Beloved former NYC principal Lily Woo hoping for kidney donation

"There's good days and bad days. You know, I’m not young. And so, you know, the way you kind of feel time ticking away."

Time truly is of the essence for Lily Woo. After being diagnosed with stage 4 kidney disease in early 2018, her condition has now worsened to Stage 5 ESRD, End Stage Renal Disease.

A kidney transplant last May was promising but ultimately proved unsuccessful by November. She is now back on the transplant list for Weill Cornell Medical Center, having already spent 5 years waiting for that kidney that failed.

"Right now is a choice between getting someone who has passed with a matching donor or your matching kidney, or a living donor who has a matching kidney," Woo said. "And, you know, they say that given a choice of both the living donor is the better one for me."

Before becoming ill, Lily Woo was Principal Lily Woo, having spent 25 years as a renowned and decorated educator with honors from both the city and state.

As she waits and prays for that call, a tremendous support network is helping get the word out through a vigorous social media campaign trying to attract potential donors.

That along with the love of Ron -- her husband of 43 years -- has been keeping her positive and giving her good energy, which she admits is tough as she waits for a match.

When speaking about potential donor matches,  Woo says "You know, it's nice that if they want, if they can help me, that would be great. But, you know, don't think about just helping me to help. Help anyone that you care for that needs something like this."

To find out if you are a match for Lily or for more information on screening, visit the National Kidney Registry at