer is 3.6 years. The process takes a long time because each situation is unique. Before a transplant is performed, doctors must evaluate factors like compatibility, health, and availability of organs.
One Florida resident is taking unusual steps to make the process go quicker. Having waited on the donor list for three years, Julie Kroening took matters into her own hands. After searching the internet, she found a business called Etsy that made car decals for both her and her husband; advertising that she’s in desperate need of a kidney.
“I’ve had five people contact me to donate,” Kroening said, according NBC2 News. “I was pretty surprised they were really forward with ‘I wanna help, this is what I wanna do, who do I need to contact, let’s get this going.’ ”
Unfortunately, no one has followed through on their pledge to donate. While she waits, Kroening spends eight hours each day on a dialysis machine to maintain her health. She’s also been planning her wedding and found a venue that’s willing to change the date–at no charge–if she receives news that a kidney is available.
In the meantime, all Kroening can do is wait. Since it’s illegal for hospitals to contact prospective donors, anyone interested in offering a kidney must call the doctor themselves and simple voicemails won’t cut it.
“You’d be surprised how many people say ‘oh, I’ll give you a kidney, I only need one,’ and then they don’t do anything,” she said.