Kidney Shaped Love...

Meet Jamie. She is 36 years old, a mom to an amazing 11-year-old daughter named Lucy, a wife to Dan, and an educator at a small private school. Meet Chrissy. She is a single mom to two beautiful children, Brooklyn and Cruz, she is the President of PTL (Parent-Teacher League) at her children's school, and she has worked with numerous organizations to help others. In 2002, Jamie was diagnosed with Bilateral Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) at 16, after faking being sick to get out of school. PKD is a genetic condition that causes numerous cysts to grow on the kidney, which replaces kidney tissue and will ultimately lead to kidney failure. Typically, a PKD patient doesn't start experiencing major issues until their mid-40s or 50s. Unfortunately, Jamie progressed at a rapid rate and is in need of a transplant now at 36 years old. In 2019, Jamie started experiencing severe flank pain, along with other symptoms, and after months of unanswered questions, she went to Emory for a solution. At Emory, she was informed that she was 1 of 5 patients at Emory and 1 of 30 patients between Emory and the Mayo Clinic to experience this sudden and rapid decline with PKD. Most of which were of similar age, build, and biological gender. Yet, they were not sure what was causing this sudden change. Currently, there is still no cure for PKD, but there are numerous clinical trials to help slow the progression of the disease. Jamie has been involved in ten different clinical studies with Emory in hopes of finding a cure. By early 2020, Jamie was referred to the transplant team at Emory for a kidney transplant. At that time, Chrissy’s daughter, Brooklyn, was a student of Jamies. When Chrissy found out that Jamie needed a kidney, she immediately asked Jamie what she needed to do to become a donor. Chrissy had a feeling that she couldn't explain, but she felt she was the match. Fortunately, Jamie was placed on hold through Emory due to preserved kidney function because her GFR was at 28%. Typically, the renal patient is listed through UNOS once at a GFR of 20% or below. Shortly after the initial evaluation, Covid hit, and for the next year, Jamie stabilized and thought maybe she would be able to go another five to ten years before transplant. Sadly, she started experiencing a decline in her kidney function once again, and this time she was listed at Emory. Jamie's current GFR is 12%, and she hopes to get a preemptive kidney transplant (a transplant prior to dialysis) due to the significant benefit of forgoing dialysis. While Jamie went through the transplant evaluation process for a second time, Chrissy’s daughter, Brooklyn, was fighting her own battle. In August of 2021, Chrissy and her family headed for a beach vacation in Florida. Shortly after arriving, Chrissy's daughter had to be rushed to the Emergency Room, and that's when they found out that she had Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. A diagnosis no family should ever have to face. Their entire world had stopped. Over the next few months, this child, with the support of her amazing mother and family, experienced trials that would break even the strongest adult. But all of that didn't stop Chrissy. When Chrissy found out Jamie was finally being listed at Emory and needed a kidney, she started crying and told her family she knew she was meant to be the donor, but she didn't know how she could do it with her daughter being sick. Even in the midst of absolute pain and anguish, Chrissy still worried about another person, she looked outside of her battles and stood with Jamie to fight alongside her. Chrissy once again asked what she needed to do to register, but Jamie refused and told Chrissy not to worry about her. She only needed to focus on Brooklyn and that she would be okay. Still, Chrissy still felt like she was the one. Time passed, and Chrissy's daughter, Brooklyn, underwent numerous treatments to fight cancer. Brooklyn could not attend school in person, so Jamie met with her a few days a week via Zoom to help her stay caught up. During that time, Jamie witnessed days when Brooklyn would fall asleep on Zooms, exhausted from days of treatments, she would witness Brooklyn getting sick on Zoom, and Brooklyn would immediately pop back in like nothing had happened. Jamie witnessed a mom doing everything in her power to help her child. Some days Brooklyn and Jamie would do school work, some days, Brooklyn really just wanted someone to talk to. So through the screen of a computer, they