TULSA, OK (KJRH) — After finding out in June of 2018 she was a candidate for a kidney transplant, Angie Brown began looking for her match. More than seven months later, she's still searching, and advocating for living donors.
"I was laying in the hospital thinking, 'great, this is it,'" Brown said, reflecting on the day she got the news she had hit Stage Five Chronic Kidney Disease. Also known as end stage renal disease, it means her kidneys were were only functioning at 10 to 15 percent of their normal capacity.
Brown's doctor told her she was a candidate for a kidney transplant, putting her on a growing list of roughly 114,000 in the U.S. A new candidate joins that list every 10 minutes, and 20 die each day waiting for a transplant.
Knowing she might have to find a match herself, Angie began calling for help. She put posts out on Facebook, and her daughters even stepped in to help.
"Hi, my name's Eva Brown," her seven-yer-old said in a video. "My mommy needs an O Positive or O Negative kidney. Please give her one."
"I have my daughters, I have my husband, we have our little farm at the house," Brown said, reflecting on her search, "and I've got all my family and friends. And the only thing I kept thinking was, 'I can't give up. Not yet.'"
Dozens reached out to help, even complete strangers offering to donate. But among everyone who got screened, none were a match. Brown says she won't let it get her down, and has now become an advocate for finding living donors.
"Everybody could be a hero without having to strap on a cape," Brown said. "All they have to do is make that call."
She hopes to finally end her search in February, as she continues to look for just the right match with the St. Francis kidney transplant program.
If you're interested in becoming a living donor, you can start by visiting the St. Francis Living Kidney Donation page.
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