NEW PALTZ — A 46-year-old school teacher and mother of two is hoping her faith, and her blog, will find her a kidney to save her life.
“That person’s out there,” Jacqueline Triquero told PIX11 at her home in New Paltz. “We just need to find them.”
Triquero was diagnosed in her late 20s with polycystic kidney disease, a hereditary condition that afflicted her mother’s brother.
She was living a fairly healthy life until the last day of class in June 2017 at the Montebello Elementary School in Rockland County, where Triquero works as a teacher.
She suddenly didn’t feel well.
“That evening, I was in excruciating pain and ended up in the hospital,” Triquero recalled.
It was time for dialysis to clean out the toxins in her blood. Her kidneys weren’t working anymore.
“Dialysis is a temporary solution,” Triquero told PIX11.
The married mom of 19 and 12-year-old daughters said after two months of dialysis at a renal center not so close to home—three days a week—she decided to do peritoneal dialysis at home, every night of the week, which involves a tube being inserted into a port in her stomach. The procedure takes 8 1/2 hours a night, 7 days a week, but Triquero said it’s worth it to do the dialysis in her own bedroom.
Triquero has been on a transplant list for 2 1/2 years. The waiting time in New York and New Jersey is generally 5 to 7 years. A living donor would be an amazing option for Triquero, and that’s why the blog is such a useful platform for her. She got the idea to start one from a man who contacted her.
“He also had polycystic disease,” Triquero said. “He had an anonymous donor reach out to him, and he had a successful kidney transplant.”
Triquero has found an amazing advocate for her cause in Laura Walker, a 9/11 widow who met Triquero at Montebello School, after Walker was returning to the work force after 20 years.
“And I was nervous,” Walker remembered. “Jackie was like a ray of sunshine every day and just welcomed me. She reassured me constantly.”
When Walker heard about Triquero’s health Emergency, she offered to help.
Now working as a real estate broker, Walker noted “As a realtor, I have really good marketing skills.”
Walker started a Facebook campaign, and she wrote impassioned messages to yours truly on Twitter. Triquero had received some local coverage in Rockland County, but Walker wanted big-city attention
“You’ve got to go big or go home,” Walker said with a smile.
Jackie’s blog has received more than 225,000 views.
She still needs her match.
Her students and their parents are rooting for her.
The teacher had appeared in a school video about being “mindful” and kind.
Laura Walker puts it this way.
“Jackie touched me as someone who really matters in the world.”
Jackie Triquero is one of about 100,000 people currently waiting for a kidney transplant.
She has a lot more students to teach, a lot more lives to touch, and two daughters to raise.
To check out Triquero’s blog, go to: Kidney4Jackie.com