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Today I want to introduce you to my my very sweet amazing friend… Carolyn Richter Staley. Many of you have met her through me or know her personally and so I know this post will be received with a lot of respect and compassion.

Carolyn and I have been friends for many years and so I have witnessed her grace and strength through the health struggles she has endured for many years.

On November 28th, 2018, she was approved and admitted into the Saint Mary’s Kidney Transplant Program and put on the waiting list for a new kidney. You see she was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease when she was 25 years old. Basically her kidneys are full of cysts and as they grow the disease affects her blood pressure and eventually causes kidney failure. A normal kidney is the size of a fist, but Carolyn’s kidneys measure 42cm x18cm and are the size of full term babies. for that reason she refers to them as the twins!

Carolyn and her husband, Eric have been married for 30 years. They have 3 awesome children, Kate, Michael and Jamie and one adorable grandchild, Will. ( Compliments of Kate and her husband Alex).She hopes to be around a long time to see her grandson, Will grow and to enjoy future grandchildren. Therefore, a new kidney is crucial!

Carolyn is now in desperate need of a kidney transplant as she is heading towards end stage renal disease. Without it faces a life dialysis for as long as her body can tolerate it. Through her process with St. Mary she received the devastating news that her blood contains 99% antibodies. This is the worst news she could’ve received because it means that she will only match 1% of the population! It is going to be an extremely difficult process as she will likely reject most kidney donors.The wait time for a cadaver kidney is 5-7 years therefore a living donor is the best option.

I am asking all of you to pray that a miracle kidney can be found. I also ask that you prayerfully consider being a living donor and get tested for Carolyn. If we can get as many people tested as possible this will increase her chances of finding that one person who would be destined to give her the gift of life. Ask yourself the question, if you could save someone’s life, would you? All it takes is a simple blood test to find out if you are a match. If you ARE a match EVERYTHING is covered by Carolyn’s insurance, that means all labs, testing, surgery and follow ups.

If being tested is not something you feel you can do, please share her story with everyone you know, friends, co-workers, church community etc. You never know who will feel inspired to get tested.

If you are interested in pursuing the testing process go to the following website: https://www.mercyhealth.com/medical-services/kidney-transplants/become-a-donor or call 616-685- 5187. You can either print off the forms or have them mailed to you. Fill them out. They will determine if you meet the criteria. Mail or fax them in. You will be contacted by a living donor coordinator to start the process and they will determine if you are eligible to donate. Lastly please share this post widely to spread the word.

Thank you for your time, consideration and most of all your prayers.

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