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Couple gets creative to educate the public about organ donation

Posted at 12:38 PM, Jul 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-16 13:39:19-04

Mercedes Aguilar's daughters want nothing more than to see their mom healthy. 

"It would be amazing.  She is a fighter," said 24-year-old Stephanie Aguilar. 

48-year-old Mercedes Aguilar has been sick for as long as she can remember,. 

"It has been very hard.  I have been in and out of the hospital I can't tell you how many times," said Mercedes Aguilar. 

At 22, less than a month before Mercedes and her husband Alex were to wed, she was diagnosed with renal failure. Her Kidney's were functioning at just ten percent. 

"I had people tell me don't get married, you know she is going to get sicker and you are going to regret it," said Alex Aguilar. 

Two daughters and 25 years of marriage later, the Aguilars are stronger than ever, because of what they have been through. 

Shortly after 24-year-old Stephanie's third birthday, Mercedes' brother gave her a kidney.  Life was great until 2010.  Six months after eight-year-old Mia was born, cancer was discovered in the transplanted kidney. 

"I get on the list and it is happiness, like this time it is going to happen," said Mercedes Aguilar. 

Mercedes says she has been on and off the transplant list so many times, most recently she was taken off after suffering a heart attack.  She says it's a process to get healthy and put back on the wait list.

Husband Alex says he couldn't just sit back and wait, so for a Christmas present he put decals on their vehicles that say "My Wife Needs a Kidney."

"It is not about her story, it is about a lot of people's stories.  Don't wait until it happens to you or a family member to start talking about this stuff," said Alex Aguilar. 

"If we get the conversation started, maybe they will look into it and see how many people really are looking for an organ," said Mercedes Aguilar. 

Over the weekend Mercedes was notified that she was put back on the wait list, she says hopefully things will move quickly.  

But, she isn't one to just sit back and wait.  Her husband recently purchased an RV so the family can travel on the weekends educating the public about organ donation.  Mercedes says she is interested in educating the Hispanic communities. To learn more about her story click here