Woman seeking kidney looking to inspire potential organ donors

RENO, Nev. (KOLO) 20-year-old Itzel Ponce Gomez is in need of a kidney transplant. The young woman was diagnosed with lupus eight years ago and has been on dialysis for the past three.

"It's hard because you don't know when your kidney is going to come, so you're just like waiting and you're just hoping that it's sooner," she says.

Ponce Gomez is one of 600 people across the state of Nevada waiting for a donor. Her mom, Esmerilda Gomez, was not a match but says she's hopeful they will soon find a donor.

"She needs a lot of support and you know sometimes she's mad or angry," her mom says.

Ponce Gomez hopes her story will inspire others in the community to sign up to become donors. You can sign up to be an organ donor at the DMV or on the Donors Network West website.

"The reason we do what we do every day is for people like Itzel and her family; she's only 20 years old and she wants a bright future like anyone else," says Noel Sanchez, public affairs manager at Donors Network West.

April is National Donate Life Month and along with Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve, Ponce Gomez will share her story at the Believe Sculpture in downtown Reno April 12 at 7:30PM.

"Just by having a heart, some people say, oh, it's just a little heart on my license but with that little heart you can save up to eight lives," Ponce Gomez says.