Fresno woman's body attacking her own liver; donor sought

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Time is both a curse and a gift for a Fresno wife and mother who's battling her own body. She has an auto-immune disease which attacks her own liver, and she needs a transplant. Family and friends have helped her reach out to find a donor before time runs out.

Kimberly Hauxhurst of Fresno takes advantage of every moment she can spend with her family. The 46-year-old wife and mother of two is battling auto-immune hepatitis, in which her body attacks her own liver.

"I just didn't want it to be real because it was starting to permeate every little bit of my life. And in the last three years we really noticed things had gotten more challenging," said Hauxhurst.

Hauxhurst is one of 21,000 people in California on the transplant recipient waiting list.

"I'll have these bad spells where I have a lot of pain or exhaustion and I'll say to the kids, 'I know Mom's sick. I know Mom's down. This is going to pass,'" said Hauxhurst.

While her condition is life-threatening, it's not critical enough to put her at the top of the list, so she could wait for years for a match with a liver from a deceased donor. So one of her doctors recommended she seek out a living donor. Hauxhurst uses her Facebook page to post her journey and connect with potential donors.

While Hauxhurst continues her fight against her disease, Donor Network West in Fresno is boosting its own efforts to encourage more people to register as donors for National Donate Life Month in April.

"In Fresno alone there are 1,500 people waiting for a life-saving transplant," said Marcella Corona of Donor Network West, which facilitates organ and tissue donation between deceased donors and recipients.

Corona says the need for all donors is critical.

"From April 1st through April 30th, we'll be participating in a number of events and asking people to make that decision to either go online at and register and designate what they would like to do become as organ and tissue donors and then let their loved ones know," said Corona.

While Hauxhurst stays on the transplant list, a relative and a friend have both recently offered to be her living donor and will undergo the required tests to see if they are a match for donation.

"I really want to live. I have a daughter, and I have a son, and I have a husband, and I have a wedding to plan. I see the future, and I want the opportunity to get out there and do all those things," said Hauxhurst. "I just want a chance, and I want people to know that living donor is an option, and it's a beautiful gift, and it's something people should consider."

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