A Tale of Two Kidneys by Jana Healy

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The person I’m most grateful for is my sister Jennifer. Six and a half years ago my labs were off and every couple of weeks my numbers were slowly declining. While going to my regular pediatric nephrology appointment (at age 28) my doctor said I am ready and should start moving forward with getting a kidney transplant. The first step she said would be to find an adult nephrologist because she could not take care of me and the adult problems that might arise post or pre-transplant. My mom was in the room and stressed out – not only did we have to find a donor but also a new doctor; frustrating to figure out from scratch.

After some time we started meeting with the new doctor, my kidney disease worsened and my quality of life was slowly going down. He decided it was time and without hesitation, my sister Jennifer said “I’ll do it. I will donate a kidney.” She did all the testing required to see if she was a match and she was, and just like that she gave me a second chance at life and for that I am forever grateful.  We both went into surgery and everything went off without a hitch.  There were a few minor complications that arose later but all in all I’m healthy as can be.

Now its 6.5 years later and me and my kidney (we named “Myrtle”) are doing great.

Thanks sis.  I love you.

We are honoring the “Great Givers” who’ve had an impact on our cystinosis community. If you’d like to learn more about this Giving Tuesday campaign, visit our event page.