HOLYOKE, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - A Holyoke woman in need of a kidney, seeking a donor, is now taking to social media to share her story.
This is all about being there for her kids.
That’s why she took to Facebook, with her post getting more than a thousand shares, hoping someone can save her life.
Stephanie Pabon was born with a kidney disease, something she didn’t know she had all her life until about four years ago.
That disease led to kidney failure.
“I was already, before, six years in dialysis, and then I got a transplant and it only lasted four years, so now I’m back on dialysis," Pabon tells us.
She got this tattoo, which marks the date she received that first transplant, thinking it was going to change her life and last much longer, but now she’s going to dialysis three days a week for four hours every time.
The mother of two is trying to make sure her health isn’t a burden on her kids, ages 12 and 9.
“I don’t want to stress them out. They’re already worried when I’m in the hospital. I don’t really like to tell them much. They know what they see and as they grow up, they already see more on their own," continued Pabon.
But she’s hoping this way of life doesn’t have to last much longer.
“I live, right now, day by day, stressed out, not knowing if tomorrow I’m going to be alive, going to make it. I get very sick. Sometimes, I don’t even think myself that I’m going to pull through, especially when the fluid builds up and it gets in your lung, you can’t breathe," explained Pabon.
That’s why she put out this Facebook post asking anyone with 'O positive' or 'O negative' blood to come forward and donate.
Otherwise, she’d have to be placed on a waiting list that’s up to eight years long.
Donna Feinstein, Director of Transplant at Baystate Health, tells Western Mass News kidney donations are crucial.
“Living donation offers two people an opportunity, because it offers the person you’re giving a kidney to that you may know, and it also is one less person on the waiting list, so that person can be helped," stated Feinstein.
"It’s life. It’s life or death. Quality of life. I have two kids I want to live for. I want to grow old. I want to see my kids grow up, get married, do what every other kid does," says Pabon.
As she waits for a donor, she says all she can do is hope that someone comes forward soon.
“It’s a time thing. Time. You’re just fighting against time," added Pabon.
Baystate wants to remind everyone that it is absolutely free to donate and there are programs in place to support donors.
Stephanie says she’s also working on raising money to provide food, travel, and housing to a possible donor.