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Fallbrook woman finds donor through TikTok

“I don't know how to explain it. She is my hero,” said Rubi Duran, who was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease stage 5.

SAN DIEGO — It started with a video that was posted on TikTok, that is where Ruby Duran decided to share her struggles of survival after being diagnosed with a stage 5 chronic kidney disease. 

With that video she found the one person who could save her life.

With tears in her eyes, Duran recounted the moment her doctor told her it would take almost a decade to find a match who would help replace one of her kidneys.

“A normal person was living a normal healthy life and I just wanted that for myself. I was just in shock mode. I just don't know why it happened to me if I have always been very healthy,” said Duran.

She was 23-years-old when her entire life took a turn, Duran says at one point her only focus was attending college. 

However, that quickly changed after experiencing excruciating symptoms. 

My kidneys were functioning at less than 10%. I would get migraines, my eyes would be swollen and I would lose my breath,” said Duran.

After being diagnosed, her doctors told her she would need to undergo dialysis treatment.  

That treatment only caused her even more discomfort and robbed her of a normal life.

Dr. Marquis Hart, a surgeon at Sharp Memorial Hospital says, "there are all kinds of consequences, but this treatment is needed for kidney failure."

Although she was giving up and just when she started to lose all hope, her doctors at Sharp Memorial Hospital gave her the idea that would change her life once again.

“I posted my story on TikTok, I continued to share my story of my kidney journey,” said Duran.

As she posted her video on TikTok, a donor by the name of Sandra Leon reached out and offered to be her donor.

“So I messaged her and asked her if she had found a donor. She told me she hadn’t found anybody so I let her know I was already in the process and I would talk to my coordinator,” said Leon. 

With the same blood type and being similar in age, they became a perfect match. 

Not only giving Rubi a perfect kidney, but also gaining a new sister in the life she never thought would be possible to enjoy again. 

“I don't know how to explain it. I know she is my soulmate,” said Duran.

As they both share a part of each other, they have become close, Rubi is now hoping to change careers and advocate for organ donors. 

Sandra currently serves in the Army and hopes to become a firefighter.

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