11-year-old Maine girl seeks living kidney donor on social media

A family goes to social media to find a kidney donor.

AUBURN, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - A family in Auburn, Maine, has taken to social media to search for an organ to save their daughter's life - a working kidney.

Watching 11-year-old Emily Pooler play, you'd see she's as spunky as any normal kid. She likes to ride her bike, play with her big brother, and take her dog on walks.

Any problems she faces are inside of her tiny body.

Emily has a very rare condition called Caudal Regression Syndrome. She is missing the entire lower part of her spine.

After 10 surgeries in just four years, the diagnosis got even worse. Emily’s family learned that she also had stage four chronic kidney disease.

Emily would need a transplant.

“You just want to do everything you can for your child and you want to protect them,” said her mother, Alison. “And I felt so helpless. There is nothing that I could do.”

Emily didn’t fully understand what was going on when she was diagnosed at age 8. “I just was thinking, why would I want another person's kidney inside me?” she said.

Her parents can't donate theirs - so they're taking to social media to ask for help. The Maine Transplant Program suggested that her family post a video on social media asking for a donor. One week in - the video has been shared over 400 times.

It's keeping the Poolers positive in a trying time. “We are very hopeful,” said Alison. “We are very optimistic.”

The family doesn’t know when she will go into kidney failure. They say the chances are higher as she enters puberty, and they want to make sure they have a donor lined up.

Despite her condition, Emily is still riding her bike and hitting home runs. Her only complaint? Missing recess. “I have to take medication at school, so I can't stay for the whole recess time,” she said. “I kind of have to miss a couple minutes.”

She has one request for anyone who hears her story.

“I hope people contact the Maine Transplant Program and want to try to see if they are a match for me,” she said.

Emily needs a kidney from someone with either type A or type O blood.

The website for the Maine Transplant Program can be found here.

The number to call is 207-662-7180, ext.4.

© 2017 WCSH-TV


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