Christine Royles needed a new kidney, so she did what anyone in such a situation would do: she put a sign on the back of her car, asking strangers with the right blood type to call or text her. Surprisingly, it worked! The 23-year-old now has a potential donor lined up, with surgery schedule for May, The Portland Press Herald is reporting.
The Portland, Maine woman had been feeling sick for weeks, without knowing what was wrong, until her doctors finally diagnosed her Lupus in 2013. A few months later, she learned that she also had another disease ANCA Vasculitis – an autoimmune disease that attacks the kidneys.
Like tens of thousands of other people with failing kidneys, Christine was placed on a donor waiting list – a list that includes 100,000 people. The National Kidney Foundation reports that only 17,000 people needing a kidney transplant receive one each year, and nearly 4,500 people died while waiting for kidneys in 2013.
Christine – who says she spends 10 hours each day after work going through dialysis – wasn’t going to take those odds lying down, she tells WGME (Portland), even if that meant writing a message on the back window of her car.
“I hate taking chances like that. That’s why I made it my mission to find a kidney and advertise like that.”
30-year-old Josh Dall-Leighton just happened to be driving the the mall one day when his wife spotted the message. His wife, Ashley, explains what happened next.
“I looked over, and I go, ‘Oh, my God, that’s the saddest thing I’ve ever read.’ And he’s like, ‘What?’ And I read it out loud, and he said, ‘Did you get the number? Text her right now.’”
The husband and father of three children had a matching blood type. He decided, on the sport, to donate a kidney to a woman he had never met.
“I just looked at my wife and said, ‘I have to try.’ I think it was the fact that I have three kids of my own, and that really resonated with me. If (my wife) needed a kidney and I couldn’t provide for her, I would hope that somebody else would kind of step up and help her out.”
As it turns out, Josh is a good potential match. Surgery is scheduled for May.
In the meantime, Christine is working to make sure her donor’s needs are met. Josh will have to miss at least a month of work for the delicate surgery; Christine, who works as a waitress, hosted a pancake breakfast at Applebee’s to raise money to cover his expenses.
“I’m shocked that someone is going to do this for me. The fact that someone with a young family is going to take time off work to help some random person is unbelievable to me.”
Christine has also set up a GoFundMe account to raise money for her kidney donor’s family.
[Image courtesy of: The Portland Press Herald]