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Web Exclusive: Mom turns to craigslist to find kidney for daughter

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(CBS/KCBS) - A mom has taken to the internet to find the perfect match for her daughter.  But it's not what you think.  The family is using Craigslist in a desperate search for a life-saving kidney.

It may seem like an attempt at social media matchmaking with the question-- Are you my type?
But what 27- year old Jenna Franks desperately needs is a kidney transplant.  

"Jenna would never ask for a kidney for herself, I know she wouldn't, but I can ask for her," says Karol Franks.

Karol Franks is Jenna's mother.  She's taken to Craigslist, Facebook and YouTube in a quest to find her daughter a donor.

"We seem to be more comfortable reaching out when you can type what you are saying or edit it and review it I guess," she said. 

Jenna was just 15 when she was diagnosed with kidney failure ... 3 years later she began dialysis.  Karol started moderating forums on dialysis and organ donation.  Thanks to a posting she was contacted by Patrice Smith of Ohio, who wanted to donate her kidney to Jenna.  A pleasant surprise for Jenna's dad, Ed, who was skeptical about the internet and organ donation.

"It took a lot of persuading to get me on board with this thing.  Thank God she did because we got a living donor and it was a miracle," Ed said.  

The family is hoping for another miracle. Jenna's body is rejecting the kidney and nobody in the family can donate to Jenna, including mom.  "It is hard not to give her the one thing I know she needs.  As a mother you would give your right arm if it would save them.  So this is what I can do," she said.

Jenna has spoken about her situation in YouTube videos.  "You always know that your mom cares about you, but for something like this, you realize just how committed she is to my health and well-being.  I am very grateful to her for that," she said.  

The family has received hundreds of responses, but there hasn't been a match yet.   Jenna will begin dialysis in June.

 

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