ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE) – After a long, tough wait, a New Mexico woman is now on the transplant list after needing a kidney for more than a decade. That means she’s one step closer to getting the organ that will save her life, but she still has another hurdle to clear.
Venus Lujan’s search for a kidney has been a painful one, spending more than 10 years on dialysis, but she’s had lots of hope and patience. She says now, she’s just waiting on the phone call that will change her life.
“In the last six months or so, we’ve been working with Mayo to get listed there in Phoenix. I just officially got actively listed,” said Lujan, a mom of two. “They are telling me because I’ve been on dialysis so long, that it shouldn’t be very long before I get a kidney, so thank goodness for that. I’m just waiting for a phone call now. I could get it five minutes from now, for all I know.”
Lujan’s been battling kidney failure for years and has already undergone two previous kidney transplants, donated by family. They didn’t work, and once again, she’s suffering kidney failure.
She says she no longer has any matches in her family and is grateful to finally be on the transplant list. She says the experience is a whirlwind of emotions.
“I was telling my family that it’s like every emotion you can possibly feel,” said Lujan. “I’m excited and I’m a little scared and nervous, and also a little sad because I feel for the people who will lose their family member.”
Lujan doesn’t have her kidney just yet. Once you are added to the national organ transplant waiting list, you may receive an organ fairly quickly or you may wait many years. In general, the average time frame for waiting can be 3-5 years at most centers, but Lujan remains hopeful that hers will come much sooner.
Lujan will receive her transplant at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix and will have to stay in the area 6-8 weeks after her surgery. She’s currently raising money for the living expenses and travel costs to and from Phoenix. If you would like to donate to her GoFundMe, click here.