The Short of It
After years of searching for a kidney donor for her daughter, mom Karol Franks decided to ask for help in an ingenious way: She painted her family's cars—and the move has brought some potential matches for her daughter Jenna.
It's been 15 years since Jenna was diagnosed with kidney failure, which now requires daily dialysis treatments to keep her healthy. And in that time, her mom, Karol, has tried in vain to find a matching donor. After reading about another family who painted the details of their search on their cars, she decided to do just that—and hoped that the heavy traffic in her hometown of Los Angeles might do the trick. (Her message reads simply: Daughter Needs Kidney, Type O, firstname.lastname@example.org.)
One woman tweeted a picture of the car while out and about, bringing more than 9,000 retweets and 25 people who have stepped forward to begin the testing to see if they'd be a match. Franks also has a Facebook page dedicated to the effort of finding a kidney donor for her daughter; it currently has more than 6,000 likes.
The reason behind Karol's offbeat approach rings true for any mom: "This has taken over her entire life and we want more for her, which is why we're trying everything we can."
Parents always feel that drive to do anything they can for their kids. (That's what's behind those stories of moms going back into burning buildings for their kids, or you know, just driving carpool for 6 boisterous ballerinas.) I hope I will never need to paint my car to find a way to make my child healthy again, but I'm definitely storing this idea away, just in case.
There are currently more than 100,000 Americans waiting for a kidney donation, and it's one of the few things (including blood and bone marrow) that you can donate right now. If you're interested in finding out how you can help Jenna or one of the other people still awaiting a donor, check out the National Kidney Foundation for more information.