Praying for the Gift of Life This Christmas - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Praying for the Gift of Life This Christmas

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(Photo: Facebook/Barbara Lafferty) (Photo: Facebook/Barbara Lafferty)
 DELMAR, Md. (WBOC) - A Wicomico County woman is only asking for one gift this Christmas: the gift of life.

Barbara Lafferty of Delmar has end stage renal disease and decided to write a note for Santa. Friends and family are sharing her message, with hopes of getting Barbara what she needs, a live kidney donor.

"Dear Santa, I need a live kidney donor for Christmas. Please. ~Barb." A mother's plea on Facebook for a healthy life. 

"We're praying for our Christmas miracle," Lafferty said. 

More than 20 years ago, Lafferty was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease, a genetic disorder that affects 600,000 people in the United States.

"I was in a bit of denial for a while," Lafferty said. "When they tell you that you have two years you don't actually think about that two years passing. So one year later I was still thinking I had two years. A lot goes through your mind."

In October, her kidneys failed, leaving her hospitalized. Now, she goes through dialysis three times a week.

"This disease, when it starts getting to you it just robs you," Lafferty said. "Now you're on dialysis so you're literally tied down to a chair for hours at a stretch. There's no substitute for what God gave you, which is your kidney. There's just no substitute for that."

Several people filld out a donor questionnaire, but were not deemed healthy enough to donate.

"We don't ever want to put that person at risk either," Lafferty said. "We want the gift of life to be something that works out well for everybody."

She said couldn't go through this journey without her family and friends. She has a son and a 12-year-old daughter, appropriately named Faith. 

"Everyday I have with my family is precious," Lafferty said. "One thing I have learned is family is not necessarily just blood relations either you know, there are good people out there in the world."

She lit up with joy as she said she is going to be a grandmother for the first time. 

"We just found out my son and his fiance are going to have a baby," Lafferty said.  

She also thanks her furry family, including her three-legged cat and her 120-pound dog, Buddy Arfendoggen-Roo. 

"When I came home from the hospital he just laid in the bed next to me," Lafferty said.  

This Christmas, she hopes to not only get her wish, but also to help others. 

"I think the true meaning of Christmas is love your fellow man. It's not what went on sale at Best Buy, but it's about life and family and togetherness," Lafferty said. "Even if that doesn't work out, please spend time this Christmas with your family and the people that you care about because you never know how short life is until it's gone."

Lafferty has just one more clearance on her checklist before she is able to go through transplant surgery. The surgery itself will be through the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore.

Anyone interested in helping Barbara will have to fill out a "donor questionnaire." To get connected with Lafferty, email Brittany Cooper at bcooper@wboc.com.
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