GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT)-- Fruita resident Ivy Duncan is desperately searching for something we all can't live without. She needs a new kidney.
Doctors have told her she could be waiting anywhere from five to seven years, but if she can find a living donor she could get one in a matter of weeks.
“I come here three days a week, I’m on the machine for four hours, each day,” said Ivy Duncan.
It all started with a camping trip back in 2006.
"I ate a bad hamburger so it attacked my kidneys right away, I was on dialysis for a few months back then, I slowly recovered but over the past 12 years my kidneys completely failed,” said Duncan.
She needs a new kidney, but she might not get one for another seven years. Even organ and tissue donor, Colorado Donate Life, is backed up.
"Kidneys that's about 85 percent of the people on the waitlist,” said Colin Larkin, Regional Donation Consultant.
31 million Americans have kidney disease but might not know it because it is symptomless, if it gets worse it could lead to kidney failure.
"Neither kidney is functioning at a high enough level,” said Gretchen Demuth, Group Facility Administrator at Davita Dialysis.
The machine called a dialyzer, filters out the toxins and other fluid out of the body to keep them alive.
More than 450,000 people are on dialysis, about 85 of those come to Davita’s clinic in Grand Junction at 710 Wellington Ave.
"We get people from Aspen coming in, we have one from Moab coming in so quite a radius of patients, there's just not a lot of dialysis centers in this area,” said Demuth.
Ivy’s Dialysis treatment works by putting one needle into the vein to take blood out, and another needle below puts the cleaned blood back in.
"It makes it really hard to plan activities with my daughter, go camping, I can’t go on vacation to see family right now I’ve got to be here,” said Duncan.
Not to mention, treatment completely wipes her out.
"Horrible, I’m so tired, sick sometimes my blood pressure drops real low, so it leaves me so faint, I can't get anything done,” said Duncan.
We only need one kidney to survive. Unfortunately for Ivy her blood type is common so she will have to wait longer. However, paired kidney donation may be her chance.
"Say you want to be my donor but you and I aren't a compatible match what they would do is would find a family that also has a donor where they don't match and then your kidney would go to them, their donor would go to me,” said Duncan.
Until then all she can do is wait.
"Hopefully it will help me out but also there are a lot of people that need a kidney and a second chance at life,” said Duncan.
Ivy says her insurance will cover all the costs if a donor is found. If you want to help or share her message click on the website to the right of this page or click here. Fill out the survey with Ivy Duncan born 02/26/1984 as your named recipient.
You can also contact Angela at UC Health at (720) 848-2215.