COLLEEN OBRIEN

Cougs fans step up to help alum still in need of kidney donor

Nov 27, 2018, 12:06 PM | Updated: 12:14 pm
Cindy Meyer Cindy Meyer Cindy Meyer Cindy Meyer Cindy Meyer

In July of 2017, I shared the story of Cindy Meyer, who was in kidney failure and hoping to avoid dialysis through a kidney transplant.

Cindy is the sister of one our sales account executives at KIRO Radio, which is how I found out about her story.

Today, that kidney donor has not yet been found. And this past July — a year after our initial story — Cindy did have to go on at-home dialysis. I spoke to her about her health today.

“My filtration for my kidneys went down to nine percent and so at that time we decided to go ahead and do the surgery to put the catheter into my stomach, and I’ve been doing dialysis ever since,” Cindy said.

She spends about eight hours every night hooked up to this dialysis machine. She has to in order to stay alive as she waits for a donor. As a reminder, it’s really hard to find a kidney donor for Cindy. Not only is her blood type O — she also has a rare blood sensitivity that would cause her body to reject most donations. Only about one percent of the population would be a match for her.

But she and her family remain undeterred. Chalk it up to many of them, Cindy included, being Washington State University alumni. The Pullman school’s hearty fan base is certainly the picture of hope and faith – sticking with their school and teams through thick and thin. Why wouldn’t they take the same stance on Cindy’s kidney failure?

Maybe that’s why a few weeks back it occurred to Cindy’s family to tell her story on the Die Hard Cougs Facebook fan page. Cindy was at her sister’s house watching a WSU football game when the time came to hook up to dialysis. Rather than miss the game, she brought a portable TV with her to a separate room, a picture of dedication to both health and the Cougs.

Cindy’s sister snapped a couple of pictures of this scene and Cindy’s daughter posted them to the Coug-centric Facebook fan group.

“It went crazy viral. We had over 650 ‘likes’ to the [post], we had 116 comments and I’ve had over 20 amazing Cougs supporting Cougs reaching out and wanting to test for me,” Cindy said.

I spoke to some of those potential donors. Autumn Lamb is all the way in Ohio. She’s not a Coug, but her friend is.

“A friend of mine shared [Cindy’s] sister’s post. So basically she’s a friend of a friend. The friend of mine that posted it — we were friend since elementary school — and I just completely trust her and know she wouldn’t share something if it wasn’t legit,” Autumn said.

I asked Autumn how one prepares themselves to possibly give a body part to a stranger.

“Because she does have such a high percentage rate of potential rejection from her body – to me that just seems like a faith thing that if I’m supposed to be that donor for her then all of those details would work out,” Autumn said.

There’s also Julianne Chandler in Portland, who said this was the second time she’s come across Cindy’s story on Facebook.

“The first time I saw it I had just had a baby and I knew I was O blood type, but I’d just had a baby so everything was scrambled,” Julianna said with a chuckle. “But this time I was like ‘oh yeah I totally forgot about that,’ so I figured my husband and I are both O blood type, so I sent her a message and figured I’d just see where it went.”

Julianne and her husband are going to get tested for Cindy. For Julianne, it seems, giving a kidney is as easy as the give a penny take a penny expression.

“It doesn’t worry me at all. I just hope there’s a match somewhere and if it happens to be me I would gladly give something, you know? If it was my child I would hope that somebody would step up and help so I don’t have any fear about it. Just kind of do what you gotta do,” Julianna said.

That’s the power of the Washington State University Cougar community.

Cindy says despite the hard year-and-a-half since we last spoke, she is not losing hope.

“It’s a numbers game for me, so the more people that test I know the closer I am to finding that donor. But it just goes to show you that we Cougs stick together. I never thought I would get any kind of a response like this, but it’s been absolutely incredible,” Cindy said.

Cindy says her insurance covers the cost of testing if you’re interested in trying out. You can email me at cobrien@kiroradio.com for her contact information.

Colleen OBrien

Remote work...
Bill Kaczaraba

Employers should adjust to ‘quiet quitting’ analyst says

Analyst Jill Schlesinger said many businesses are not doing a good job of adjusting to the current cultural and technical business trends.
4 months ago
Mandy Nottingham, 45, and her dog “Betty Boop” are homeless in Aberdeen, WA....
Colleen O'Brien

New Quinault Wellness Center aims to combat ever-growing Fentanyl crisis

In King County alone, nearly 400 people died after using fentanyl in 2021, which is a very high number considering that number was just three in 2015.
7 months ago
girl scout, cookie...
MyNorthwest Staff

New cookie, return to in-person sales could help boost Girl Scout funds in 2022

It's Girl Scout cookie season again. Three local scouts joined KIRO Newsradio to talk about this year's new cookie and what the money raised will support.
11 months ago
Holiday spending at Christmas...
MyNorthwest Staff

Holiday spending expected to set massive records in 2018

With the season kicking into full gear, holiday spending is poised to set records across the United States. But not everyone is spending the same.
4 years ago
brownie...
Colleen O'Brien

Everett Brownie troop uses cookies sales to save pets

An Everett Brownie troop decided to do some good with profits from cookie sales.
5 years ago
Colleen O'Brien

Officer with plenty of ‘sole’ helps community

A longtime Dallas police officer has a side passion-project that came to him through his police work.
5 years ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Cougs fans step up to help alum still in need of kidney donor