"One dollar ... one prayer ... one miracle"
My name is Pamela Cristi, and I am a junior at Virginia Commonwealth University. I have 4 siblings and I can honestly say that it is the biggest blessing in my life. They annoy you to no end, and tease you until you cry, but will beat up anyone else that tries. I have two older brothers, an older sister and a younger brother that's about to turn 10.
My oldest brother, Carlos graduated from the University of Arizona and went on to graduate from law school at American University.
Earlier this year, he was diagnosed with IGA Nephropathy at the age of 29.
IGA Nephropathy (IGAN) is a rare kidney disease in which your immune system attacks your kidneys and permanantly damages them. Once you no longer have sufficient kidney function you will either need to be placed on dialysis for the rest of your life or get a kidney transplant. Most people with IGAN go on to live fairly normal lives since the progression of the disease is slow. In some cases, like my brothers, the disease is very fast. my brother has not even turned 30 and his kidneys are at 15%. He starts dialysis in 4 weeks.
There is no cure for IGA Nephropathy and little is known about it.
The second I knew he was sick, I wanted to go through the transplant process to donate my kidney. I didn't even have to think about it. He's my big brother ... it's what any sibling would do. However, it's not a simple process and I can't donate right now.
I feel like this is my way to help him right now. He does not need the money, but I feel like he deserves some help. He recently went through surgery to have a catheter placed, and he went to work the very next day. Maybe he loves working, maybe he really did feel great. However, as a baby sister I wanted to do everything I could to help and if I couldn't give him a transplant, I decided to try and raise money so he could have more free time to focus on just getting better.
Carlos has always been the guardian angel of my family, the one who checks up on everyone else before he worries about himself. He's the kind of brother that wakes up at 4 in the morning to take the metro from DC to take my puppy to get spayed ... because I was too scared to do it myself. He's the kind of brother that keeps our family together... reminding everyone of upcoming birthdays. He was the first person that came to mind when I needed to call someone to pick me up from parties in high school. He's the brother everyone goes to when you need help. The kind of brother that says he's doing great instead of telling you he's in pain, because he knows you'll worry. The kind of brother that's too humble to ask for help, or to say he's not doing well.
My main goal in participating in GoFundMe is primarily to help my brother but I also want to raise awareness for this disease. We all live such a hectic lifestyle that we forget to count our blessings and appreciate the little things that we have in our lives. We forget to appreciate our health. For some people, they don't get to realize that until it's too late. I've always rejected the offer to be an organ donor, and I've never had a real reason. I never realized how important organ donation is until someone in my own family was in need of one. I never thought of the amazing impact it could have on someone else's life and the ripple effect it would have on their loved ones.
I know that people do not have a lot to spare, and I'm not going to ask you to empty your pockets for someone you don't know. I'm asking you to take two minutes out of your day and send this to everyone you know and to donate a dollar if you can. I'm asking you to please say a prayer for my big brother.
One dollar... one prayer ... one miracle
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