Heartland Family campaigns for live kidney donor

Heartland Family campaigns for live kidney donor

CAPE GIRARDEAU COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - A Jackson, Missouri woman is battling kidney failure while she waits for a perfect donor match.

Now her friends and family are doing what they can to get the word out about kidney donation.

Nikki Bellew is 23-years-old and was on dialysis as just a baby, doctors thought she wouldn't make it.

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But her mom says, thanks to a kidney transplant at the age of 4, Nikki was able to thrive until she was 19 when her kidney failed again.

Now, they're hoping for another miracle.

"Nikki is definitely a ray of sunshine," said her mom Danielle Deweese, for three years Nikki's life has revolved around dialysis, but she keeps smiling.

It can be hard to stay so cheerful in a hospital, so her friends and family have started a balloon campaign.

"If she's touched your life send her a balloon if she's had meaning in your life send a balloon to show that she's deserving of this and that she's got a purpose," said Deweese.

But besides adding a touch of color, Deweese says there's another purpose to the balloons. 
    
"It gives us the opportunity to when people see these  balloons to ask because they ask the question why do you have them and it gives us a chance to share about the donor program."

Because Nikki's had a kidney transplant before she needs a living donor, that's why they want to make everyone aware of the paired kidney transplant, a program attempting to increase the availability of living-donor kidney

"So, if I was a match for anyone in the world and they were a match to Nikki then we would swap kidneys," said Deweese.

If you are interested in being a live kidney donor, click here for more information or call 1 (866) 678-4816.

If you want to send a balloon to Nikki, call Southeast Health or drop them by the front desk.

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