One of the many things separating parents and their children these days is social media. Young people can spend countless hours on Facebook and Snapchat while their folks look on in confusion, wondering why they’re wasting their time away.
But one mother was stunned to learn that her daughter had used social media to save her life.
Maude Meier, from Racine, Wisconsin, had become very ill in recent years. Her only hope was to receive a kidney transplant—but no one knew when or if that would be possible. She was one of the countless people on the transplant list, and there just weren’t enough donations to keep up.
Her daughter, Fernanda, got tested to donate but was incompatible. They needed someone with her mother’s blood type, O+.
But since she couldn’t donate, she did the next-best thing:
She went on Twitter and tried to find a match.
THREAD: I'm looking for an O+ (live donor) kidney for my mother. If you are interested or know someone who might be, please RT and/or DM. https://t.co/rbv1x5FKRB
— #Halfric🇬🇭nAmerican (@lenubienne) October 29, 2016
Not only was her mother dangerously sick, but Fernanda had already suffered the loss of her grandmother recently. The threat of losing her mother without a proper donor was very real.
“One of the tweets I put out was, ‘I just lost my grandmother and I don’t want to lose my mom, please, if you are a blood type match or you know someone who is, consider organ donation,'” Fernanda recalled to TMJ4.
However, even while reaching out to the millions of users on Twitter, finding a willing and matching donor proved difficult. But Fernanda didn’t give up.
She continued posting on Twitter for four years … all the while, her mother had no idea.
But late last year, her posts finally reached the right person: Maura Lopez, from Portland, Oregon.
She came across one of Fernanda’s tweets about her mother … and realized it was her calling.
“Something just hit that day,” Lopez recalled.
“It was ‘I can do that.'”
Four days before Christmas, the Meiers got a holiday miracle: they found out Lopez was a match.
Maude was stunned by the sudden turn of events: all these years, she had no idea her daughter was out searching for a donor. But at the same time, she was proud—because she knew that this is exactly the type of thing her daughter would do:
“I’m not surprised because that’s what Fernanda is,” she told TMJ4.
“She just takes charge and doesn’t say much but gets stuff done.”
And four weeks later, they were set for the transplant at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.
For her part, Lopez was surprised by how easy the whole process of donating her kidney was:
“I had the surgery Friday morning and was out Saturday afternoon,” she explained. “That to me is amazing.”
After her life-saving donation, Lopez is now considered a part of the family.
It’s an inspiring story of the power of social media, the kindness of strangers, and children looking out for their parents.
But most of all, it’s a reminder of the importance of organ donation. The family hopes their story will spread awareness and implore people to donate if they can.