A Port Charlotte mom has been waiting almost three years for a kidney, so her family is using a unique method to find a donor. They're using car window stickers with their contact information, hoping someone will reach out.
"She's in end-stage renal failure," Michael Zayas said about his wife. "Less than 10 percent kidney function on each side."
"Oh, my heart sunk to my stomach," Jamie Yard, who needs a kidney transplant, said. "They just gave way. They said 'nope, can't do it anymore.'"
Yard said every night she does 8.5 hours of dialysis.
"The average life expectancy is 5-6 years on dialysis," Zayas said.
The family said the possibility of Yard not getting a kidney is frightening.
"It's something that scares all of us," Zayas said. "We're an awesome team, and without her, I wouldn't know what I'd do."
So the family decided to take matters into their own hands.
"On New Year's Eve this year, we said 'This is our year and we're going to do it this year. We're going to find our kidney,'" Zayas said.
A sticker was made for his back window that says "wife needs kidney donor," with their email, email@example.com.
Their close friend Mathew Newman then got an idea. He owns Aloha Auto Sales in Port Charlotte and uses window stickers to advertise. He said they worked for his business, so he got ones made reading "kidney donor needed" with the email address.
"I put one on my truck, and figured the more eyes that see it, the better," Newman said.
He posted about the stickers on Facebook, and said 20 stickers were gone in two days. Now more stickers are being made. Newman said Jackson's Signs has been making them for free.
"We're just looking for someone who's ready to change a stranger's life," Zayas said.
If you'd like to pick up a sticker for your car, you can get them at Aloha Auto Sales.
If you're interested in donating your kidney, experts say you can live with just one. It's a big plus if your blood type is O, since that is Yard's blood type, but all blood types can be considered for donation.
To contact the family, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or their Finding a Donor For Jamie Facebook page. You can also use this P.O. Box:
Donor For Jamie
P.o. box 380152
Murdock, Florida 33948
Yard's transplant procedure will likely be at Tampa General Hospital.