Mother’s search for a kidney for her daughter


A Waynesville mother is on a desperate mission to help her daughter.

Portia Devine’s daughter, Joanie, was born with a rare condition called cystinosis.

“It forms like little sand spurs on the brain, liver, eyes, spleen, and kidneys, primarily the kidneys,” Joanie explained.

Joanie had her first kidney transplant at age 16. That failed a year later. Her next transplant was at age 20.

“I’ve never had a living donor,” said Joanie, “a living donor lasts up to 40 years, this transplant lasted 6 years.”

Now in need of another kidney, Joanie’s mom Portia decided to do something a little drastic by writing a message on her van asking for help.

A few days later, someone took a picture in a local grocery store parking lot and posted it on facebook. It’s now been shared hundreds of times.

“My phone has just been ringing off the hook with people I’ve never heard of,  don’t even know and wanting to donate, wanting to know what can they do to help,” said Portia of the picture.

Each phone call is a chance someone might be a match.

“If you’re out there and you’re willing to help me, you cannot imagine how much it would mean to me,” said Joanie.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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