Prior to finding out that I am a match to donate a kidney for my sister, I started a new job and will not have enough vacation or sick time to cover the time off that I need. I have to be in New York City a week prior to surgery to make sure that I am still a candidate for surgery. I will also be staying at Cornell University Hospital for 2-3 days after surgery, in which during that time I will not be able to take care of my 11 year old son. 10 days post surgery, I will have to go back to the hospital to get the okay to travel back to Chicago and when I will be able to return to work. In January, I traveled to New York City to see if I am viable candidate to be a kidney donor to my sister and was excited to hear that I am a match!
I will be off work for at least 4 weeks, during which I will not have an income to cover the basic expenses for my family. The funds will be used to pay for travel expenses and stay while I am in New York City giving my sister a kidney.
I am thankful and appreciative of any amount whether it is a $1 or $10. Any amount will help me and my family during this kidney donation process.
In April 2014, Ann ended up in the Emergency Room with extreme high blood pressure after being seen at Urgent Care because she was not feeling well. While in the ER, an ultrasound was performed of the abdomen suspecting kidney issues. The ultrasound revealed that her kidneys are enlarged and covered in "innumerable cysts." She spent a week in the hospital trying to get her blood pressure under control, but the anxiety of being in the hospital made it impossible to lower the blood pressure, so Ann was discharged with a referral to see the nephrologist that was her doctor while she was in the ER.
It took about a year with dosage and medication changes for Ann to get her blood pressure under control. She ended up in the ER one more time, but did not have to be admitted. Ann was told that she would likely need a kidney transplant within the next year or two. She has been a model patient and has done everything that was suggested and recommended by her team of doctors as far as diet and exercise so she could slow down the progression of the kidney disease. Things seemed to level out at right around 20% function and stayed there for quite a while.
Things took a turn, when Ann found a lump in her breast and went for a mammogram and sonogram. In June of 2016, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and in August 2016, Ann underwent a double mastectomy. She had reconstruction surgeries in December 2016 and March 2017. Unfortunately, the surgeries took a toll and the kidney function dropped with each surgery and in February 2017, Ann went into kidney failure.
- Shelley Bumgarner
- Brian Fonte
- Alex Cassata
- Elaine Velgara
- Annah Garrett
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