BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Andrea, a recent graduate of Gov. Livingston High School and an aspiring doctor, is in desperate need of a kidney transplant.
"Andrea is a beautiful and ambitious young woman, who at age 19 is in desperate need of a kidney transplant. Unfortunately, she has suffered with ill health throughout her young life. At the age of three, she entered the ICU battling renal failure and RSV both believed to be caused by a viral infection. Andrea was diagnosed with MPGN kidney disease, and began a battle that she still fights today," said Andrea's mother
In 2009, Andrea received a kidney transplant from her father. "But Andrea continued to face struggles as her body tried to reject the kidney. Despite her ongoing illness, which often kept her out of school, Andrea remained a top-performing student at her high school and was ultimately accepted into a prestigious, Northeastern College," said Andrea's mom.
"She is currently a sophomore in college studying biology, and hopes to enter medical school upon graduation. She wants to be a doctor so that she can help to save the lives of other young people who suffer from chronic illnesses and life-threatening diseases," said Andrea's mom. She is an active certified EMT at college and our community; she is a college resident advisor, and teaching assistant.
Now, five years later, the transplant from her father is failing and Andrea is in desperate need of a new kidney. Friends and family members have come forward to be potential donors for Andrea, but so far no suitable match has been found.
The family hopes and prays to find a healthy person, age 18-59, who is capable of sharing a kidney and has blood type A or O.
If you are a person that would consider stepping forward to save a life, you can contact Andrea's parents at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Renewal directly by calling (718)431-9831 or email R787@renewal.org.
An essay written by Andrea ~
Everyone in life has hurdles to jump over, obstacles to face. Most of the time, I think these hurdles are personal. They are something that helps us grow and change, lessons in disguise.
Then there are hurdles that cannot be accomplished alone. They require the support and assistance from family, friends, teachers, doctors and many others. Right now, with respect to the hurdle I’m currently facing, I actually need the help of a stranger. I’m hoping you might be that person.
When I was three, I was rushed to the hospital. I was in renal failure. For six months, my parents sat at my bedside with anxious eyes. Then somehow I contracted RSV. None of the doctors knew what to do, except one man, Dr. Jacob Nutman. He helped me overcome the first hurdle and saved my life. He is also one of the reasons I want to become a doctor, and why I’m currently studying biology. He thought differently. He was persistent and he never gave up on me.
But chronic lung infections plagued my childhood. At times, I was forced to wear masks at school. At times, that was incredibly hard. Suddenly everyone knew something was wrong, and, as someone private, I wasn’t keen on all of the attention. But I knew I had to do it. I knew I was doing it to help my body fight, to help stay alive and healthy. At eight, I was diagnosed with an immune deficiency and began receiving treatments that greatly improved my life. However, I was still in renal failure and I needed a transplant.
In 2009, my father donated one of his kidneys to save my life. Though I worked incredibly hard, taking anti-rejection drugs and diligently following doctors’ orders, my body began to reject the kidney. Six months ago, I learned that I needed another kidney. My father’s kidney is failing. Immediately my mom volunteered. Unfortunately, doctor’s found tumors on her kidneys. Soon she’s having surgery to remove them. The surgery is very safe, and she will recover, but she cannot donate her kidney to me.
Nearly every family member and friend I have has gotten tested through Renewal to see if they are a match. I cannot adequately express how grateful I am that they tried. I know I cannot jump over this hurdle by myself. I know my mom, dad and brother cannot help me either. I need the help of a stranger. I need to rely on the kindness of others. Could that stranger be you? If you have A or O type blood, please consider getting tested to see if you’re a match.
When my mother told me that we were going public with my battle, I wasn’t sure how I felt. Then I remembered that this is part of the protocol. This is just like wearing the mask in third grade, only now the mask is a Facebook page, a website, a vulnerable letter to total strangers. This has to be done. My kidney is failing and I’m asking you if you will consider getting tested and donating a kidney to save my life.
Please help me clear this hurdle.