Saturday, August 6, 2011

Florida woman's search for kidney donor on Craigslist shows positive results

From WPTV:

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. - Life is not always easy for Selina Hodge, (pictured) who suffers from Spina Bifida, arthritis and a thyroid condition. The Palm Beach Gardens woman was also diagnosed with kidney failure four years ago, and must undergo nine hours of dialysis treatment every night.

Hodge said she needs to find a kidney donor and recently turned to Craigslist to find anyone willing to help.

In just a few weeks, Hodge's prayers - and that Craigslist plea - are being answered. "At first I was kind of nervous, but I'm very glad I did it," she said. There has been an overwhelming response to her advertisement.

Hodge is sifting through about 800 email messages that she received from people around the nation and the world. "Someone in Africa reached out to me. Two or three people in Africa reached out to me," said Hodge.

Two others who stepped forward live just miles from Hodge's home.

Teacher Stephanie Grant, 23, said she hopes that someone else would step up and help her if she was in need.

"You know when you have that gut feeling? That gut feeling inside of you that says this is the right thing to do," said Grant. She said she believes in 'paying it forward.' Grant has been tested and will know if she is a match in the next two weeks.

Julie Post, 30, is a mother and a member of the armed services. Post recently learned she is not a match because she does not have Type O blood. But she said she is now willing to donate an organ to another stranger in need.

"Selina, I saw her on TV and she just touched my heart," said Post.

The story that received worldwide attention is bringing strangers together. Hodge's family still can't believe it all started with a posting on Craigslist. "I just wish the best for my daughter. And like she wants, to have a kidney before the end of the year. And if not, then sometime soon," said Gina Evans, Hodge's mother.

Hodge believes that her life will soon be changed forever perhaps, by someone she just met. "We don't know each other, complete strangers so it's just like 'wow, I never expected this,' " she said.

Testing of some of those other hundreds of potential donors will begin soon. Hodge said the process is taking longer than she imagined. No matches have been identified yet.