Lexington mom in desperate need of kidney donor

Lexington mom in desperate need of kidney donor
Published: Mar. 29, 2023 at 6:00 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - A Lexington mom of three is in desperate need of a kidney donor, and her plea is spreading across the state.

49-year-old Diana Marji is a former teacher and a mother of three. But now, Diana is also in desperate need of a kidney.

The family is spreading the word through flyers, bumper stickers and yard signs because if she doesn’t find a donor soon, it may be too late.

“I was diagnosed with kidney disease three years ago. I was put on the transplant list. And since then, I’ve been waiting on a diseased kidney donor,” Diana said.

But with 89,000 people on the transplant list, that waiting period is typically five to seven years. Time Diana doesn’t have.

“My family has been helping me throughout this,” Diana said. “My husband is the biggest supporter of mine. We’ve been trying, from Facebook posts to car decals to just anything. I’m trying to find my match out there.”

Diana is in stage five kidney disease now. It’s a disease most people don’t know they have until they’re in renal failure.

“I’m not showing much symptoms. People see me; they think I’m walking and talking that there’s nothing wrong with me. But actually, I’m in renal failure. I’m weak. It’s hard for me to do a lot of activity that I was able to do with my children, with my husband, with myself. It’s been a struggle for me,” Diana said.

If Diana doesn’t find a living donor soon, she will have to go on dialysis.

Division Chief of Nephrology at UK Hospital and Diana’s physician, Dr. Peter Sawaya, says typically, those with diabetes and high blood pressure are at high risk for kidney failure, and most don’t know it.

“You don’t have to be swollen or have any symptoms to have kidney damage. And that is the scary part,” said Dr. Sawaya.

If you are at high risk or have a family history, Dr. Sawaya encourages you to start getting yearly checkups done now.

“Early intervention is critical. It’s critical to delay further damage over time,” Dr. Sawaya said.

While Diana and her family’s work is far from over.

“And I’m hoping, doing all this, I can find my match. My hero can come forward and share their spare with me,” Diana said. “I’m really fighting for my life right now.”

Diana says she found out she was at high risk for kidney disease after she gave birth to her second child, which is why she and her doctor are encouraging regular checkups, even if you’re unsure.

Click here or call or text 859-402-7686. to learn more about kidney donation and find out if you could be a match.