Woman Helps Niece Get The Word Out: Kidney Needed

Steve Miller
September 05, 2018 - 6:20 pm

WBBM Newsradio/Steve Miller

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- The sign on the back of the car said: "Kidney Donor Needed." 

The Subaru was parked on the Northwest Side of Chicago.

Across the back window was a sign that said: "Kidney Donor Needed,” then a phone number.

It turns out, the car and the number belong to Sophie Podyma.

"It's for my niece, who unfortunately, this is her second one. They don't last forever,” she explained.

Her niece is 49-year-old Cinnamon Hernandez, who lives in the western suburbs.

Cinnamon Hernandez /picture provided to WBBM Newsradio

Her brother gave her a kidney in 2004, and things were fine until two years ago. Now, Hernandez is on dialysis every night.

"I do that for eight hours throughout my whole entire night of sleep. It's rough."

She comes from a big family, but she says only a few members have been tested to see if they can be a donor.

"They're afraid. They all have families,” Hernandez said.

Her aunt was not a match, but Hernandez said she's grateful to her aunt for putting the sign on her car. 

"I'm hoping for a kidney – and to put this all behind me."

The Illinois Secretary of State's office says more than 3,400 people in Illinois are waiting for a kidney.

Sophie Podyma's sign says: "Kidney Donor Needed (773) 544-1709."