CHANDLER, Ariz. — Chances are you’ve seen Tiana Smith’s blue car on the roads of the East Valley. On the back window, it reads “Kidney Needed” with a phone number.
Smith is in the ride-sharing business but she’s also sharing her personal story with anyone who will listen. Only when it comes up in conversation.
“'Wow you carry yourself so well. You wouldn’t even know that’s something you’re going through.’ That’s what I get a lot,” said Smith.
She even has business cards to help spread the word about her search for a kidney donor.
“This says I need a kidney – this is all I have left out of 250,” said Smith. “To get off of dialysis, yes, I will need a kidney.”
She was diagnosed with Lupus Nephritis when she was five years old. The auto-immune disease eventually caused her kidneys to fail three years ago.
She’s on dialysis three times a week now – she’s only able to drink 32 ounces of water a day and she even got dizzy during our interview. Needing to stand up with her head hanging down she took a heavy breath.
“When I get like this. My body just gets like it can’t hold itself. 26-year-old, like the body of a 100-year-old,” said Smith.
Smith is on the transplant waiting list, but it could take three to five years. She’s hoping for a live donor.
“Definitely the waiting is frustrating for me because I want to continue to live my young life,” said Smith.
Anyone wishing to become a donor can visit the Mayo Clinic’s living donor transplant page.
Smith is keeping the faith that someone out there somewhere will help her.
“Yes, I do believe it will happen and I hope it happens soon,” said Smith.
Smith has set up a GoFundMe page for her medical expenses.
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