HUDSON -- Just over 18 months ago Michelle Tarczy and her husband Matt were hopeful that the kidney he donated would replace one she lost due to polycystic kidney disease, which was inherited from her mom.
The hope lasted for about an hour after surgery -- the kidney donated by Matt failed. Since that failure Tarczy, 39, has been on dialysis three days a week for four hours. She was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease at 16. In 2014 Tarczy found out she was in kidney failure.
And while Tarczy is on a donor list, she is hoping someone may see her story and come forward and be a live donor. According to Tarczy "no one wants to ask someone for their kidney, but this is the situation that I am in."
After Matt's kidney failed, Tarczy's spot on the list was put on hold. Once she was stable, she was placed back on the donor list. However, a short time later she was diagnosed with heart failure. Once again she was taken off the list. The doctors were finally able to stabilize Tarczy's heart with medication, she added.
"I've just recently been put back on the list, and I'm hopeful," she said.
According to Tarczy, the average waiting list time is four to six years before a donor is found.
However, she still has health issues and due to those conditions, Tarczy needs a live donor.
"Due to medical complications, the odds for a successful future transplant would be greatly enhanced if I had a kidney from a living donor," according to Tarczy.
According to the Polycystic Kidney Disease Foundation, PKD is one of the most common, life-threatening genetic diseases.
The disease causes "fluid-filled cysts to develop and enlarge in both kidneys, eventually leading to kidney failure. It is the fourth leading cause of kidney failure in more than 50 percent of people with" the disease. Once a person has kidney failure, dialysis or a transplant are the only options.
"I inherited this disease from my mother," Tarczy said."My brother donated his kidney to our mother, so there is no other sibling or close relative able to donate a kidney to me."
And while the Hudson mother of a 10-year-old son and 7-year-old daughter has been placed on the list for a donor kidney, the odds of getting one increases each day as her condition worsens.
"It's been very hard on us because we have young children," she said. "And I am not able to be the type of mom I want to be."
The long hours at dialysis and the disease leaves Tarczy with little energy at the end of the day to spend with family.
"I can't take good care of them, but I want too," she said. "I really can't do anything (the household chores) because I am always worn out and a lot of the responsibility falls back on my husband. And I feel bad about that because it's a lot for him to deal with -- it's never ending."
Tarczy also said it breaks her heart that she feels she cannot be the best mom possible to her children.
"It makes me very sad," she said. "And we are using every means available to us to find an angel to donate their kidney to me."
For more on the Cleveland Clinic Live Donor program visit http://cle.clinic/2oINlWCor call 1-800-223-2273 ext. 53150.