While reading my local Chino Saturday paper, I came across a story I had read about a few months back, the story of two friends, Jennifer and Melodie, Jennifer from my own home town. Jennifer, you see, was diagnosed with FSGS, ( focal segmental glomuralscelorosis),after the birth of her daughter. FSGS is an inflammation of the nephrons or filters of the kidney, where the blood is cleaned. This disease is the same one our own son Tim would be diagnosed with at age four. Tim would suffer from severe water retention and the loss of protein (albumin) from his blood. He was treated with high dose steroids, a cycle that went on and on through the rest of his life. His disease was never something he grew out of, which at first is what the doctors would tell me. Instead, it progressivly worsened, adding to many more very serious problems, including a pulmonary embollus, which eventually lead to his final struggle through so much pain. From my understanding, the onset of the disease as an adult, can be very agressive and can destroy kidney function quickly. Jennifer would find help in a friend, a friend who would give up her kidney long before she even knew she would be a match. That friend was found in Melodie, a mother herself of a 9-year old daughter and 4-year old twins.
For five months, both girls endured many tests, even having to repeat some. Melodie had to be a perfect match for her best friend, Jennifer, and soon she would get the phone call that she was. The surgery was in April of 2008 and both girls are happy and healthy and celebrated the success with a "Kidney party."
Following up this story here on Saturday, Jennifer remains in remission and she feels great. She now has organized a fundraiser to benefit NephCure, a public charity dedicated to support and research for these specific kidney diseases, FSGS and Nyphrotic Syndrome.