Montgomery Woman Hoping to Find the Perfect Kidney Match with Billboards
After a visit to the hospital for chest pains in October 2017, Verna Johnson received the devastating news, that she had stage five kidney disease.
“They’re making a mistake. It’s not right. No, do the test again, was really hurt, sad, and angry because I could already relate to that,” said Johnson.
Just 2-years before her diagnosis, her sister died of the same disease.
“It just got worse and at 49 years old, we lost her,” said Johnson.
Now, she is fighting her fight to stay alive, with billboards across Montgomery and Birmingham, telling drivers “Verna Needs a Kidney.”
“I’ve gotten phone calls from people saying “Hi, I’ve seen your billboard, you’re in need of a kidney.” I even have people to ask me well, “I may sign up to help you,” said Johnson.
Johnson’s kidneys are functioning at 6 percent. But she knew this could be the driving force to find her perfect match.
“We decided to come up with the idea of how we could get the word out. How we could reach the communities and different people,” said Johnson.
Johnson is seeing doctors at UAB. She does home dialysis 7 days a week for 8 hours. UAB officials say, it all boils down to fear for potential donors because many people are afraid to donate their organs.
“Out of the 100,000 people annually in the united states that need a kidney transplant, there are only eleven to 13,000 of us organ donors on our drivers license,” said
Despite those numbers, Johnson remains strong.
“I don’t know where I am on that list. I don’t know. What keeps me going is my fight to live,” said Johnson.
UAB officials say 1,300 people in Alabama are in need of kidney right now.
Johnson has a O Positive blood type.
If you’re interested in becoming a donor for Verna Johnson or if you’re interested in learning more to help her find the perfect match click here.
You can also call the UAB Medical Center at 1(888) 822-7892.