Mother of 6 with Stage Five Kidney Disease on a Mission to Locate Anonymous Donor


Kelly McNally, a 34-year-old woman from Pennsylvania, had plenty of energy to keep up with her six children. But in 2013, she began feeling exhausted and wasn’t able to keep a hold of her breath.

When she went to the hospital, doctors informed her that she actually had stage three Chronic Kidney Disease.

Now she is in stage five, also known as kidney failure. In this stage, a kidney is functioning at less than 15% of its normal rate.

A simple cold can now hospitalize Kelly for weeks. “It was pretty crazy to know that you can go from thinking you’re okay to needing an organ,” Kelly said.

There is no cure for Chronic Kidney Disease. The only treatments available are dialysis or a kidney transplant.

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Dialysis basically functions as a healthy kidney would by filtering out waste, salt, and extra water and maintaining chemical levels in one’s blood.

It is taxing physically, emotionally, and financially. While it helps the patient stay alive, the average life expectancy on dialysis is 5-10 years, according to the National Kidney Foundation.

Kelly’s children are fully aware of what she has to go through week-to-week. They sit with her during dialysis treatments and help keep her spirits up.

Patients who need a transplant are put on a waiting list for a donor while on dialysis, but because there is such a shortage of donors many do not receive one. Kelly’s doctor told her that if she wanted to find a donor, that she would have to reach out and ask.

“I said it kind of seems weird, or feels strange to ask for something so huge but when I look at it in other ways, I want to be there for my kids…so I’m not only asking for me but for our whole family,” Kelly said.

That’s when she, along with family and friends, launched the “Kidney for Kelly” social media campaign. Hundreds of people have responded, but they haven’t found an exact match yet.

They need their Momma! They are asking for your help. ❤

A post shared by A Kidney for Kelly (@akidneyforkelly) on

“I have messages everyday from people from all over who just want to help. It’s very humbling, it’s nice to know that there really are good people out there,” Kelly said.

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If you would like to follow Kelly’s story or help spread the word, you can find her Facebook page here.

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Kayla has been a staff writer for The Western Journal since 2018.
Kayla Kunkel began writing for The Western Journal in 2018.
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