Lisa Needs a New Kidney

My name is Lisa Marcolini.  I am 43 years old, newly married to the love of my life and I am in Stage 5 kidney failure (End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD)) caused by IgA nephropathy (Berger's disease) and I need a kidney transplant to have a shot at a "normal" life again.  Because of my young age, it is very likely I will need more than one kidney transplant in my lifetime.

I am on a mission to find a living donor, if possible, and to raise funds to help with costs (medical tests, procedures, medications, transportation, etc.) which I will be facing for the rest of my life. While I am continuing to work as long as I can, I am already losing wages due to illness and doctor's appointments.  You can donate through this site or contact me directly and I can give you an address to send donations to.

On Halloween 2014 I got a call from the clinic after a routine visit and tests and was told I needed to go to the ER immediately.  After several days in the hospital and visits to specialists, I was told I am in Stage 5 kidney failure.  After several more weeks and a kidney biopsy it was confirmed that the cause of my kidney failure is IgA nephropathy (an antibody called immunoglobulin A (IgA) lodges in your kidneys and can hamper the kidneys ability to filter waste and can cause kidney damage).  It is unknown exactly what causes IgA nephropathy and there is no cure for it.

Shortly after my diagnoses, my boyfriend of 2 1/2 years and I decided to get married because it was apparent that "the right time" might never happen so now was "the right time" for us.  We secretly married and told our families about the marriage and the kidney disease over the Thanksgiving weekend.  What a surprise for everyone!

I am grateful every day for my husband.  I have known him for about 15 years and he is one of the strongest people I know.  He makes me strong and I love him all the more for it.  He has a spinal cord injury which can limit some of the things he is able to do but even so, he never seems to let it stop him.  I always thought I would be there for him to help him as things changed with his condition but now I simply want to be there beside him for as long as I can.

I appreciate you taking the time to consider helping me throughout this process.  Feel free to check out my website at CaringBridge to follow my journey.  I will update it as often as I am able. 

Learn more about IgA Nephropathy here: 

Learn more about Living Donation here: 

If you are considering living kidney donation I am approved at two locations for transplant. Call the Mayo Living Donor Information line at 1-[phone redacted] or the UW-Madison Transplant Coordinator, Chris Lillesand, RN at [phone redacted] and let them know you are considering being tested for me, Lisa Marcolini. The great thing about the process is that you will learn a lot about it before you make your decision and just calling to inquire does not obligate you to anything. You can change your mind at any time if you decide it isn’t right for you. Thanks for considering it.


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Lisa Marcolini 
Winona, MN
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