After watching her daughter suffer from kidney failure for 15 years, Karol Franks took matters to the streets in order to find her a kidney.
Jenna Franks was first diagnosed with kidney failure at age 14, and while she's been undergoing daily dialysis treatments to keep her healthy, her mother hasn't stopped searching for a matching donor. After more-modern attempts failed — Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Craigslist — the Pasadena, CA, mom decided to rethink her approach and go for a simple sign.
It will only take one person to change Jenna's life, so Karol painted her husband's car window hoping that the heavy traffic in Los Angeles might lead to a donor. Her short message read, "Daughter Needs Kidney, Type O, firstname.lastname@example.org."
It wasn't until a stranger snapped a shot of the family's plea and shared it on social media that the message exploded. Since Tatum Bateman tweeted the image along with the simple message, "This honestly needs to go viral," the photo has been retweeted over 9,100 times. "I had no idea that it would actually go viral," Bateman told Yahoo Parenting. "It's so cool. Social media used for the right way can really work and do something that really matters."
This honestly needs to go viral pic.twitter.com/JTRScRcWv8
— Tatum (@TatumBateman) September 27, 2015
Twenty-five potential donors have already reached out and volunteered to get tested. "How ironic that something as simple and old fashion as a sign on the back window explodes into this sensation," said Jenna's father, Edward Franks.
After being diagnosed with a rare urological defect that destroys the kidney, Jenna began dialysis as a senior in high school and waited for three years before getting her first kidney transplant. Seven years later, Jenna's body rejected the organ, and she got back on the transplant list with a potential 10-year wait, according to the family's Facebook page. "My dad died at 28 years old from kidney disease, and my daughter is on dialysis," Karol said. "It was scary then and it's scary now . . . The thought that she has to struggle with this, it's hard."
No matter Jenna's age, Karol will never stop fighting for her daughter. Karol told TODAY.com, "This has taken over her entire life and we want more for her, which is why we're trying everything we can."