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Kids' viral video looking for kidney donor for their mom pays off for Pennsylvania woman

Ben Schmitt
| Monday, July 17, 2017, 1:45 p.m.
Diana Zippay with husband, Jason, son, Tobias and daughter, Bailey
Diana Zippay with husband, Jason, son, Tobias and daughter, Bailey

Diana Zippay has found her lifesaving kidney donor.

The Monongahela woman, whose children made a heartfelt viral video plea for a donor in March, announced on Facebook over the weekend that she will receive a new kidney on July 25 at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh.

"It's indescribable," Zippay, who will turn 36 this week, told the Tribune-Review today. "The feeling is like you are floating on clouds. You know you are getting that opportunity to have a second chance at your life."

Zippay found her donor through a national kidney paired exchange program from the United Network for Organ Sharing. The program worked to help three pairs of donors and recipients, including Zippay, get transplants. Her donor is a 40-year-old woman from Philadelphia.

Her children, Bailey, 8, and Tobias, 4, responded with a new thank you video. In their new production, they hold a sign that reads "Our Mommy Is Getting a Kidney Transplant!" and "Thanks To a Living Donor Paired Exchange, Our Mom Will Live!"

During the video, the song "Thank You," by the singer Dido plays in the background.

Zippay has he genetic disease Alport syndrome, which causes progressive loss of kidney function.

The disease forced her into 20 hours a week of dialysis. Because the disease is genetic, she said she cannot receive a kidney from a family member.

Her husband, Jason, is diabetic and cannot be a donor.

The news of a new kidney, "really brought a lot of happiness back into our household," Zippay said.

She said she hopes the new video goes viral as the old one, which landed her on "Good Morning America." She believes the previous video helped with donor awareness and played a role in her upcoming transplant.

Allegheny General Hospital performs about 100 kidney transplants a year.

"I want people to see the video and give them all something uplifting," she said. "There's so much bad news out there, I want them to know that somebody is getting a second chance at life."

Ben Schmitt is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-320-7991, or via Twitter at @Bencschmitt.

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