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Tonawanda woman asking for help to find a kidney donor

Posted at 5:25 PM, Jun 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-25 17:38:22-04

TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WKBW) — Tanya Guralny has been looking for a living kidney donor for three years now.

We shared her story back in March, and in May, she said three people stepped forward to donate a kidney, and one was a match.

"But unfortunately circumstances happened, and we are not able to transplant right now," she said.

The Tonawanda woman received the devastating phone call Wednesday, the donor didn't pass one of the many tests it takes to be approved for surgery.

"I was numb. I instantly just went numb and I started crying of course," she said.

But Guralny said she had to move forward and get a game plan going.

Guralny said she needs a living kidney donor because it would last longer and she would avoid going on dialysis.

Dr. Alvin Wee, Head of Kidney Transplantation at Cleveland Clinic, tells me a donor has to go through an extensive process to be approved for surgery.

"They have to go to test medically, psychologically, we ask you about all the general questions. Like hey do you have diabetes, hypertension? You know the big things that can screen you out," said Dr. Wee.

Then doctors check blood pressure and kidney functions, take CT scans. After that, the transplant committee reviews all the results and makes a decision.

The National Kidney Foundation said 100,791 people in the US are waiting for kidney transplants .

According to NY's Donate Life Registry, there are almost 10,000 New Yorkers in need of a lifesaving organ transplant

But according to Stony Brook Medicine, only 40% of New Yorkers are registered organ donors. In fact, New York ranks 50th out of 50 states in percentage of residents registered as organ donors, according to the Donate Life Registry.

A bill was introduced in 2019 to automatically register New Yorkers as organ donors unless they opt out.

The DMV said no legislation has passed to automatically register New Yorkers as organ donors.

But Guralny remains hopeful, and grateful.

"They are my kidney heroes. We may have not been a match or may not have come to the end where we transplanted, but I have to thank them so much for even considering," she said.

If you'd like to help Guralny, you can register online with the Cleveland Clinic. You'll need her medical record number, which is 30697430.

She said her blood type is A positive, so she can have A and O donors. She can be reached by email at She can be reached at (716) 912-5037.