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Pasadena mom uses social media to find organ donor for daughter

May 30, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
A Pasadena mom is using social media to find the perfect organ donor match for her 26-year-old daughter.

It was six years ago when a complete stranger gave Jenna Franks the gift of life. A woman decided to donate her kidney to Jenna, who was diagnosed with liver disease when she was 14.

"She gave me this necklace. It says on the back, 'live your life,' and I've worn it ever since," Jenna said.

But the kidney hasn't held up. Now, the clock is ticking for her to get a new one. The 26-year-old is set to start dialysis next month.

"I sort of feel like my life has been on hold, I feel like I'm in limbo. I haven't been able to do a lot of things that I want to do," she said.

In her quest to find her daughter a kidney, Jenna's mother, Karol Franks, started reaching out on social media and running online forums, searching tirelessly for a match for her daughter. She now advocates for all types of organ donation. While she sometimes feels helpless watching Jenna go through the disease, she still has hope for a happy ending.

"If I could trade places with her, I would, but I can't, so this is what I do," said Karol. "I try to stay on the Internet, I talk to people, and I just try to stay positive. I think I'm just naturally optimistic and do have faith that this will work out for her."

Jenna dreams of art school, and some day feeling well enough to take a road trip across the country. Her future is dependent on someone else's generosity.

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