CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Brenda Roessler was diagnosed in 2018 with End-Stage Renal Disease, which causes kidney failure.
She was placed on dialysis and on a kidney transplant waiting list. Her doctors told her it could take up to five years before a transplant becomes available, but even then, they weren’t certain one would be.
Unfortunately, her voluntary donor options were also running thin. “No one qualified and I had close to two-dozen people attempt to be a live donor,” Roessler told 13 News Thursday.
After this, Roessler decided to campaign with shirts and signs with her information on them, actively searching for a kidney.
July 2022, 3 years after her diagnosis, one of Roessler’s friends was traveling through Charleston, West Virginia with her daughter wearing one of her campaign shirts. While they were at a rest stop, someone nearby pointed out the kidney on her shirt.
CAMC Transplant Surgeon Dr. Santosh Nagaraju was on vacation with his daughter Aaria. They happened to be at the same rest stop when Aaria noticed the shirt.
“She picked up that hey dad, look there is a person wearing a kidney. I approached them and while we were talking, I just told them what I do and said they could come to our center as well if they want to be evaluated and listed,” Dr. Nagaraju recalls that day.
Roessler then got evaluated at CAMC where she found out she was eligible since she lived within a 5-hour traveling distance from the hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio.
A few months later she got a call from a nurse at the hospital saying they had a kidney for her.
“Nothing happens by accident. It was just, that it was my kidney and it was my time, it was meant to be,” Roessler says as she remembers the emotional moment.
Dr. Nagaraju says not many people know about their program and they’re hoping to spread awareness through Roessler’s story. For more information, click here.