MACHESNEY PARK, Ill. (WTVO) — Over 750,000 Americans battle kidney disease every year. For many, receiving a kidney transplant is their best chance of survival. A Machesney Park mother is one of those patients.
Mom-of-seven Heidi Gordon needs an organ transplant, after a childhood accident left her with a single kidney. The once-healthy organ is now in stage five failure, functioning at 2%, after Gordon suffered a stroke in 2014.
“I do dialysis every night,” said Gordon. “Right now, I’m pretty much stuck in this house, I can’t walk like I used to, I had to quit working. My whole life was turned upside down.”
The Oregon, Illinois native’s name has been on and off the transplant list for nearly a decade, as she waits for an O+ kidney to become available.
“[Doctors] told me in June, seven years is a long time. So, what they told me is if I can find a living donor within the year, perfect,” she said.
The Gordons tried to find ways to get the word out about Heidi’s story. They sold T-shirts and car decals, but their efforts weren’t successful in finding a perfect match.
So, she got creative. A friend printed a yard sign detailing Heidi’s journey, and staked it in the ground outside her home– praying a hero would drive by.
“I’ve had seven people corresponding since last week,” said Heidi. “They want to donate and give me a chance at life.”
Gordon says she is blown away by the community’s support after over half-a-dozen total strangers reached out to help after seeing her yard sign. The potential donors have to go through a health screening process to see if they qualify. But, whoever the match is, Heidi says they will be granting her only wish– a shot at attending her youngest child’s high school graduation.
“You have goals in life, and that is one of my goals, my biggest goal, is to see my youngest son graduate,” she said.
For more information on organ donation, visit organdonor.gov.