FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — A Fort Wayne woman diagnosed with lupus was told she needs a new kidney and agreed to work with a friend to make a video and website to find it.
“I was married and going to school and working part time and raising children ever since a very young age, so I just thought it was life,” Michelle McKuras explained in her home Tuesday afternoon as rain fell outside.
What McKuras thought was just fatigue from life, turned out to be much more serious. After years of feeling sick she found out she had lupus, a disease where the body’s immune system attacks its own organ tissue. For Michelle, the kidney was the greatest concern.
A friend reached out after her search for a donor officially started in March, 2016. A website was made and a video was produced. It collected thousands of views immediately.
“I got 10,000 that day, right away,” McKuras said with a smile. “It was pretty impressive. It was exciting to see that.”
She describes the process to get on the donor register as “grueling.” The wait for an organ can be long. Despite knowing that, she keeps motivated.
“My faith keeps me going,” McKuras added. “I have friends in my corner. But it’s my sons. I think my sons are the number one reason I get up every day. I need to be here. I support them and help them to get a good start in life.”
Michelle is in need of a healthy adult donor with type “O” blood. The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota is handling her case.
If you are not a match for her, she stresses the need is still great for others.
“Just not enough donors right now,” McKuras stressed. “The need for any kind of organ donation is greater than we have those that are giving.”
To follow her journey, visit her website.
To contact the living donor coordinator, call 866-227-1569.