Two Altavista residents are searching for kidneys

ALTAVISTA, Va. (WDBJ) - Two people in the small town of Altavista are in need of the same thing:
A Kidney transplant from a living donor.

Michelle Hodges wants one thing. "I just want to live, that's all. I've had medical problems all my life and I just want to feel normal again and not be so tired," Hodges said.

She needs a kidney transplant and has been looking for one since December. She had a lung transplant 19 years ago and the anti-rejection medicines have messed up her kidneys.

Just four miles down the road, a man knows what it's like to be in her shoes. "I want to live, it's very important, and I don't want to be on dialysis the rest of my life," Tom Thompson said.

Every night for the last four months, Thompson has been hooked up to a dialysis machine--hoping for a kidney to set him free.

His wife, Laney Thompson, said, "He is weak, and he is tired."

"I have good days and I have bad days, but most of the time I can get around okay," Tom added.

That's the positivity Thompson holds onto, despite all he's going through.

But these Altavista residents are just 2 of the 2,128 people in the state of Virginia looking for Kidney Transplants. That's according to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

"If somebody is willing to set up and help somebody else live a longer, happier life, healthier life, than it's a real gift," Laney said.

"You can live with just one kidney, so it's not like they'll be doing without, and if they do donate a kidney, if they ever need one in the future, they go to the top of the list to get a kidney," Jackie Hodges, Michelle's Husband, said.

Both Hodges and Thomspon are thankful for their supportive Altavista community but are hopeful people will step up to donate and save their lives.

If you are interested in being tested to be a live kidney donor for Michelle Hodges, you can email her at

If you would like to be tested to donate one to Tom Thompson, you can email