Dakota Alvarado-Ortiz teaches before- and after-school programs for K-5 students in Green Bay, WI. She is a sharp, energetic, outgoing young woman who enjoys dancing, modeling, and fantasy gaming. Most importantly, Dakota is the devoted mother of a 2-year old daughter, Scarlett.
Since the age of 6, Dakota has suffered from chronic hydronephrosis: her kidneys fill with fluid, become infected, and ultimately lose function. Hydronephrosis is usually a symptom of another problem, typically a blockage – but in Dakota's case, her doctors have yet to determine the cause. She has endured dozens of surgeries and learned to live with near-constant pain.
Dakota's right kidney had to be removed two years ago; her left one was recently assessed at 20% function and diminishing gradually. When it falls below 15%, she will need to be on continual dialysis. To have a good chance at a healthy, normal life, Dakota is badly in need of a kidney transplant – and there have been obstacles to this.
Because Dakota has a fairly rare blood type (A–), there are no eligible donors among her family and friends. The hospitals that could perform the transplant have not placed her on their kidney lists because the cause of her hydronephrosis is not known, and patients with more certain odds of success are given priority. She has been told that when the function of her remaining kidney drops below 15%, becoming imminently life-threatening, she will have a greater chance of being placed on the list – but has not been guaranteed a spot. IF placed on the list, she would wait on permanent dialysis, with an undetermined number of patients ahead of her. She would not be able to work and would have difficulty supporting her daughter.
There is a much more promising option for Dakota, however: two hospitals would place her at #3 on their kidney list at a cost of $100,000. This figure is not merely a donation to their institutions; it also covers, in advance, all medical costs of the transplant for both Dakota and the kidney donor. A properly functioning kidney would set up Dakota (and Scarlett) for an immeasurably brighter future.
Dakota's family does not possess the financial means to meet this daunting amount, and we are hoping to do so with this fundraiser. Even if we fall short, the funds raised will be an enormous help; Dakota's medical insurance is less than optimal, and she is slowly paying off substantial out-of-pocket costs from prior procedures and emergency medical services. An amount less than needed for placement on the kidney list could alternately enable Dakota to wipe out her existing medical debt, with the remainder placed in her kidney savings account toward her future transplant.
Thank you for your consideration.