TAKOMA PARK, Md. - Like many 27-year-old women, Krystal Mason has a full-time job, apartment of her own, and loves spending time with her family and friends in the DMV.
However, behind her infectious laugh smile, lies a daily realization that life as she knows it could change forever.
"I wake up sick every day, so if I don't find some joy or some happiness somewhere, I wouldn't be able to do it," says Krystal.
She has kidney disease and is currently in stage four kidney failure.
"It was weird, my head was hurting, my stomach was hurting, my side was hurting, I just felt awful," she says.
Krystal says after her diagnosis one year ago, her doctor told her it would likely be a long time before she would need a kidney transplant.
That quickly change in January of 2018.
"She said Krystal, your GFR (the test used to measure kidney function) is at 19, I need you to add your name to the transplant list," says Krystal. "I just started bawling crying, I'm thinking how did I go from being OK, you have years, to within a year you need a transplant?"
She says her mom encouraged her to share her story, but as a private person, she was reluctant. After a few weeks, she says she gave in.
She says she never expected it to take off both on Facebook and Instagram as it did.
"I got such great feedback, I mean so much love, so much support," she says.
Without a live donor stepping up, Krystal says she will have to go on dialysis and could join hundreds of thousands waiting on the list for years.
She's had some family members come forward, but so far, they weren't eligible.
It's a bump in the road, but Krystal says she's remaining positive.
"I feel like if I can get through this, I could potentially help someone in the future," she says. "I just feel like I have to be strong so I can help someone else."
If you would like to help Krystal or see if you'd be an eligible candidate to donate your kidney, you can apply at the MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute website.