CHESTER, Va. -- A woman who attended a benefit for a Chester mother in need of a living donor to provide her with a new liver hopes she is a match after seeing the story on CBS 6 News.
The "Help Us Save a Life" event for Anya Becker on Sunday featured shopping, food and vendors at Venus Time Trap. Donate Life was also on hand with testing kits and more information about organ donation, according to organizers.
Becker is a substitute teacher who discovered last year that she had a nonalcoholic fatty liver, which would require a transplant.
“It was kind of a surprise," Becker said. "I’ve never had bad blood work or anything like that.”
Doctors told Becker that she would have to wait for a deceased donor, but they did not provide a timeline for when one might become available.
“I know somebody's out there and I totally believe everything happens for a reason," said friend Jennifer Stone, who coordinated the event. "God definitely has a hand in this and that he will bring a donor hopefully through this event.”
How you can help Chester mom in desperate of living donor for transplant
Becker said she was taken aback by the response Sunday.
"It's like you don't realize how big of an impact you have until you see it I guess," she said. "To see how many people want to help still in a world where it feels like no one does, so it's very humbling."
Autie Hines with LifeNet Health in Richmond said he hoped the event will not only help find a donor for Becker, but also for others in need of a transplant.
"We're trying to raise awareness so we can get a living donor to say, ‘I want to restore health and give hope by loving my neighbor as I love myself,’” Hines said.
Hines said there is a shortage of registered donors in Virginia and that, as a result, a new person is added to the transplant waiting list every 10 minutes.
Lee Fitzgerald attended the event hoping she is Becker’s match. In fact, she recently started the process to check if she could be a match after hearing Becker’s story.
“I was up late one night,” Fitzgerald said about seeing the story on CBS 6 News at 11 p.m. “I give blood, and I was like why not look into a liver [since it] can rejuvenate itself so quickly.
The Chester woman said she came out Sunday to get more information about ways she could support the family as she continues testing to see if she would be a good candidate.
“If I can actually qualify to give, why not?” Fitzgerald said.”It’s only a half of my liver. It's going to rejuvenate and if I can give this mother the quality of life to be there for her family, why not?”
Fitzgerald also hopes others come forward as it could not only save a life, but have a major impact on the lives of the loved ones of people waiting for organs.
“It is going to take time out of your schedule, but what is time when her time is being cut short?” Fitzgerald said.
Becker was touched by the possibility.
“To find a match, oh my gosh,” she said. “It’s unfathomable that someone would be that selfless. And it essentially means my life, to have it back for [my children] just to be here.”
If you would like to help Becker or see if you are a match with an O blood type, click here to connect with her blog on Facebook or call Teresa at VCU Hume-Lee at 804-828-9249.
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