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Teen Turns to Social Media to Find Kidney for Sick Mom

The Short of It

Some teens won't even clean up their rooms when their moms ask them to. But one 13-year-old boy from North Dakota is going far above and beyond helping his mom around the house; he's trying to find her a new kidney.

The Lowdown

Addison Wunsch says it's hard watching his mother Mandy Sticka endure daily dialysis due to her end-stage kidney disease. She is currently waiting for an organ transplant and was close to finding a match at one point, but it fell through at the last minute.

That's when Addison turned to social media to help find a new donor. He posted a photo of himself holding a sign that says, "Be My Hero Save My Mom's Life." The sign goes on to detail that his 34-year-old mom needs a blood type "O" kidney so she can be around to watch him grow up. He includes his email address, Kidney4MyMom@gmail.com, so possible donors can contact him.

"Obviously, like any mother, I want to be there to watch him grow up," Sticka told Today.com.

But right now, her prognosis looks bleak. Membranous nephropathy caused one of her kidneys to fail, so she must endure daily dialysis, take multiple medications, and use a stomach catheter, all of which leave her too exhausted to enjoy Addison's favorite activities with him. The average wait time for an organ with her blood type, O positive, is 7 to 9 years.

The Upshot

Since Addison's social media post, 31 people have come forward to get tested and see if they are a match for Sticka. For her part, the mom says she hopes her son's plea will raise awareness about how many people need kidneys.

Potential donors should contact Sticka's transplant center in Omaha, Neb., or email the family. Tests to determine capability can take up to two months.

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