Local mom Monique Sexton is in need of a kidney and is hosting drives and fundraisers to try to help find a match.

Monique Sexton and her family need our community to come together in the most important of ways, to literally save her life. Our hope is that her story can be shared widely within and beyond the Tampa Bay area so this wife and mother can find the kidney she so desperately needs.

Her journey started nearly eight years ago when Monique began searching for relief from unrelenting joint pain and fatigue. Despite many doctors and specialists, who told her “we know it is an autoimmune disorder,” they could never pinpoint a concrete diagnosis. Unfortunately, the treatments only slightly alleviated her symptoms and masked a much larger problem.

In November 2017, doctors discovered Monique was in renal failure with her kidneys showing only 40 percent functionality. A biopsy revealed the cause of her symptoms: Lupus Nephritis, an autoimmune disease that attacks your own tissues and organs. Although a diagnosis had been found, her health continued to rapidly plummet, and a month later, Monique began dialysis, a physically and emotionally taxing process. She will eventually need a transplant; there is no other option.

During this journey, Mike Mikorski met and fell in love with Monique. Her godmother, Erin Brown, puts it best: “He was exactly who she needed at that time in her life. Mike has recognized her spirit, how special she is and even as a young adult, just a couple of years into their relationship, he never once questioned standing beside her and fighting through this battle.”

Together, they have a 4-year-old little girl and a 2-year-old little boy. Even when the pain is excruciating, Monique gets up for these children so that, if nothing else, they will have memories of a mother who loved them and their father fiercely every moment of every day.

Potential donors need to have Type-O blood and be in good health with no major health issues such as diabetes, heart condition, high blood pressure or high BMI.

Her family wants the community to know how much of a treasure your gift would be: “Realistically, we know the idea of donating a kidney may not be on your mind. And, we know that not everyone that is a match would be willing to go through a process like this for a stranger. It is a huge gesture and life changing sacrifice. But, it is our hope today; you will share this message on every viable platform and spread the word. As a family we believe that we, as a community, can work together to find a match for Monique and in turn give her children a long life filled with sweet memories of their mother.”

Mike along with Monique’s family and friends are planning on also doing a car wash for donations to help support the cost of treatment and other related bills. Necessary anti-rejection medications are extremely costly, but are without option a necessity. Monique still works full time along with maintaining a household, and all her paid time off currently gets utilized for dialysis. The car wash will take place on Saturday, March 23 at the Valrico AutoZone beginning at 9 a.m. AutoZone is located at 1807 E. State Rd. 60 in Valrico.

To reach out to Monique and Mike to see if you are a match or find out how you can help, please call or text 863-999-2337, and they will forward you the information needed to be tested. You can also visit their Facebook page, Miracles for Monique, at https://www.facebook.com/miraclesformonique/. They will communicate information about donations and events like the car wash through this venue. Your prayers along with sharing this information are welcome and appreciated.