Devoted Islanders Fan Madison Sanalitro Takes Her Quest To Find A Kidney Donor To UBS Arena
ELMONT, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- A New York Islanders fan has set a goal of a lifetime. She is hoping the sign she holds up at home games will lead to an assist like no other, from a kidney donor.
As CBS2's Jennifer McLogan reported Wednesday the response from fans has been overwhelming.
Madison Sanalitro's kidneys are failing. The 26-year-old desperately needs a transplant.
"When I was 18 years old I got diagnosed with Stage 4 kidney failure," she said.
A year later, at Stage 5, she gratefully received a kidney from an anonymous donor.
But, she said, "It failed five years later and now I am in the search for another match."
With encouragement, Sanalitro decided to go public with her plea.
"My transplant team basically told me don't be ashamed, bring it to social media," she said.
Sanalitro went a step farther, taking her plea to UBS Arena. She and her boyfriend are die-hard Islanders fans
"I brought a sign to the games saying, 'Calling all fans, I need a kidney,'" said said.
Two sections over, the Blue and Orange Army Fan Club caught sight of Sanalitro and her poster.
"Next thing you know we got to talking and just started sharing the story out there to help her find the kidney," fan club co-founder James Fesselmeyer said.
The club posted on its website.
"Until I find a kidney, I will be on dialysis," Sanalitro said.
Three days a week, four hours at a time.
"Giving back to the community is something the Blue and Orange Army has always been a part of. We just want to do what we can to help our fellow Long Islanders," Fesselmeyer said.
"It would mean the world to me," Sanalitro said of finding a successful match.
She said she hopes to display her poster during Islanders home games throughout February, adding outreach for possible donors has been remarkable.
"I didn't expect anything to happen. To be quite honest, it has just been quite an overwhelming past one and a half weeks. Nothing can describe how thankful I am," Sanalitro said.
The former Longwood High School cheerleader and youth coach knows a new kidney will mean a new lease on life.
Anyone interested in helping Sanalitro can call the Stony Brook Hospital Transplant Center at 631-444-1656.
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