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'Some people don't make it:' Family desperate to find kidney donor for Denver woman

Posted at 10:20 PM, Jan 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-30 00:34:51-05

DENVER — The Hoffman family is desperately searching, looking for a life-saver for their matriarch. Barbara Hoffman needs a kidney. 

“I used to be a music teacher; I can’t do that anymore. I used to make jewelry; I can’t do that anymore,” she said.

And that’s just the beginning of her daily struggle. 

“It’s about ten hours a night on dialysis,” Hoffman said.  

She has a rare kidney disease that has rendered her organs basically useless. She’s been on the kidney donor list for about five years without a match. That list has over 100,000 people on it. 

“Some people don’t make it. They die on that list,” Barbara’s daughter, Marlow, said. 

Marlow had the idea to print bumper magnets and business cards saying that her mom needs a kidney, and a link to how you can get tested. But that’s not all. 

“If we can make sure this is the last kidney we have to find,” Marlow said. 

She started fundraising. 

“It’s called Barbara and the Bionic Kidney Campaign,” she said. 

But it’s not fundraising for her family. It’s for the University of California San Francisco and their bio-artificial kidney program.

“It allows them to do the work that they’re doing only faster,” Marlow said. 

“It means other people won’t have to live the way I live. My life is severely compromised,” Barbara added.

The university is working on an artificial kidney that can act as a lifesaver for people like Barbara and the thousands waiting for a donor. The project has been fast-tracked by the FDA, but it still may not happen soon enough. 

“It might not be for [my mom], but it might be for millions of other people so they won’t be in this situation again,” Marlow said.

All money donated through the Hoffman’s website will go directly to UCSF and their research. Click here for more information on how to be tested to see if you can be a kidney donor.