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Horn Lake mom hopeful to find liver donor for teenage son: ‘I’m not going to give up’

HORN LAKE, Miss. — A Mississippi mother is trying to find an organ donor for her son since he hasn’t made it onto a wait-list for one. Her plea for help has reached thousands.

On the outside, Jaylin Winters looks like your typical 13-year-old. But a year ago, they found out it’s a much different picture on the inside.

Shemeka Stringer says a routine doctor’s visit led them to discover he has an enlarged spleen and his liver’s failing.

“My son asked me when we first found out about his liver was, ‘Am I going to die?’” she said. “Not on my watch.”

She says he’s since developed three autoimmune diseases, tumors and more. Jaylin’s now homeschooled, and regularly in and out of the doctor’s office and emergency room.

Stringer moved from Clarksdale to Horn Lake so she could be closer to Le Bonheur, uprooting her and her three children’s lives.

“My car is where I go. I sit in my car for a while. They kind of figured that out a couple months ago, my children, but my car is where I go.”

She doesn’t think they would’ve made it without the generosity of churches and others.

“You just got to stay strong. You’ve got to put on a happy face.”

In December, she found out Jaylin’s eligible for a liver transplant but says her doctor told her he’s not eligible to be put on a donor list yet.

“My chances are better for me to get a live donor. They’re saying that other people are sicker than my son.”

She posted his story on social media asking for a liver donor and said Jaylin’s blood type is “B-” and blood type “O” is a possible match. In two days, her post’s been shared more than 5,000 times.

“I was really, really shocked. I was like, ‘OK, I can do this.’ It gave me motivation, too, that I could do this. I can get help for my son. I’m not going to give up.”

Something Jaylin also reminds her.

“I know he can tell when I’m down because he has this towel from John Cena and it says ‘Never give up’ and he came and laid it on my bed and just pointed at it. It’s just the little small things.”

One thing she also says she hopes her story can do is encourage others to be organ donors.

If you want to get in touch with Shemeka, you can email her at

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