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Pasadena Teen Awaits Transplant After Kidneys Fail

PASADENA, Md. (WJZ) -- Krista Jacobs, 16, of Lake Shore cannot play softball this season, per doctor's orders.

"[I want to play] so bad. So bad," Jacobs said last month during opening day of club softball.

Jacobs is awaiting a kidney transplant after doctors discovered the Chesapeake High School sophomore has end-stage renal failure.

"Which means my kidneys just kinda stopped working," the 16-year-old explained.

At a routine doctor's visit last year, Jacobs complained of chills, bruises, and charley horses, or muscle cramps.

"Thank God the doctor took her seriously and sent her down for bloodwork," Jacobs' mother Becky said. "Basically, they said, 'Get her down to the emergency room.' And here we are."

Jacobs spent two weeks in the hospital. Now, she goes to dialysis treatment three days a week.

More than 40 people applied to be a living donor for Krista.

"It takes a special person to even be willing to give the blood, to get tested, to see if you are a match to see if you can save someone's life," Becky Jacobs said. "To know her is to love her and that's definitely showed with people coming forward to help her."

Dr. Neziha Celebi, a pediatric nephrologist at University of Maryland Children's Hospital and assistant professor of pediatrics for the University of Maryland School of Medicine, said she's never seen so many donor applicants come forward.

"Kidney disease is a scary diagnosis for the parents and the patients," said Dr. Celebi said. "While we were able to rule out lots of diseases, we can not tell for sure what caused (Krista's) kidneys to fail."

The lack of a known cause of Krista's kidney failure means her family is ruled out as donors, including her father Mike.

"Everybody wants to give her a kidney. The hospital's not so eager to do that, because they're not quite sure why her kidney's failed," Mike Jacobs said.

A living donor is lined up for an August transplant.

"I want to give them a hug. I want to thank them so bad," Jacobs said.

To learn more about kidney donation and how you can become a donor, click here.

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