ORLANDO, Fla. - Rae L’Heureux’s nightly routine has looked the same for the last four years. Get home from a long day of work, clean, and hook up to her dialysis machine. She does this for nine hours every night.
On top of surviving breast cancer, Rae has suffered from Polycystic Kidney Disease. The disease was destroying her kidneys, and last year she had them both removed.
“I had just mentioned to my nephrologist I saw some blood and he was like okay we need to get those out.” Said L’Heureux.
Living without a kidney means a life of drinking less than 32 ounces of water every day. She also has to watch what she eats and stay germ-free. Even with the strict regimen, Rae needs a kidney.
Dr. Jamin Brahmbhat is a Central Florida doctor who does not treat Rae.
“Well if you look at the National registry there’s about 113,000 people who need a transplant.”
He knows she is facing a tough statistic.
“As long as dialysis is going good and everything else is going good she can live a pretty normal life but it doesn’t hurt to be aggressive and try and find a kidney.”
That’s when Rae got an idea to find a kidney. And with a little help from her friends, she put it into motion. Rae made her own signs and putting them on her friends' cars. The sign read “my friend needs a living kidney donor” with a number 407-595-0224.
FOX 35’s Heather Gustafson saw that sign while driving on Interstate 4. Rae said a new kidney would change her life.
“It would mean no more dialysis no more machines. it would mean no more bloodwork every month. To be able to get out there and do what I used to do and not be exhausted every minute of the day and also not have this time consumed by everything I have to do every day. it’s going to be like wow.”
There are four Florida hospitals that perform kidney transplants. If you’d like to help, update your donor status on your driver's license. You can also register as a donor at http://www.unos.org.