FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- A former high school guidance counselor from Fairfield needs a kidney soon to replace her failing two.
Margaret Karbovanec has an inherited condition known as polycystic kidney disease.
She recently started a Facebook page and website to appeal to the public for help finding a live donor.
Meanwhile, Karbovanec continues to be on two deceased donor lists, one at Yale-New Haven Hospital and one at New York Presbyterian.
Between the two, she could potentially receive a kidney in as little as five years or up to 15 years.
"That might be too long," said Karbovanec who though not on dialysis yet, has only 13 percent of her own kidney function left.
"I have Stage 4 kidney disease. My doctors say it's better to receive a live donor kidney. I follow a very strict diet and try to stay healthy with walking and other ways."
Retired from Bunnell High School in Stratford Karbovanec was also an elementary school teacher in her career.
Today she enjoys bridge, travel, reading, cooking and has a full life, she said.
"I loved my career and love my life now. I want to get a kidney and continue with it," she said.
Turning to social media was a big step for this "very private person."
For a long time I didn't tell anyone I have kidney disease," she said. "I didn't use Facebook. I want people to know they can live with one kidney. If I get one they won't take the other two out, just add the third."
Karbovanec's mother had the same inherited kidney disease, but the relatives on "the other side" of her family had longevity.
"Since retiring I helped my elderly aunts, 102 and 104. I'm hoping to get rid of this problem and get on with my life."