PHILADELPHIA — For right now, laughter is perhaps the only remedy available to 70-year-old Chris Rushinski.
“I had a friend ask me what he could do to help. I said, ‘Give me a kidney!’ said Rushinski from her Stockton, New Jersey home.
“I keep telling everybody, ‘I keep harassing him so I gotta keep going,’” she said while pointing the attention to her husband, Joe.
After 50 years of marriage, the fun is still there and so is the hope that they can share more happy years together and with their two daughters.
“There’s always hope. You never give up,” Joe told KYW-TV.
Two years ago, Chris was diagnosed with Polycystic Kidney Disease, which will likely take her life if a kidney donor is not found soon.
“It’s just a small incision and they snip take it out and the donor is ready to go,” she said.
The disease is genetic so Chris says that turning to many family members has not been an option. A medical condition prevents Joe from donating his to his wife.
With no time to waste the family has now hoping that a stranger can come through in a big way. For a request of that magnitude, they knew that they needed to send a big message, and have done so with a billboard on I-95 near Oxford Valley.
“If you really want to see a handsome couple!” Joe said with a laugh.
The two came up with the idea which features a photo of the couple, a message that reads,”Please help my wife find a Kidney donor. Thanks!” and a link to their website KidneyforChris.com
She hopes that with the help of stranger she will not only be able to finish a sequel to her book but try new things and live out more adventurous chapters of her own with her family.
“I try to do things I didn’t do before,” she said. “I mean, I still have the truck driver language when I can’t do it, but I still try!”
Questions or interest in providing a Kidney to Chris can contact the Transplant Coordinator at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Mary Peterson at; 410-614-6904.