SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine — After weeks of being sick and not getting any better, Christine Royles took a trip to the doctor to find out what was wrong. She was told both of her kidneys were failing and that she would need a transplant. “They ran a bunch of tests to see what was wrong and I was diagnosed with Lupus and Anca Vasculitis.”
Instead of doing things most 23-year-olds would, Royles goes home every night and does ten hours of dialysis, “It’s not great. I work at a restaurant so afterward people go out to the Old Port and I have to come home and hook up to my machine.”
Royles didn’t let her diagnosis get her down; she used it as motivation to find a kidney as quickly as possible. That’s what let her to writing an ad on the back of her car. “I hate taking chances like that. That’s why I made it my mission to find a kidney and advertise like that.”
So, on the back windshield of her Kia Soul, Royles wrote, “Looking for someone 2 donate their kidney. Must have Type O blood. (You only need one kidney.)” It ended with her phone number.
Sure enough, it worked. A father from Windham, Josh Dall-Leighton, saw the ad, found out he was a strong match, and agreed to donate his kidney.
The surgery is set for May but before then Christine wants to do something to give back to Josh. She’s planning a pancake breakfast April 12 at the Applebee’s in South Portland to raise money for him and his family. “He’s going to be out of work for a month or maybe two so I just wanted to make sure he has money for his family.”