THE BRONX -- Over the past few months we’ve told you about a little girl and a young woman who both have the same problem. They both desperately need kidney transplants.
Many of you responded to be possible kidney donors. But so far, no one has worked out as a match.
Maria Campos is just five years old. She lives with her parents and little sister in the Bronx. Maria has a rare disease that has destroyed her kidney function. She’s on dialysis three times a week for three hours at a time. One of her doctor’s a Mt. Sinai’s pediatric nephrology unit
Nina Saria is in her 30s with a son who keeps her going. She’s studying to be a nurse. But she was hit by a rare auto-immune disease that took out her kidneys. She has a catheter on her chest that is a constant risk for infection. And Nina is also battling the U.S. State Department.
Nina has a kidney donor who appears to be match for her. Her mother. But her mother lives in Eastern Europe in the Republic of Georgia. And the U.S. consulate there won’t give her mother a visa. Nina says they apparently fear her mother won’t go back home.
“All she wants to do is to come, donate kidney and leave which takes about 4 months,” Nina told us. “I just have a hard time understanding the consular offices. When mother comes in and tells you please let me go to save my daughter and denying that. I feel like that you know for that person my life doesn’t really matter.”
And here’s the kicker. Nina is a U.S. citizen. She has the right to bring her mom here to live. But that process likely would take too much time. Nina’s mom is trying for a humanitarian visa now.
But who knows what the State Department may do? So far there’s been no concern for Nina’s life, even though New Jersey U.S. Senators Menendez and Booker have each requested the consulate grant Nina’s mom a visa.
That’s where you come in. You might be the lifesaver Nina or Maria need. People generally can live just fine with one kidney.
If you think you might be the miracle one of them needs or just would like information about kidney donation, email me at Howardshelpers@PIX11.com.