GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A West Michigan woman is asking for the public's help to save her life, because she's got stage five kidney disease and has only so many more months before her body may began to fail her. So she's reaching out in hopes someone can give her a gift unlike any other.
"I'm exhausted all the time, I'm super tired, and I can't live a normal life," said Amy McKay, who is a lifelong resident of Grand Rapids.
"I can't walk up the stairs, and I can't do what I normally do," she said. "I love to golf, and I love to go to the beach. I'm struggling to live normally."
Her kidneys are failing, and her condition is getting worse every month.
"My nephrologist said probably within three months, I'll need to be on dialysis or have a new kidney," said McKay.
"So it's urgent. I don't have much time. and they said that when you aren't on dialysis and you need dialysis, your body will shut down and you will die in three months. So it's like it's scary. It's very urgent. It's very scary."
After more than a year, Amy is finally on Michigan's kidney transplant list, but the timeline for that can be uncertain, and long. McKay said recipients wait an average of five to six years for a kidney in Michigan.
"That's why I don't want to wait," she said. "I'm not going to sit around and wait for them to find me a kidney. I'm going to put myself out there and try to find someone because I don't want to wait. I can't wait."
She's hoping by spreading the word, that she may be able to find her match.
"I thought it would be a good idea to call WZZM, so I did, and I thought maybe this would be the way to try to reach people to help me," she said, "because right now it's life or death."
Between medical appointments, hospital visits and her declining diagnosis, McKay said the last year has been the hardest year of her life.
"I've learned in this past year that sometimes you have to do things in life that you don't want to do, but you just have to do it," McKay said, "because you've got to keep on keeping on, and there's no other option."
"I try to think positively and try to be a positive person," she added, "and know that there's someone out there that will want to donate their kidney and save my life."
Because of her medical history, McKay cannot do traditional or stomach dialysis.
"There aren't many options, that's why I'm so desperate," she said.
And for McKay, the sooner she can find a kidney, the better, because even when she finds a donor, the entire process can take up to six months.
"I just hope there's someone out there that has a big heart and knows that you can live with one kidney," said McKay.
"Saving someone's life is a big deal. If you feel it in your heart, and you have my blood type, which is O+ positive, it's a gift that keeps on giving, because you are saving someone's life, literally."
"And not many people can say they've saved a life."
You can reach out to her personally with any questions or inquiries by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on kidney donations and how you may be able to help McKay, and others, to Mercy Health's Kidney Transplant Center website or call the local kidney line at 616-780-7879.
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