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Her kidneys are failing; 10 Sacramento-area residents step up to see if they’re a match

Ten Sacramento-area residents – nine women and one man – say they are willing to be tested to see whether their kidneys might be a match for Chelsea Roman, a 32-year-old Sacramento woman whose kidneys are failing.

“It’s just so incredible. I’m shocked,” Roman said, when The Bee told her about the response. “When my sister told me she spent yesterday making phone calls, I was brought to tears.”

Roman’s sister, Halley Miglietta, isn’t a match, so she has been working to try and find someone who is. Both of their parents died of cancer-related illnesses, Miglietta said, and she doesn’t know if she can bear the loss of the only other member of her immediate family. The Bee profiled the two sisters earlier this week.

Born two months premature, Roman’s kidneys never fully developed. She has been on the transplant list at UC Davis for five years. In September, her kidney function deteriorated to the point that she had to start dialysis.

Miglietta has played the role of supporting player, calling back each person who expressed interest in finding out whether they are a match and asking them to apply at the UC Davis website. She said she’s grateful to people who are willing to help a complete stranger.

The 10 people who volunteered to be tested include Carmichael’s William Miller and Citrus Heights resident Linda Aguilar. Miller said: “I’ve been thinking about doing this for some time, but I never had any motivation until I read this story in The Bee. I thought, ‘Well, here’s a young woman with my blood type who needs a kidney. Why not? If it’s not going to put my life in danger, why not help her?’ 

Aguilar has a daughter with auto-immune disease that is damaging her kidneys. Because of this condition, Aguilar said, her daughter likely would never be a good candidate for kidney replacement. If she was, Aguilar said, she would hope that a donor could be found.

Cathie Anderson: 916-321-1193, @CathieA_SacBee

Fast facts for potential donors

▪ Potential donors for Chelsea Roman must be either an O or a B blood type. Additional blood tests will be required to determine whether your organ is a viable match.

▪ You can keep abreast of what’s happening with Roman at www.facebook.com/FindChelseaRomanAKidney.

▪ Want to learn more about transplant? Check out www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/transplant/livingdonation/.

▪ The National Kidney Foundation has information on living donation and videos from people who did it: www.kidney.org/transplantation/livingdonors.

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