In 2014, just months after having started my freshman year of high school, I was diagnosed with systemic lupus, when your immune system attacks your body, and lupus nephritis, inflammation of the kidney caused by lupus. But my journey didn't start in 2014, it started way before then. All throughout middle school I was constantly sick -- vomiting, fatigue, joint pain, etc. I did not understand why I was so sick so often until my diagnosis years later.
In late 2019, about two months into my freshman year at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, I caught pneumonia and came back home to New Bern, NC. I stayed in the hospital for a week and that is when I learned that my lupus nephritis had come out of remission and was scarring my kidney. I was told I would need a new kidney in a few years, but I learned that it would be much sooner than that. In late February of 2020, I went into the ER feeling sicker and more fatigued than normal. That is when I learned that I had kidney failure. The doctors and I tried everything possible to prevent me from having to start dialysis, but nothing prevailed.
I have been on dialysis waiting for a kidney transplant for a year now. Each day is a new struggle, but I am learning how to deal with it one step at a time. Because of my young age, I will need multiple kidney transplants over the course of several years. With your donations to COTA, COTA will be able to assist me with current and future medical expenses. Every donation helps.
The Children's Organ Transplant Association (COTA) helps children and young adults who need a life-saving transplant by providing fundraising assistance and family support. COTA is the nation’s only fundraising organization solely dedicated to raising life-saving dollars in honor of transplant-needy children and young adults. 100% of each contribution made to COTA in honor of our patients helps meet transplant-related expenses. COTA’s services are free to our families, and gifts to COTA are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.