Kidney Donor Campaign Comes Closer To A Match

10:45 PM, Oct 20, 2011   |    comments
  • Share
  • Print
  • - A A A +

Greensboro, NC -- One week after the story of a North Carolina woman, looking for a kidney donor, appeared on television nationwide, she's overwhelmed with people who want to help.

Shari Vassello, who was diagnosed with Polycystic Kidney Disease, needs to have a kidney transplant or she will be placed on dialysis.

"I don't want to go on dialysis. I don't want to be hooked up to a machine for three or four hours a day, three times a week. I have teenagers. I want to be able to travel. I want to be able to live my life," she said.

Doctors told Shari she'd likely have to wait on the transplant list for five to seven years before she would get a kidney. So in May, Vassello took her campaign to Facebook to find a donor.

Last week, Vassello's story aired on News 2 in the Triad, on CNN, and some Gannett sister stations around the country. Since then, she's not only been inundated with messages of support and prayers.

"I'm just graciously overwhelmed by all of the people who have stepped forward and helped us," she said.

Vassello has received dozens of messages from people from Florida, Virginia, Georgia and Pennsylvania, who all watched her story and are now giving her hope by telling her they want to help.

"They're not forced into it. They're not paid. They're giving because they want to, because they want to help somebody else," she said.

The process at Duke Transplant Center is confidential, so Vassello doesn't know exactly how many people have called, but she knows a number of people have started the process because they told her on Facebook.

Vassello's doctor told her she could have a match in two months.

"I'm not a patient person, so two months seems like a lifetime, but I know in reality, two months is much better than five years," Vassello said. "I just feel better knowing that there's an end date that I may or may not hear something."

While she's being cautiously optimistic, she said she's also relying on faith.

"Until that kidney is actually installed and you're being wheeled out of the recovery room, anything could happen," she said.

"We look back at this past week and it couldn't of happened without God. It's just so miraculous," said Vassello.

Over the next two months, the people who want to become donors will go through the process to find out whether they're a match for Vassello. That's why she's asked people not to stop calling because she needs to find the perfect match.

Vassello added that even if you can't help her, you could possibly help someone else in need of a kidney transplant.

The confidential number to call at Duke Transplant Services is 919-613-7777.

Most Watched Videos