When you hear about the complications a chronic illness can cause, you often think to yourself “none of these things will happen to me.” That was certainly my thought process when I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of seven. Little did I know, I would experience multiple trips to the hospital throughout my high school and college years and eventually be faced with more life changing circumstances.
My name is Danielle Austin also as known as "Nikki" or "Pushia" to my family and friends. I recently married the love of my life, Quintin Austin on July 23, 2016. I live my life everyday teaching students with special needs, giving, loving and laughing. For the past 23 years, I have faced the challenges and complications that Type 1 Diabetes has caused with Stage 5: End Stage Renal Failure being the most current challenge.
Shortly after getting married in 2016, my doctors became concerned about the levels of creatinine that my body was producing as well as the decrease in my kidney function. In a matter of months, my kidney function progressed from Stage 1 Chronic Kidney Disease to Stage 5: End Stage Renal Failure which means my kidneys have lost nearly all their ability to do their job effectively. End Stage Renal Failure (Kidney Failure) is directly related to having Type 1 diabetes. The recommended treatment for this condition is a kidney-pancreas transplant. I have already undergone an extensive evaluation and have been listed as a transplant candidate at Duke University Transplant Center in Durham, NC.
My story is unique because just last year, before I was diagnosed with CKD, my sister Bianca (we share the same blood type) "shared her spare" as an altruistic kidney donor. An altruistic donor is a person who donates one of his or her own kidneys to a complete stranger. She gave a stranger another opportunity to live a full and active life. My prayer is to have the same opportunity afforded to me, but I need your help!!! I am in need of a Kidney Donor. I am asking you to “SHARE YOUR SPARE!” My blood type is O positive; however, there are some programs that are available to help donor/recipient pairs with blood types that are otherwise incompatible.
If you or anyone you know is interested in being a kidney donor, please contact me. I have created this campaign to procure funds to help with pre and post medical bills, donor cost, and out-of-pocket expenses during this process. No donation is too small! My hope and prayer is to receive both a kidney and pancreas so that I can get back to doing what I love with my teaching career as a Special Educator and making memories with my husband, my family and my friends.
Thank you in advance for your prayers, donations and donor considerations!