Mo. woman campaigns for life-saving kidney

Posted at 11:13 AM, Dec 14, 2013
and last updated 2013-12-14 12:15:06-05

You've seen plenty of yard signs for sales or campaigns, but one Missouri woman is using a yard sign to campaign for the fight of her life.

Amy Staples isn't worried about aging.

"Every birthday is great," she smiled. Every year is a blessing. She's battling Polycystic Kidney Disease. It destroyed her kidneys and they had to be removed. She has been on dialysis for more than a decade. She spends more than forty hours a week at home in a chair hooked up to her large dialysis machine. 

"I consider it a full-time job," Amy said, shaking her head. She'd rather be working, but she recently had to stop working full time. Her condition just doesn't allow a lot of physical labor. The genetic disease has already killed her two sisters and one brother while they were waiting for a transplant on dialysis just like Amy.

She makes the two-hour drive to Kansas City with her husband regularly for pain management treatment. Between her type O blood, and complications from a blood infection, she is an incredibly difficult match for a donor. That's part of the reason she has been waiting so long, when the average wait time in our area is about two years.

About a year ago, Amy decided enough was enough and put a large painted sign in her front yard declaring her need for a kidney donor. She says hundreds, about three people a day, stop to take pictures. Only about ten of them have called. No one yet has been a donor, but Amy remains hopeful. She just needs one.

"Life is amazing and I want to be able to continue to live with my children and grandchildren and loving, supporting husband," she said.

Amy also needs to raise money. If she did get a transplant, she would have to pay for housing while she stayed close to her KC hospital for several weeks after the surgery.

If you'd like to help Amy in any way, check out her fundraising site.

Amy also has a Facebook page.

If you would like more information on Kidney donation, contact Midwest Transplant Network or Donate Life.