Her simple life was going to change, and it did during Superstorm Sandy in October 2012. While working at NYU Langone Medical Center, she devised a plan to help evacuate 20 high-risk babies from the hospital that had its electricity cut from the storm. She was then invited by former First Lady Michelle Obama to President Obama's 2013 State of the Union Address where he mentioned her in his speech, commending her for her efforts despite the flooding in our own home at the time.
But not all change is positive. After her visit to the White House and other interviews and her home country, she received devastating news:
Menchu's kidneys are dying from a disease called IgA nephropathy.
With one kidney pumping out ~6% and the other ~9% of toxins from her blood, she will need to go on dialysis, which will surely affect her entire system and prevent her from being able to help more babies. Unless she could receive a kidney from a donor. As a family, we learned that there could be more potential matches in our motherland of the Philippines, but her medical insurance won't cover surgery outside the United States. The surgery would cost $100,000 to have it done there.
Menchu has been on the transplant list for three years now, and time is running out. As a simple woman who has devoted her life to saving babies and caring for them and their families, she now needs help. Funding to help pay for the surgery will greatly aid her and alternatively, anyone wishing to see if they are a match can contact:
The NYU Transplant Institute at (212) [phone redacted] or
The National Living Donor Assistance Center at (888) [phone redacted]
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