SAN ANTONIO - Nadia Gutierrez was only 14 years old when she was diagnosed with “end-stage renal disease,” an ailment she said almost took her life away at a young age.
But after finding out her father was a 100 percent match, she was able to receive her first kidney transplant to save her life.
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Four years later, however, Gutierrez’s body rejected the transplant when she turned 18.
“That day that they told me, I was having stomach pains and very horrible pains so I was hoping it wasn’t the kidneys,” Gutierrez told KSAT.com. “I just kept praying that it wasn’t but unfortunately it was.”
✌🏾☝🏾👌🏾: Twitter, this is 23-yr-old Nadia. She was diagnosed w/ 'end-stage renal disease' & recieved her 1st kidney transplant from her dad at 14. When she was 18, her body rejected it. By using her car, she hopes to find a donor. STORY➡️https://t.co/GD9QuurMDk #KSATnews pic.twitter.com/TOKUwIufa8 — Adrian Garcia (@KSATadrian) February 9, 2018
Gutierrez said shortly after her diagnosis, she fell into a state of depression and had to adjust her lifestyle once more.
“Ever since then, I’ve been on dialysis four years going on five years now,” Gutierrez told KSAT.com. “I do dialysis five times a week, two-and-a-half hours a day, and I also work full time.”
Having been on several lists waiting for a kidney donor for about five years, Gutierrez, 23, is trying a different approach in hopes of receiving a transplant.
She’s been using her car to spread her message that reads on the back window in white paint: “Need Kidney. O +/= 210-636-7972.”
“It’s been on my car for about a month now. I do it every six months, take it off, and post it back (on my car). I also post it (the message) on my Facebook,” Gutierrez said.
The photo that displays her message was shared to KSAT.com on Thursday by a viewer who saw Gutierrez's car on the road.
Gutierrez said she came up with the idea to post the message on her car after seeing the story on KSAT.com where a 74-year-old Utah man was seen walking for miles wearing a sign to find a kidney for his wife.
Her disease is the last stage of chronic kidney disease where the kidneys are no longer able to work, as they should to meet the body’s needs.
Gutierrez said she’s been placed on the cadaver transplant waiting list but that it is much harder for second-time recipients such as her, with the average wait time to receive a kidney about seven years.
However, for live donors who want to donate their kidney, the process is much quicker where it takes about six to eight weeks until transplant.
“I’m young, I want to live life, explore the world but I can’t because I’m stuck on a machine five times a week,” she told KSAT.com.
Gutierrez said she’s received calls from strangers since posting her message on the back window but that they either backed out at the last second or tried to bargain their kidney in exchange for her car or money.
If interested, Gutierrez said potential donors can either message or call her to receive the information for the Live Donor Program.
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