THORNTON, Colo. — Social media has the power to reach millions in a matter of moments. It's why the family of a teenager with special needs battling stage 5 chronic kidney disease is logging in, pleading with the public for a kidney donor.
Marwa Rasul is a 2020 graduate from Prairie View High School in Brighton, but it's a bittersweet celebration.
Last month, Rasul was diagnosed with stage 5 chronic kidney disease (CKD) after being rushed to the hospital for high-blood pressure.
"We were so shocked by finding out she had stage 5 kidney disease," her mother, Lailuma Rasul, said.
Doctors say Marwa's kidneys are functioning at 7%. Her family fears her body will reject the kidney transplant if they wait too long. The average wait time for a kidney transplant is three to five years, according to the National Kidney Foundation.
"It would just be devastating for us to lose her," her brother, Haras Rasul, said.
Marwa will start dialysis in the coming weeks. Her family says doctors are waiting to put her on the transplant list. To speed up the process, the family took to social media, pleading for the public's help. The post reads: "O+ KIDNEY DONOR NEEDED" and shares Marwa's story. The family also shared a phone number for anyone seeking more information: 303-875-8812.
"I love her, she's my heart, she's my life," Lailuma said.
Marwa is one of five children in her family. She was a year old when doctors diagnosed her with autism. Her mother says she has the IQ of a three year old, but a heart full of compassion and love.
"It's very scary, with her condition it's very challenging because she doesn't understand anything," Lailuma said.
Her family doesn't understand how doctors didn't catch the disease earlier.
"A patient of special needs, I thought to myself this has to be something that they could have seen in the past," Haras said.
He hopes to increase chronic kidney disease awareness by sharing his sister's story. The disease often has no symptoms. The family is also praying for a kidney donor.
"We have been through a lot in our lives, a lot of hardship in our lives, but nothing compares to this," Lailuma said.
Haras is encouraging people to call: 303-875-8812 or message him on Instagram at "hmanrasul" for more information.