11-Year-Old Turns to YouTube, Facebook in Search for Kidney Donor
An 11-year-old girl in Auburn, Maine has turned to social media in hopes of getting a life-saving kidney transplant.
“Hi, my name is Emily Pooler. I have stage four chronic kidney disease,” her July 6 YouTube video begins.
“I am looking for a kidney donor. You have to be very healthy. If you are willing to donate, contact the Maine Transplant Program,” she says before holding up a piece of paper with the detailed contact information.
It’s short and light on the kind of heart wrenching personal details that could easily have been there.
Like the fact Emily has been fighting some kind of illness most of her life.
Or that her father’s too overweight to give her his kidney while her mother can’t due to diabetes.
Or that she suffers 17 conditions related to her having cardiorenal syndrome and chronic kidney disease, though all are under control, her mother shared in a Facebook post.
Social media has been a blessing for the family. It was the Maine Transplant Program that suggested they make a video appealing for help.
News media picked up the story and have covered it several times. Her mother, Alison Walker, has been moved by the attention.
“We are blown away by all of the support. We will keep you all posted. :)” she wrote on Facebook.
Her effort to draw attention to Emily’s plight has also drawn attention in others with a similar need for organ donation or related help. Alison shared their stories in her Facebook feed and other families have exchanged encouraging words to each other there too.
While Emily has yet to find a donor, her video has been viewed nearly ten thousand times on Facebook and has brought the family some much-needed attention.
“Thank you to ALL who are sharing and getting the word out,” wrote Allison in a recent post.
“That is the most kindest thing you all can do in helping Emily get a kidney transplant so she can live a long and healthy life. She is very happy you all are helping her and she says thank you so much,” she recently wrote.
For those that have more questions or have A or D blood type and are interested in donating, the family asks you to contact the Maine Transplant Program on 207-662-7180, ext.4.