Woman’s desperate years-long search for kidney donor pays off

SAN DIEGO -- A local woman’s desperate search for a kidney donor finally paid off, thanks to a simple sign on her car.

"This is actually truly going to happen. It’s just surreal," said Teri Sampson.

Sampson, a Linda Vista resident, has a rare genetic blood disorder.  Two years ago, after both of her kidneys had failed, she decided to take what she called “desperate measures” and posted a sign on the back of her car hoping to find a donor.

"It was absolutely desperate measures because I didn’t know what else to do," said  Sampson. “I didn’t really think it was going to make a difference, and it’s what changed it all so."

Sampson has type B-negative blood. Only 2 percent of the U.S. population matches that type,  which makes it even more difficult to find a compatible kidney.

FOX 5 first reported on Sampson’s plight in July 2017. Since then, she has hooked up to a dialysis machine every day. It has allowed her to continue living and working, but her health situation is always on her mind.

"Since we had our interview, my dialysis treatments have increased. So I actually carry around an extra 1800 milliliters of dialysis fluid all day long," said Sampson.

She doesn’t know who her donor is, but she says her transplant surgery is scheduled for September 24.

"This total stranger that I don’t know is going to save my life, and, I mean, how wonderful is that?" said Sampson. "It’s huge. If I can meet them and tell them how much their selfless gesture has completely restored my faith in all humanity -- it’s the most beautiful thing ever."

For more information on becoming a kidney donor, go to the National Kidney Foundation.