A Second Chance At Life

Twenty-three years ago, my daughter was diagnosed with Glomerulosclerosis, which is a form of kidney disease.  She was 16 at the time of the diagnosis.  I had taken her to our primary physician for her yearly physical to run track.  The results were not as we had planned.  Her doctor informed us that she had an excessive amount of protein in her urine, which was a sign that her kidneys were not filtering as they should.  We were referred to John Hopkins University for a biopsy.

The biopsy confirmed that she had Glomerulosclerosis.  Unfortunately, she would need a kidney transplant down the road.  One kidney was completely damaged and the other was functioning at approximately 70%.  

Over the course of the past 23 years, my daughter has been a champion.  She has lived her life courageously in spite of her failing kidneys.   She graduated high school with honors, graduated from James Madison University, obtained her Masters degree, married the love of her life, and gave birth to 2 children.   Sadly, I have watched her health slowly deteriorate this past year.  In August 2017, we were given the news that she would have to go on dialysis until a kidney donor was found.  

We prepared for dialysis and the various tests needed to determine if she was a viable candidate for a kidney transplant.  Her test results determined that she had a rare blood type.  She could donate a kidney to many; however, only a few could donate to her.   The average wait time on the donor list was approximately 5 years.

Fortunately, one of her brothers has the same blood type.  Her brother stepped up to be the donor.  Further testing was done to determine if he was a tissue match.  By the grace of God, he was.   

Over the past few months, we have been in an accelerated mode.  Home dialysis, tests, more tests, meetings, and the list goes on.   Instead of being placed on the transplant list for 5 years, we were able to obtain a transplant date within 30 days.     

Unfortunately, even with insurance many people struggle to cope with medical bills. The average cost of a kidney transplant in this country is $180,000 to $200,000 and approximately $500 per month for anti-rejection medicine.  My daughter will be out of work for the next year recovering so she can begin her second chance at life.   

Her husband has kept the household running the past year as her health deteriorated.  He has worked diligently to keep her spirits up and make ends meet.  However, after her surgery I need him to focus on her recovery and the children, not the finances.   She's fighting so she can see those beautiful babies grow up.  With God's blessings, she'll be on her feet and back to work in a year.  

Please know that neither my daughter or my son-in-law  would ask for help.  The mama bear in me has reared its head, so I'm asking on their behalf.  May  each of you be blessed.  And, please help me get the word out by sharing my link on your Facebook Timeline.  Thanks.

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    • 25 mos
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Rhonda Gales 
Martinsburg, WV
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