Hello, my name is Karen Rocheleau, and I have stage 4 kidney disease. I am now at the stage where I need a kidney transplant to continue to live. I have always had a challenging life, but this is by far my biggest challenge, and although it is difficult for me to ask for help, I know that I cannot fight this battle alone. Some of my life’s challenges have been losing my mother when I was only 6, my family being held hostage by a man who was literally living in the walls of my home, having an alcoholic father who was never around, getting in with the wrong crowd and quitting high school. I finally got my life in order by receiving my GED and a full-time job. I then got married and had two children. During my second pregnancy, I began the long road of medical issues. It started when I lost 90 pounds during my pregnancy. After many tests and doctor’s visits, I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. The following 20 years were filled with pain and suffering from this agonizing illness, and unfortunately, my marriage did not survive. After many years of juggling my illness as a single mom, I was lucky enough to meet an amazing man who is now my husband. He has helped raise my two boys as if they were his own and has been my biggest supporter as I dealt with this horrible disease. After lots of hard work, making many lifestyle changes and changing my eating habits, my Crohn’s disease is finally in remission. However, at 44 years old, I am now faced with the new challenge of kidney disease and in need of a transplant. So far, this chapter of my life has been very stressful and emotional. As you can imagine, I am going to have a significant burden of expenses, including doctor’s visits, donor testing, surgery, copays, deductibles, and lost wages, as well as covering all of my living donor’s costs. If you could find it in your heart to help, a donation of any size would be greatly appreciated. With your help, I can focus on my recovery instead of the financial burden and can look forward to overcoming this challenge and once again becoming a survivor.