A young woman fighting to stay alive desperately needs a kidney transplant and she took to the streets of San Antonio seeking a donor through a kidney ad on her car.
Nadia Gutierrez, 23, decided to take charge of her life after waiting for a kidney transplant for five years. On average, transplant recipients must wait up to seven years for a kidney, but if a recipient can find a live donor who is a match the process can be sped up.
Gutierrez was diagnosed with End-Stage Renal Disease when she was 14 years old. The disease causes the kidneys to no longer work to meet the body’s needs.
“Both my parents decided to get tested to see who was compatible and my dad was a 100 percent match," Gutierrez said.
Her father stepped in to give her the gift of life when she turned 15 years old.
"In April I received my transplant…it was a good year," Gutierrez said.
Her father’s kidney lasted four years.
"I was 18 when I rejected the kidney," Gutierrez said.
The diagnosis took a toll on her father, Fernando Gutierrez, who now feels helpless and at the mercy of donors. He says his heart broke when he saw his daughter begin her mission on the road seeking a kidney donor, a wish he wished he could grant his daughter a second time.
Gutierrez undergoes dialysis five days a week for nearly three hours a day to keep her alive.
She says the process takes a mental and emotional toll on her, but says she’s staying strong, hoping that someday she will live a life that’s somewhat normal.
"If I do get that kidney, it's just going to open a lot of opportunities for me,” Gutierrez said.
She adds that she wants to pursue her dream job, travel and watch her family grow.
If you would like to become a donor contact Gutierrez directly at 210-636-7972 or you can visit the Texas Transplant Institute.