Niagara Falls mother survives cancer, searches for kidney donor

Niagara Falls

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) — A Niagara Falls mother is asking for Western New Yorkers to help find her a compatible kidney donor.

Elena DePaolo was diagnosed with leukemia in April 2016. Following leukemia treatment, she was diagnosed with stage 3 chronic kidney disease. Despite the news, Elena and her husband wanted to start their family.

In 2019, their daughter was born, but she didn’t survive. And Elena also found out that her disease had worsened to stage 4. Soon after, the two adopted their son Lorenzo.

Within the past year, Elena’s diagnosis moved to stage 5, making a kidney transplant even more urgent.

Elena said she’s encouraged by so many people sharing her story.

“First I was devastated and cried for about a week, and then when I saw how many times it was being shared on Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, definitely Facebook. I think that’s what lifted my spirits, just to see that people were seeing it,” DePaolo said.

Blood types compatible with DePaolo are O+/- or A+/-.

If you’re interested in donating or seeing if you’re a match contact Erie County Medical Center at (716) 898-5001 or

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