10-year-old Clifton Park girl desperately seeks kidney donor

CLIFTON PARK – Maya Charles Rivera is like any other 10-year-old girl. She loves dancing, Disney movies, and discovering new things in her 5th grade classroom at Skatekon Elementary School in Clifton Park.

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At the beginning of summer, Maya wasn’t feeling well, and her parents took her to see the doctor. After four days in the hospital, Maya discovered she has Stage 4 kidney disease.

“The great thing with Maya is she wants to know everything that is happening,” said Tony Rivera, Maya’s father. “No surprises and we promise her no surprises.”

Maya has been told her kidneys are fused together, and she knows what needs to be done to fix it.

“A kidney transplant surgery,” she said.

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With her current diagnosis, Maya’s current routine involves weekly visits with a nephrologist, regular appointments for blood work, and trips back and forth to Boston Children’s Hospital.

“The great thing we love about all the doctors we’ve seen so far is they’re talking to her first and explaining what’s going on,” said Jim Charles, Maya’s father.

It’s a great deal for a 10-year-old to take in, let alone understand, although it is easy to understand how a 10-year-old feels about it.

“It’s scary,” Maya said.

Maya’s parents have turned to social media, searching for a Type B or Type O blood donor, someone male or female who would be a suitable match for their little girl.

“Finding a live donor and preemptively having this transplant surgery is ideal,” Tony stated. “We want to avoid dialysis at all costs.”

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“We feel our story is important to get out there for us,” Jim added. “Not just for us, not just for Maya, but for other families who are going through this. Other families are in the same boat.”

There are more than 100,000 Americans who are currently on the kidney transplant list.

Click here for all the ways you can help Maya.