(FOX 2) - After being diagnosed with cancer at 9 months old, Valerie Cartwright of Newport was forced to have one kidney removed. The other one was covered in cysts and struggled to function for years.
In 2008 she began dialysis, but had exhaustion, confusion and could barely complete simple tasks.
But in 2011 she received good news: a perfect match from a deceased organ donor.
“I started producing urine right away. I got my life back, my energy back, you know, I was able to do a bunch a stuff again,” she said.
Valerie was able to live a productive life once again with her husband Robert and her family. She was happy and healthy.
But in 2016 her body began to reject the donor kidney and she had to go back on dialysis, four days a week up to four hours a day.
“Just being on it is really exhausting. I sleep all the time,” she said.
“It is a long process. It's three and a half [hours] minimum, about a five hour deal from start to finish. And to watch her to go from vibrant, full of life person, to just tired, and just drained and then the mental part,” Robert Cartwright said, Valerie’s husband.
The couple hopes that someone out there may be able to help.
They prefer a living donor but are desperate for anyone out there to be a perfect match. Without that match, the prognosis isn’t good and the Cartwrights are worried their biggest fear could become a reality.
“Not getting a donor and passing away, they say up to 20 people die every day waiting for an organ and I told him many times that I don’t think I’m going to make it this time around,” she said.
“I know that it is a reality. We try not talking about it, try not to focus on that part but you know that it’s hundreds of people that do [die] every day because they are waiting for a kidney,” he said.
From TV to social media they have put out the plea hoping a compassionate, selfless, kidney donor angel with blood type B or O will get tested and become Valerie’s perfect match.
“Having the right person see my story, hear my story, read my story and just have the heart to get tested,” she said.