My mom, Loree, struggled with high blood pressure since her early twenties. In 2008 she went in for her annual physical and was told that she would need to see a kidney specialist. This took her by surprise. She did not know that high blood pressure could cause kidney damage and she did not know that she was in any type of danger. She was scheduled to start dialysis.
As a close-knit family we all were shocked and terrified as to what may come from this. My two brothers and I got tested to see if we were good matches to donate one of our kidneys. Unfortunately we were not. My mom was adopted so she had no known siblings that could be tested either. We had to put our faith in a miracle. Because we didn’t know what kidney failure was and how dialysis worked, we all spent a lot of time doing research and reading to get as much information as we could. We made it our mission to try and find my mom a donor.
Over the next few years my mom did dialysis at home. We waited for what seemed like an eternity to get the call for a donated kidney. She finally got the call we prayed for. On May 30, 2012 my mom got her kidney. It was a pretty special time for her – not only did she get her kidney but she also had a birthday a few days later on June 2. She was still in the hospital but that didn’t stop us from celebrating. Friends brought a cake that read “Happy Birthday Loree and Kidney Too”. We brought balloons and flowers and gifts to celebrate the extra special day with her.
After a few days we decided to give the kidney a name and her granddaughter came up with Kipper the Kidney. These days, Loree and Kipper are doing amazing. We were excited to be a part of the 2012 Kidney Walk this year and even more so that Kipper was with us. When we signed up in April for the Walk, mom didn’t have her kidney yet so to be able to participate in the Walk in September with her new kidney was truly amazing!.