Florida woman 'takes to the road' to help son in need of a new kidney

Credit: Special to Action News Ja

Credit: Special to Action News Ja

Linda Laegel spends her days driving, and it's all for her son, Randy.

"You just do what you've got to do, you know? I mean, it's my life. He's my life," the Middleburg, Florida mother said.

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On Friday, Laegal told Action News Jax her 53-year-old son's kidney failed in 2010.

The family waited seven years for a kidney.

Randy's transplant happened in August 2017.

Months after the surgery, the family learned the new kidney was damaged and wouldn't last more than 18 months.

"I thought I was just going to fall on the floor and die. Then I began to seek strength," Laegel said.

According to the U.S. Government Information on Organ Donation and Transplantation, 20 people die every day waiting for a transplant.

Laegel took the kidney search into her own hands.

"I had tried many things as a mother to try to reach out, talk to everybody, go everywhere, but something came to me and just said, 'Put it on the back of your car and drive,'" she said.

Now, she has a sign plastered on the back of her car that reads:

The vehicle she bought new in February has nearly 30,000 miles on it.

She said she drives every day to make sure people see the sign.

"I started and people began to notice. They would even toot their horn down the road and holler, ‘I'm going to be calling you,'" Laegel said.

Now, her phone is ringing off the hook.

So far, she said, 200 people are getting tested to see if they're Randy's lifesaving match.

"It's just hoping and waiting. I do hope and I know it's going to happen," she said.

To see if you're a match, contact Laegel at 904-466-8883.

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