Chicago woman pushes for more African American organ donors

My FOX Chicago | Natalie Bomke

Chicago woman is asking for the gift of hope this Mother's Day. Like 5,000 others in Illinois, Monica Fox is waiting for a new kidney. Back in 2013, despite losing one hundred pounds, she was faced with a life or death situation. She became critically ill and experienced heart failure and kidney failure.

“All those years of obesity lead to this problem," she said. "The doctors told my family that they weren't sure that I'd make it for the next 24 hours.”

She needed a new kidney to survive. But two years have passed and Fox remains on an organ transplant wait list. While she'd rather be spending time with her college-age daughter, Fox instead receives dialysis for four hours, three days a week. There are fleeting moments of hope. Fox has a friend who was a perfect match, but who later found he wasn't healthy enough to donate a kidney.

Each day, 13 people in the United States die waiting for a kidney transplant. Right now, 76,000 people are waiting for a donation; 31,000 are African Americans.

"That's the difficulty in the African American community. We struggle with obesity. We struggle with high blood pressure and diabetes. Those are three factors that can keep you from being a living donor," she said. Continue reading

FOX 32 News Chicago