met and stayed connected. At one point, Brooklyn's grandmother told Jamie, that she was Brooklyn's best friend. Something that really touched Jamie's heart, and she too felt like she had a special bond with Brooklyn. As Brooklyn continued receiving treatments, Jamie searched to find a kidney transplant donor. As time went on, Brooklyn started to improve and was feeling like herself again. At the same time, Jamie questioned if she should be listed at a second transplant center. The thought of going through the evaluation process for the third time felt exhausting, and she wondered if it would even help. As Jamie tossed the idea back and forth in her mind, Brooklyn was preparing to return to school in person for the 2022-2023 school year. Brooklyn would still be on oral chemo for the next two years as a maintenance treatment, but she was healthy and ready to return to her life. One afternoon in July, Jamie's neighbor stopped her to show her an article from a local high school's alumni magazine. The article was about a young, recent graduate of Notre Dame High School that had received a kidney transplant at Vanderbilt. Jamie knew it was a sign from God. She contacted Vanderbilt to learn more about the transplant center. One month later, on August 24th, 2022, Jamie was at Vanderbilt being evaluated for their transplant list. The minute the appointment started, she knew she was in the right place. On September 6th, 2022, Jamie made a post on Facebook about her search and asking for people to register at Vanderbilt, two days later, Jamie received a text from Chrissy stating that she had just hung up with Vanderbilt and they were sending her a kit to cross-match her DNA with Jamie's DNA. Little did Jamie know, the day she posted her plea on Facebook, Chrissy didn't ask her about being her donor, she just registered. On September 13th, 2022, Jamie was placed on the transplant list at Vanderbilt, and things looked promising for finding a donor. On September 21st, 2022, Jamie received a phone call that would change her life forever. It was Chrissy calling to say that Vanderbilt had just informed her that she was a perfect match. Vanderbilt told Chrissy that when they mixed both of the blood samples, there was ZERO reaction. She was truly the perfect match. Chrissy will return to Vanderbilt in October and complete two days of additional testing. If everything is clear, the transplant will be scheduled within the next three to six months. We have created this Gofundme to not only support Jamie but to also support Chrissy as she and Jamie go on this journey together. Jamie's insurance will pay for all of Chrissy's medical expenses, hotel stays, gas, and hospital parking. While Chrissy is recovering from surgery, she will be unable to work for 4 to 6 weeks post-transplant. Jamie will be unable to work for possibly 3 months or more. After the transplant, Jamie will return to Vanderbilt at minimum once a week for 6-8 weeks, then she will be moved to biweekly visits for weeks 9-14, and finally, be moved to once-a-month visits for the next year. Jamie and Chrissy live in Chattanooga, but all appointments are with Vanderbilt in Nashville, which is a 5-hour round trip. The average cost for a kidney transplant in the United States is $442,500.00. With most insurance companies covering 80% of that cost. Jamie will also be on life-saving immunosuppressants for the rest of her life to prevent rejecting the kidney. Unfortunately, immunosuppressants can be incredibly expensive. Please help to ease some of the financial stress and burden for both Jamie and Chrissy and allow them to focus only on the future. Any funds raised will be shared equally between both women, to help alleviate These two ladies are incredibly special and loved by many. They both give of themselves, and they glow with kindness and positivity, and they are both a light to anyone that crosses their path. Jamie has said that Chrissy is and will forever be her hero. If you are able, please help us to support these amazing women. If you are not able to financially, please keep them in your prayers and share this fundraiser. Jamie also encourages that you love like Chrissy.

Donations 

  • Rachel Cleghorn
    • $20 
    • 1 yr
  • Susan Nelson
    • $100 
    • 1 yr
  • Joan Percy
    • $50 
    • 1 yr
  • Nancy Morkert
    • $50 
    • 1 yr
  • Kara Brady
    • $25 
    • 1 yr

Organizer and beneficiary

Jennifer Robinson
Organizer
Chattanooga, TN
Jamie Sunderland
Beneficiary

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