WESTOVER, W.Va. – A Westover woman is in need of a kidney transplant, and she is hoping you can help her out.
Renee Gall was diagnosed with Polycystic Kidney disease in 2009. The disease is genetic.
Gall’s mom also had the disease but received a kidney transplant and lived for an additional 25 years after the procedure. Her kidney was still working when she passed away.
Gall said her life wasn’t much different after her diagnosis until 2019. Then, she needed dialysis treatments so her kidneys could keep up.
That worked for two years, until one day, it didn’t.
“All of a sudden, in September, it stopped working. My catheter stopped working,” said Gall.
She thought she could go to the doctor and they could fix it up.
“As soon as I walked in and she started feeling my stomach, she said ‘those kidneys have to come out, they’re huge’,” said Gall.
Gall’s kidneys were filled with cysts, causing the left kidney to weigh 13 pounds and the right to weigh 10 pounds. On average, a normal kidney weighs about 0.25 pounds. Both kidneys were removed.
“Now, I have to do hemodialysis, and that’s three times a week. I work eight hours a day, and then I’m going to dialysis after work. So, that’s another three and a half, four hours. They’re very long days on Monday, Wednesday and Friday,” Gall said.
Because of the dialysis treatments, Gall is on a fluid restriction of 32 ounces a day. That’s about the equivalent of two normal-sized water bottles. “That’s the hardest thing for me,” she admitted.
Gall works as an inventory control analyst at WVU Medicine Ruby Memorial Hospital. She’s changing jobs though and will be working from home soon. She’s hoping it will help make dialysis days just a little easier.
Gall is in need of a kidney donor but has been unable to find a match within her friends and family. Many are not matches, and one possible match dropped out for financial reasons. This led Gall and her friends to come up with a fundraiser idea.
According to Gall, medical expenses for kidney donors will be completely paid for by her insurance. But, that doesn’t include time off of work, hotel expenses, travel expenses, etc., so the fundraiser would benefit whoever the donor is.
The fundraiser, a soup and bake sale, will take place at the Woodland United Methodist Church on Mileground Road in Morgantown on Saturday, Feb. 26 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. You can pre-order soups and bakery goods by contacting Renee (304-282-2161), Amanda (304-216-0903) or Kim (304-695-1456).
Gall is hoping that there is someone out there that can help her.
“This would change my life. You know, if you want to go somewhere for a trip, if you do, you got to find out where there’s a dialysis center. It just, it would give me my life back,” said Gall, holding back tears.
Gall is looking for someone with O-type blood for a kidney with no family history of kidney issues. If you think you would be a match, you can reach out to WVU Medicine Transplant Team at 304-974-3004, and tell them you want to be tested to be a match for Renee Gall.
If she successfully finds a donor, it is believed she will be WVU Medicine’s first live organ donation. Other WVU Medicine organ donations have been with cadavers.