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Teen with rare kidney failure looking for perfect donor match

Posted at 4:53 PM, Mar 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-29 16:53:59-04

MUSKEGON, Mich. - A young promising basketball star diagnosed with stage five kidney failure is asking for your help in finding the perfect organ donor.

18-year-old Olivia Duncan was diagnosed with a rare form of kidney failure called FSGS last year. Her overwhelming daily routine includes taking more than 20 life-saving pills on top of her weekly shots and in-home dialysis treatment.

The amount of medicine Duncan needs every month fills up an entire room of her family's home.

“I know that my child has a life-threatening illness, it’s very serious and it becomes overwhelming after a while," said Duncan's mother Tressa Crosby.

Crosby says their lives will never be the same. Her room is now a makeshift medical facility, complete with a dialysis machine and medical charts indicating how and when to take her meds.

"I get through it," Duncan said. "I'm just with my friends all the time so I don't really think about it too much."

It's been a year since her diagnosis. Duncan has undergone three surgeries, having both kidneys removed which forced her to put college on hold.

The 18-year-old says a new kidney would radically change her life, from the food she eats to the things we take for granted like traveling.

"She wants to go to college this fall," Duncan's mother said. "We’re looking for a hero, someone who’s willing to be an organ donor..”

Olivia says the wait is the hardest part. Her doctors are now on the lookout for the perfect organ donor, encouraging prospects to call Spectrum health's Specialized Care Clinic at 616-391-2802. You can also help Duncan and her family financially by donating to their GoFundMe page. 

As the doctors shop for an organ, Make-A-Wish is sending Duncan and her family on their own shopping spree to Chicago.

"I'm just happy to be able to get the news out about kidney and organ donation," Duncan's mother said. "I never thought it would happen to me or my kid but it is my kid."