NAPLES, Fla. — A 25-year-old Naples woman is in desperate need of a kidney.
She's been on donor lists for years and took to social media in hopes of finding a match.
It has been an endless battle for Melissa Franco.
After failing several medical entrance exams for the U.S. Army, she and her family feared the worse.
At just 18 years old she was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease.
Now 7 years later and she says her situation has gotten worse.
“It progressed to the point where I’m on dialysis, I do peritoneal dialysis overnight for about 8 and a half hours,” said Melissa Franco.
Franco says her life has been a constant struggle.
Through treatment and other mental strains, she now suffers from depression and anxiety.
“There are days when I don’t want to go to work, I’m like what am I going to do with my life...I’m stuck to a machine,” said Franco.
Doctors are in search of a kidney that will prolong her life and last for the next 15 to 20 years.
“It’s very difficult to find a kidney of my age group available,” said Melissa Franco.
Through it all, she has devoted her life to public service working as a dispatcher and volunteer firefighter.
“My ultimate goal is to become certified in all aspects of public safety so I can serve my community at any capacity, ” said Franco.
Melissa says she has no doubt her match is out there.
Even in her time of need she still manages to share encouraging words to people going through similar situations,
“Don’t give up, always stay positive, it’s only going to get better from here on out, ” said Franco.
For more information on how to become an organ donor yourself head to www.organdonor.gov