By Alexandra Simon
The daughter of late activist and former chairman of Congress for Racial Equality (CORE), Roy Innis is looking for a kidney.
Patricia Smith, one of the civil rights leader’s daughters, recently launched a search for a kidney donor earlier this month. Smith long suffered with Polycystic Kidney disease and no longer has any functioning kidneys. Now she is doing a nationwide search for a generous donor to undergo a life-saving kidney transplant because they are pressed for time, said her sister.
“We need a donor immediately,” said Corinne Innis. “The waiting list takes so long and we are now taking things into our own hands.”
Smith is currently undergoing dialysis three times a week and had to retire from her long-held job as a caseworker with the Administration for Child Services agency, said Innis. She says her sister tries to be as socially active, but the physical toll can be a burden.
“She had to give up her career and can’t work, and she tries to get out of the house and do volunteer-work, but the dialysis makes it exhausting for her,” said Innis.
Diagnosed with the disease as a child, Innis says both of Smiths kidneys yielded functionality last year.
Now in her sister’s critical search, Innis says it is almost reminiscent of what their late mother underwent.
“It’s kind of scary sometimes and she’s desperate to have any kidney. Some people languish for three to five years waiting, and you can die in that time period,” she added. “Polcystic kidney disease runs in our moms side of the family and it’s devastating. Our mother died at 50 years old and waited on the list but a kidney never came.”
But she is hopeful they can find a donor who can at least donate one kidney to her sister. She says the amount of support they have received from people has been immense and heartwarming.
“I think doing this search on Facebook has allowed many people to show their support and even those who are also in the same boat have also been reaching out to me,” said Innis. “Even if someone can’t donate, spread the word in your church announcements, your community, and share on social media because it will help the family a lot.”
Potential donors must be O positive and in decent health. They can contact Smith’s donor coordinator Nicole Matthews at (516) 562-0550.