My name is Brittany Jennings and my mother’s name is Wendy Weaver, or as we
call her, our “Walking Miracle”! In 1967 (age 7), my mom went into complete
renal failure stemming from a strep throat infection. Transplants were
extremely risky and experimental at that time. Despite this she underwent her
first transplant in 1970 (age 10). My loving grandmother, Martha Weaver, bless
her heart, gifted My mom one of her kidneys. Over the years, my mom has
survived countless life threatening obstacles including Pneumocystis Pneumonia,
Listeria Meningitis, Clostridium Difficile (C-Diff), and Shingles, in addition
to an ocular stroke, taking majority of her eyesight. The necessary, long term
use of the steroid Prednisone, among other medications, has caused her little body
to become extremely frail, resulting in a full spinal fusion from L1-S5, a
broken pelvis, scapula, and 28 additional fractures due to being in the final
stage of Osteoporosis. After lasting 28 years, My mom’s donated kidney started
to fail. She underwent her second transplant in 1996. Shortly afterwards she
went into rejection due to complications. Awaiting her 3rd transplant for over
12 years now, she must endure lengthy dialysis treatments three days a week,
which take a toll on her very quality of life.
At this point, she is deteriorating very quickly, and must receive a kidney
transplant immediately in order to survive. The Denver University Hospital
denied my mom a transplant and told her she was going to die on dialysis. Not
willing to accept this fate for my mother, I began researching and found a
transplant team at Cedars Sinai Hospital in California who specialize in highly
sanitized patients. I contacted them at once and soon thereafter we attended
their transplant evaluation. Several days following our evaluation the
transplant coordinator contacted us from Cedar’s with GREAT NEWS that she has
been accepted for their life saving IVIG treatment and transplant program.
Because of conflicting acquired antibodies in my mom’s blood, she must undergo
a treatment called Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) to neutralize these
antibodies. With that option now available and her now having received 2 IVIG
treatments, I’m continuing with the donor testing and preparing to save my
mom’s life right now, as she is running out of time.
Even with health coverage, we are facing considerable medical costs and other
expenses that aren’t covered. For the rest of her life, she will need follow-up
care and anti-rejection medications. The cost of post-transplant medications
can range from $2,000 to $5,000 per month—and they are as critical to her
survival as the transplant itself. In order for the transplant to take place,
Cedars Sinai Hospital requires us to have a minimum of $20,000 just to cover
her initial preparatory expenses and the treatments. My time off from work that
I will take with no income, travel, temporary housing in California, physical
therapy, food and fuel, etc. will further add to our family’s growing expenses.
It’s heartbreaking to think of all my mother has been through. Her illness has
impacted every aspect of her life, and now she has the added stress of us
affording tremendous medical bills in order to survive.
This story is about giving the gift of life through multiple generations over
and over again, it's quite extraordinary! My grandma donated her kidney to my
mom, my mother had me and now I'm donating a kidney to my mom!!
Our family is
asking for your help in raising the necessary funds to save my mom’s life.
Thank you very much for taking the time to read our story and help us any way