PHOENIX (FOX 10) -- Two complete strangers battling kidney disease met by fate. As one person received a transplant, the other struggled to find the perfect match.
It was right around the same time in 1998 that two complete strangers, Canna Caldwell and Jerald Collens, were diagnosed with kidney disease. Last year was also around the same time they both got their kidneys removed.
"My kidney function was down to 12%," said Collens.
"30% function of my kidneys," said Caldwell.
Same disease, but two completely different outcomes.
"She's dependent on dialysis until she finds a donor recipient," said Collens.
For Jerald, he was lucky enough to have his son, 28-year-old son Barry Collens, donate his kidney.
"I've been lucky, not lucky for having kidney disease, but just the way the things went," said Collens. "I was able to live my life for 20 years, and I only had two people test, but I have another friend. She had 25 people test to be her donor."
"I've been climbing hills for days with this disease and I'm so tired," said Caldwell.
Last September, Caldwell's kidneys were removed after experiencing excruciating pain and infections. Since then, Caldwell goes to dialysis three times a week.
"It's kind of hard to imagine that you're living without kidneys," said Caldwell. "Two vital organs that you need, and a machine is keeping you alive."
Caldwell is asking for help in any place she can. For many looking in, people with kidney disease seem fine, because you can't physically see it.
You feel it.
"Just because I don't look sick, doesn't mean that I'm not ill on the inside and I try to hide it well. It's really hard," said Caldwell.
Caldwell said her physical appearance is the only thing she can control, as she fights the disease with hopes of getting a kidney, with dreams of doing the simple things that so many take for granted.
GoFundMe for Canna Caldwell
Donate Life Arizona
Done Vida Arizona (In Spanish/En Español)