Jenny has been on dialysis for 5 years. She has been to the hospital more than 25 times, and has had many procedures, surgeries, and endless needle pokes and I.V.s . She has almost died several times. She is reaching out to her local and global community in hope that another Living Donor will step forward to save her life, and with prayer that people will donate funds for her medical expenses.
Why doesn't she wait for a Deceased Donor kidney (aka a kidney from the UNOS list)?
The wait time for a Deceased Donor kidney in California is 9 years. This is due to the large population of people in California needing kidney transplants. Kidney transplants are more successful and last longer than they used to. A kidney transplanted from a Living Donor usually starts working immediately, which means that Jenny could come off dialysis instantly.
Jenny was not allowed to pursue a kidney transplant for two and a half years, because a few months after going through kidney failure she was diagnosed with skin cancer. An in situ melanoma was found (and safely removed) from her back. Anyone with a previous case of cancer is forced to wait before being allowed to apply for a transplant. Then it took her a year and a half and going to four different hospitals in California before she was accepted into a transplant program. She was finally successfully listed (accepted) in July of 2015. At that time testing began on her Living Donors. Jenny was devastated to learn in October, that her donors have been rejected for various medical reasons.
Friends and Jenny's brother have tried to be tested, but were not considered healthy candidates. Jenny has no remaining family able or willing to be donors. She has no other major health problems and is considered an excellent candidate for a kidney transplant. Jenny has never smoked, done drugs, and her kidney failure was caused by a bad infection (leading to glomerulonephritis). Her insurance will cover all medical expenses for a Living Donor. There is also financial assistance available via special programs for any donor that is out of the area.
Jenny is currently on peritoneal dialysis for 12 hours every day. She has a catheter surgically implanted in her abdomen, which extends about 9 inches outside of her body at all times. She wears a special cloth belt to keep it in place, and connects to the dialysis machine each day. She was on hemodialysis previously for three years, and switched to peritoneal dialysis to lower her risk of life-threatening infections. Being on peritoneal dialysis also gives her more dietary freedom, as the renal diet is extremely restrictive.
Jenny is a long time resident of Santa Barbara, California and is a UCSB Alum. Her community involvement has included volunteering to work with patients with brain injuries, Visiting Nurses & Hospice Care, and the Santa Cruz Island Foundation. She wishes for this site to serve as a resource and inspiration for other people in need of kidney transplants.