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Local family buys billboard space in search of kidney donor

ALLEGHENY COUNTY, Pa. — A local family is pulling out all the stops to find a kidney donor for their wife, mother and grandmother, including buying billboard space around the area.

Karen Vaughn has been living with Type 1 diabetes since the 1980s and received devastating news in 2013.

“I went to the doctor and they told me, ‘Do you know you’re in Stage 4 kidney failure?’” she said.

In February, it got worse.

“I was at work. I worked at Lowe’s and I was having a pain. I came home and my husband took me to the hospital the next day,” she said. “My kidneys never kicked back in.”

She’s been on dialysis since but the search for a kidney began right away for this Navy veteran and grandmother of 13.

In addition to T-shirts and signs, the family decided to use its savings to buy ad space on local billboards.

“This last year has been really trying because I watch her wanting to do things and she can’t,” Karen’s husband Braxton said. “We’re just praying that someone sees the billboard.”

“It’s really hard to walk up to somebody and say, ‘Hi, my name is Karen. Would you like to give me a kidney?’ So, if you put [it somewhere] they can read it and it’s not threatening that they can see it and maybe ponder on it,” Karen said.

Karen needs an A+ donor. If you fit that description or just want to learn more, click here:

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