RANDOLPH COUNTY, N.C. -- A kidney is the most needed organ nationwide for people waiting on a transplant.
Nearly 3,000 people are waiting on a kidney in North Carolina. Last year, 195 people died while waiting. Since the number of donors and the number of patients don't match up, many times doctors will tell patients to start searching for their own organs.
Tonya Kuvshinikov is 30 years old. She knew she'd eventually need a kidney but didn't think that day would come so soon.
Tonya has dealt with type 1 diabetes since she was 10 years old. For the past two and a half years Tonya has had kidney disease and now her kidneys are functioning at less than 20 percent.
"That was the scary part I felt like I had years to go and [the doctor] walked in the door and he immediately said, 'It's time for you to start looking for living donors,'" explains Kuvshinikov.
Tonya is in the process of adding her name to the lengthy organ transplant list. Compared to any other organ, the need for a kidney is 10 times greater.
"Your chances of finding someone on your own are greater than being on the list," explains Kuvshinikov.
Tonya is starting her own search for a friend, a family member, or even a stranger that could end up being her match.
"I'm hoping and praying that one of those people is my guardian angel and can help me," she said.
Tonya's friends are having a benefit for her this Saturday in Thomasville at R'Lo's Pub and Grill at 207 Fisher Ferry Street. It starts at 2 p.m. There will be a pool tournament, a raffle and dinner.