With or without a donor, a Norfolk woman’s one and only kidney will be removed

Southeast Region

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Since 10 On Your Side first brought you the story of 48-year-old fitness professional April Sethmann’s search for a kidney, a total of 30 people have come forward to donate.

Prospective donors have to be O-positive, under the age of 65, and in good health. After intense screenings at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, not one perfect match was found.

(Photo courtesy: April Sethmann)

“For some reason or another, they were not able to qualify it’s a very rigorous process because of the antibody testing,” she said.

With no prospective donors on her list, one day before Thanksgiving, Sethmann received the results of the scan of a partial kidney, which already had four known tumors.

“New scans showed the same four tumors had grown and we had two new ones,” said Sethmann.

(Photo courtesy: April Sethmann)

Doctors at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital say Sethmann has no choice but to remove the partial kidney that now has six tumors. Surgery is set for the morning of Jan. 27.

“They decided that they want to go ahead and schedule the nephrectomy and take the kidney out regardless of whether I have a possible donor or not. The goal is an even swap, but if not, I will go straight to hemodialysis,” Sethmann said.

Once again, she is turning to the people of Hampton Roads and beyond for help. She wants to continue her mission to help others with strength, flexibility, and a sense of well-being.

“It’s just the last final reach out because I am still currently personal training and teaching classes and I want to be able to help other people,” Sethmann said.

Sethmann is working with the National Kidney Foundation to create a website that will allow her to share her story around the world. For information on the donation process in Hampton Roads click this Sentara donor link.

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