Kelly McNally was a 34-year-old mother of six. She was always filled with life and energy when she spent her time with her kids, but in 2013 she began feeling out of breath and became exhausted quite easily. After visiting the hospital, doctors informed her that she had stage 3 kidney disease, and currently, it has progressed to stage five, which is also known as kidney failure. The only course of action in a case such as this is either dialysis or a kidney transplant. “It was pretty crazy to know that you can go from thinking you’re okay to needing an organ,” Kelly said.
A dialysis machine basically functions as an external artificial kidney that cleans your blood of waste and salt. However, it is physically and mentally exhausting. Even with dialysis, the maximum life expectancy for someone with Kelly’s condition is 5-10 years according to the National Kidney Foundation. Patients who require a transplant need to go on the donor list to eventually find a match. But her doctors asked her to reach out to people personally if she wanted to have a fighting chance. “I said it kind of seems weird or feels strange to ask for something so huge but when I look at it in other ways, I want to be there for my kids…so I’m not only asking for me but for our whole family,” Kelly said.
That’s when her kids started the “Kidney for Kelly” campaign on social media. Hundreds of people have responded, but they have yet to find a match. “I have messages every day from people from all over who just want to help. It’s very humbling, it’s nice to know that there really are good people out there,” Kelly said.
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