Ten years ago, my sister, Alexia (Scheidler) Pretznow had a routine physical. This was the first time that we learned that her kidneys were failing. Soon after, she was referred to a nephrologist. I drove down from graduate school, and the two of us, hand in hand, learned that she only had one kidney and that that kidney, as her Dr explained, “was functioning at the rate of a 69 year-old diabetic.” After a trip to the Mayo clinic, Lexi learned that her other kidney had likely atrophied in utero or shortly after birth.
While most people can live completely normal lives with only one kidney, that is not the case for Lexi. Unfortunately, in the summer of 2017, our family learned that Lexi is in kidney failure and in need of a transplant.
First, I would like to say thank you to all of our family and friends who so generously showed their support at Lexi’s benefit in our hometown in November. I can tell you that more than any contribution amount, the turnout of people, was priceless to me, my family, and to Lexi.
Despite the bighearted contributions, Lexi is still in need of financial assistance as she moves closer to the transplant process.
This purpose of this page, then, is twofold.
1. To raise funds to help cover Lexi’s medical expenses.
2. To inform and encourage readers to become living donors.
As you can imagine, Lexi has a very long road ahead of her. She has started dialysis and is in need of a transplant.
All of the funds raised here will go to help cover medical related expenses, including doctor’s visits, the transplant and follow-up care, and will help cover the travel and similar costs to a living donor when and if one is found. Any surplus funds will be donated to the kidney foundation.
ANYONE CAN DONATE
The good news is that Lexi has no contributing health issues (her kidney failure is the result of a birth defect), which makes her a good candidate for transplant, and for years she was able to keep her kidney functioning by watching her diet and monitoring the medications she used to treat even minor issues, like headaches.
The bad news is that transplant patients often wait for years before receiving a deceased kidney and studies show that living donor kidneys work better and last longer.
To be a donor, you have to be 18 and in good overall health. Additionally, there is no cost to a donor or to their insurance. And the transplant center will provide two years of follow-up at no cost.
If you are interested in kidney donation, please use the hyperlinks below to learn more.
University of Kentucky Transplant Center’s Living Donor Program.
Vanderbilt Transplant Center's Living Donor Program
University of Cincinnati's Living Donor Program or call (513) [phone redacted]
Indiana University's living Donor Program or call [phone redacted] or email [email redacted]
As Lexi's kidney champion, I am also happy to answer any questions. Please contact me via this page.
Thank you in advance for any support you can provide,
Natalie and Lexi
**A special thanks to Paradigm Marketing for the donation of the video.