Hope For Lisa

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Imagine going to the doctor because you've had swelling in your legs, face, and abdomen.  He tells you that you have severe Chronic Kidney Disease.  Your lungs are filling up with water and, before you know it, you're in the hospital.  That was 3 months ago.  The medicine they have you on to keep your kidneys functioning also lowers your immune system to the point that you suffer from one infection after another.  With the medicine, you also now have Diabetes and have to inject yourself with insulin.  The build up of proteins from the disease is causing your blood to thicken and clot.  The doctors can do nothing else but prescribe medicines to counteract the complications caused from the first medicines.  You're drained, exhausted, sick and you still have two young, active boys that need you, a mortgage to pay and a family therapy practice to run.  

Sounds unimaginable?

That has been the life our sister, Lisa, a 45 year old single mom of two boys under the age of 10.  Lisa was diagnosed this past August with Nephrotic Syndrome and Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), a disease that affects the kidney’s filtering system (glomeruli) causing scarring and loss of large amounts of protein in the urine. FSGS is a common cause of Nephrotic Syndrome, which occurs when there is a malfunction in the kidney’s filtering system (glomeruli) causing protein in the blood to leak into the urine (proteinuria).

In short easy words, Lisa’s life has been turned upside down. She immediately began treatment using prednisone, a steroid drug. This steroid has terrible side effects. It has brought on diabetes, high cholesterol, blood clots, mental confusion, imbalance, extreme
exhaustion, heartburn, leg and hand cramping, etc... Another side effect of this disease is edema. The edema has caused swelling throughout her body, especially in her feet and legs. Her left leg is so swollen it looks disfigured, making it very difficult to walk or even drive her boys to school.  As a single mother of two amazing boys, Matthew age 9 and Jason age 6, Lisa’s major struggle right now is maintaining normalcy for them.  

Before the onset of this disease, Lisa lived an active and serving life.  Lisa’s passion has always been to help people in need.  As a psychotherapist, she has followed her dream and has helped many people through their personal struggles.  She also became a Certified Zumba Instructor, teaching classes at the local YMCA.  The rest of her time was spent raising her sons, traveling with them and making memories.

Since this dreadful illness, Lisa has had to severely limit all of these activities.  She can no longer teach Zumba classes.  This disease is too draining and the Edema in her leg won't allow it.  She still works as a therapist but mostly now because she has to.  As an owner of her own practice, she has very little choice in the matter.  If she doesn't work, she doesn't get paid.  She does her best to keep up with her children, taking them out for Halloween, for example.  Then there are the hospital stays.  They come up randomly, unexpected, and takes her away from her home and her family.

Our goal is to help Lisa.  Her doctors need her to rest; to stay home and save her strength to heal.  However, as a single mother, she still gets in her car and sees her clients.  "Hope for Lisa" will help alleviate her financial burden.  We hope to raise as much money as we can so that Lisa doesn't have to pull herself out of bed and get in that car to see her clients;  at least not for a few months.  We hope to bring her peace of mind to focus on what is of the most importance, to  heal and recuperate enough to get her life back.  Your donation will help us have that hope for Lisa.  

Thank you,
Belia, Patricia, and Nancy

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Belia Hernandez 
Englewood, NJ
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