'Save Jessica's Life': West Allis woman puts up billboards to find kidney

Doctors give her less than a year to find an organ
Posted at 9:22 PM, Mar 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-29 13:35:03-04

A West Allis woman is in a race against time to get a kidney. Doctors have given her less than a year to find an organ so she is going to extreme lengths to save her life.

Jessica Wickersheimer and her family bought a few billboards asking someone to help. The billboards read: "Kidney Donor Needed. Save Jessica's Life."

Wickersheimer grew up with juvenile diabetes and complications from the disease made staying healthy a battle.

"When I was 21 I lost my eyesight fully. I had to get surgery to get my eyesight back," said Wickersheimer.

She was 25-years-old when she was told she needed a kidney and pancreas. Since then she's had two transplants.  Both times her body rejected the organs. This last time, the doctors put her back on the transplant list on her birthday but told her she would not be able to wait the usual five to six years on the donor list.

"I am kind of in a race for time. My arteries are hardening," said Wickersheimer.

The doctors gave her six months to a year to find a donor.  On top of that, Wickersheimer has a rare blood type making her a harder match. So her family bought billboards throughout Milwaukee through the Lamar Advertising Cares program, which gave them a discount. 

"It's a needle in the haystack so we are just getting it out there," said her husband Jason Kanapka.

Her husband said it's the waiting that is the worst right now.

"Knowing that she needs it otherwise the inevitable is going to happen," said Kanapka.

But her stepkids say it's simple... Just do what the billboard says:

"Save Jessica's life, share your spare," said stepson Chase Kanapka. "Give her a kidney."

You can get more information on donating at Wickersheimer's website.