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Jennifer’s Story

Jennifer Alley is a 42-year-old wife and mother living in Shaker Heights, Ohio. Jennifer was born with a rare, severe, and disabling disorder of gastrointestinal absorption and motility. Chronic Intestinal Pseudo Obstruction (CIPO) patients such as Jennifer often require total parenteral nutrition (TPN). While medically necessary for survival, this form of intravenous nutrition often puts patients at risk of liver failure and recurrent line infections. At the age of 22, after years of TPN dependency, Jennifer’s CIPO management via TPN began to fail. Fortunately, she qualified for and successfully received a small intestinal transplant at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) in July 2004. Thanks to the transplant, Jennifer went on to live a more successful, productive life with her husband and son who is now 15 years old. However, nearly 20 years of immunosuppressive drugs have damaged Jennifer’s kidneys and, despite her doctors’ very best efforts, her kidneys are no longer functioning. Jennifer is now in kidney failure and receives dialysis several days a week.

Updates (3)

June 14, 2021

Team Jen It Takes Guts Community,

We wanted to set up a public page where everyone could keep up with Jen and get the most up to date info on her status.

Thank You.

October 1, 2015

Hello. I wanted to provide an update. A lot has been going on and keeping me busy with yearly tests and scheduling upcoming tests. Also we have been busy trying to set up and do fundraisers to help out to pay for uncovered bills, expenses with insurance and for trips out of state for my medical care. As you have heard us say a small bowel transplant is very expensive. It was just listed as most expensive surgery for 2015 in the US to give you some idea.

Yesterday, I had to go to the dermatologist for my yearly skin cancer screening. Due to immunosuppressants, we transplant patients are very high risk for skin cancer and many other forms of cancer. So this was first of tests to knock off. Good news this was all clear! Also the last few days Daniel, Felton and I have been getting our flu shots so we are covered for the season. Flu is another thing that is much more dangerous for transplant patients. I have several more tests coming up too that really have my nerves on end so prayers please. Tuesday Oct. 6, I will be having a CT scan to check my lymph nodes. We are high risk for lymph cancer too and as you may remember last year I was completely surprised when they did this test and we had questionable nodes that led to me having surgery to have them removed. Thankfully, it came back non-cancerous, but we ended up in Pittsburgh for 5 weeks due to difficulty with the surgery and while recovering, I had a bowel obstruction. I am scared of results again and if had to have anything done again what all it could lead to. Plus, they are checking to make sure its not cancerous so please pray all looks good. On Nov. 6, I will be having a biopsy of my small bowel to make sure it is working well and no signs of rejection. Also, in Nov. I will be having my bone density scan done. Another thing immunosuppressants are hard on is our bones. This is always nerve racking for me. So I've been feeling a bit overwhelmed with all this.

As a fundraiser, my Mom has been making beautiful Halloween wreaths and selling locally if anyone is interested. And this Saturday October 3 in my parents neighborhood, Legacy Park there is picnic in the park. There will be fireworks, music, food and booths. We will have a tent set up and doing some fundraising. My Mom will have some of her wreaths there too so please come see!

I want to thank you all who continue to support, encourage, and donate all that you do. It means so much to me! You are the best support team!

Photo Galleries (2)

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May 4, 2021

I don’t have a lot but for family I always can help.
Love you jen.

Clay Morganparks

April 20, 2018

You are in my thoughts and prayers. I was referred to your campaign by Victor McCarty and Dr. Toby Carmichael Jr.

Dana Davis

April 18, 2018

Jen, you are truly our hero. You have to be the toughest person on earth. I can not imagine all that you have endured. We are so proud of you. Praying for you daily

Tony and Kristie Alley