Milwaukee woman hopes to find kidney donor with help from billboards

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) – You might have seen a digital blue and green billboard featuring a smiling woman and her family around town.

Her name is Nicole Santiago and she needs your help in finding a kidney donor.

“I’m now at 18% kidney function and as long as I don’t reach 10% then I’m hoping to avoid dialysis, but my need for a kidney is pretty urgent,” says Santiago.

Nicole Santiago

Nicole was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease when she was 23 years old.

“The wait for an O kidney is five years,” says Santiago. “I don’t have five years to wait.”

During that first year, family and friends tried to qualify as a donor, but underlying health issues made that impossible.

They took the request to social media, but couldn’t find that donor there either.

“We need to find her a donor and we need to find her a donor soon,” says Jacquelin Blackhawk.

That’s why 14 billboards are currently in circulation around town since last Monday, Jan. 18.

The billboard is a photo of Nicole, her husband and son with a message to help save Nicole’s life.

The billboards are paid for through donations collected by family and friends on their GoFundMe account.

Nicole has been on the waiting list for the last year and a half.

“I have to do what I have to do to try to find a donor,” says Santiago.

For more information or to see if you qualify, contact Froedtert, here.

You can reach Nicole and her family on their website, here.

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