By Victoria Hansen
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) – It’s been nearly two years since Mary Ashley was introduced to the Lowcountry on ABC News 4. She’s a young girl born with a rare kidney disease in desperate need of a transplant.
She and her family are still fighting for her life.
A little girl cries as her dog paces. Mary Ashley is getting dialysis at home. Sometimes it hurts.
“You hate to see her uncomfortable,” said her mother, Charlene Barbot. “It absolutely breaks my heart every single time.”
The 11-year-old was born with a rare kidney disease and had to undergo a transplant when she was very young. Now that kidney is failing, threatening her life.
The Barbot family knows the organ donor waiting list could take years, and time is not on their side. That’s why they are asking for a living donor, someone willing to come forward now and donate their kidney.
They know it’s a lot to ask.
“It is a big thing to ask but when you’re looking at the life of your child, you ask for it,” said Charlene Barbot.
They’ve been looking and asking for two years. Many have come forward, but so far no one has matched. Because Mary Ashley has already had one transplant, her chances of finding that perfect match are slim – there only a one percent chance.
“Even though we haven’t found a match, just that people are trying. When someone gives of themselves, every time, it’s a miracle to me,” she said.
Mary Ashley has been struggling over the past year, struggling with dialysis which she now gets anywhere from ten to 20 hours a day, and struggling with eating.
If she’s not well enough, she can’t be on the national organ transplant list.
“And we know that it’s harder for her, you know. The longer you stay on dialysis your chances for a successful transplant go down as well,” said Charlene Barbot.
That’s why the Barbots are sharing their daughter’s story again.
“We’re hoping that perfect person is out there,” she said. “My hope is I want to get a kidney for Mary Ashley, but I really want to see all of the kids and adults that are waiting on one, because it’s a tough life.”
If you would like to find out if you are a match, it’s as easy as a blood test. Even if you’re not a match for Mary Ashley, you could be a match for someone else.
You can learn more by calling the MUSC Transplant Center at 792-4722, or you can go to MaryAshley.org.