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Help Me Get A New Kidney!

My name is Melissa, and I am in need of a life-saving kidney transplant. At age 16 I was diagnosed with Rapidly Progressive Glomerulonephritis and within two weeks of this diagnosis, on my 17th birthday, I started hemodialysis, a form of treatment for end-stage renal disease. Despite the statistics and the odds against me, I survived nine years of this grueling treatment while waiting on the active kidney transplant waiting list until I received the transplant – my gift of life! My gift has given me nearly 10 years of freedom from the machine that kept me alive, but due to a rejection episode I now find myself in need of another transplant.

Updates (27)

February 8, 2019

PRAYER TEAM ASSEMBLE!!!

An amazingly selfless angel has come forth to express her interest in being a paired exchange kidney donor! Cleveland Clinic will be sending her an itinerary and she will have to come to Florida March 21-22 for testing. While she will still have to undergo a myriad of tests to ensure she is fit to donate we are already seeing this as complete and that she is approved for donation. Now, what does this mean for me? It means that if she is indeed not a direct match to me that she will still donate her kidney to save another and they will find someone else to donate who matches me. We are going to do some fundraising through HelpHopeLive, the organization currently holding all of my fundraising monies to cover her travel expenses because in my opinion someone willing to save someone’s life should not have to pay a dime out of their pocket when they are risking their life for another. If you would like to help please consider making a tax-deductible contribution toward our expenses here. Any amount is appreciated and helps to get me that much closer to a transplant.

So in closing I ask that my prayer partners please join me in knowing that there is just one thing happening here and that is the Divine right action of the One creative source back of all things, God. I am an Infinitely blessed child of God, a part of the whole, and there can be no separation from my good and my God. I know this same truth for every one and every thing in this wonderfully amazing thing we call our life experience. I confidently realize that the perfect unfoldment of this process has already begun in the One Mind and that my truth; whole, perfect, and complete health is revealed with ease and grace. I realize that there is no limit to the good I receive and that good fills me up and overflows out into the cosmos in the forms of love, support, financial abundance, and joy to those around me. As I give graciously and tap into that unlimited source I also receive abundantly. I know that everything necessary for this procedure to take place is in perfect alignment and for that I am so very grateful. I am immensely grateful for the giver and for the gift. I am grateful for the support and unconditional love of which I am both the receiver and the messenger, and grateful for the lessons learned which allow me to go forth faithfully knowing that each step is guided by the Infinite Intelligence of God. I trust that as I release my thoughts and words to the Law of Mind it is acted upon immediately and this energy is amplified and multiplied by those who join me in prayer and together we can anchor this in certainty by affirming And So It Is, Amen!

September 14, 2018

It’s been a while since my last update and I apologize for that but I have been going through a lot as of late so posting hadn’t been a priority with everything else I’ve had on my plate. Since I have had kidney disease for over 20 years now my parathyroid glands decided to give me a big F-U and stop responding to the medications I was on to suppress their hormone production. There 4 glands located behind and unrelated to the thyroid regulate our blood calcium levels; too much parathyroid hormone causes our bones to release calcium and that calcium will find its way into places it shouldn’t be like arteries and organs. This abundance of calcium causes calcifications to form that can harden arteries, veins, valves, and entire organs which renders them useless and they fail. Too little calcium can cause its own problems though so it is a delicate tightrope we walk to keep these things in balance. All that said I had to have mine removed. This happens with about 10% of chronic kidney disease patients so it is not entirely uncommon and even after my first transplant my parathyroid hormone levels never entirely returned to normal. Since medications we not affecting them anymore surgical intervention was the next step. On September 6th I underwent a total parathyroidectomy with reinsertion of a portion of one gland back into my left arm, because I still need SOME parathyroid hormone…just not the amount my 4 overactive glands were producing. They put one or a portion of one back into the arm so they can access it easier should they have to take more out in the future. So an incision was made into my neck, just below my throat where the neck meets the sternum. (Pictures will be posted if you care to see) All 4 glands were successfully removed and 1 was reimplanted through an incision made to my left forearm. Both were very sore immediately following the surgery and it has been 8 days since I had the procedure and I still have some pain in my arm and neck. My calcium levels have to be monitored closely because now they run too low and that can cause seizures and even death! For the time being I have to eat 20 Tums (yes, the antacid) per day in addition to a twice daily calcium-based prescription medication. Initially I was kept in the hospital post-op for several doses of IV calcium because the levels drop so quickly after the glands are removed. Now I have to pay close attention to the signs of low calcium so that I don’t experience a seizure while I am home alone (which is literally ALL THE TIME!) so as you can imagine, I worry. The last thing I need is to have a seizure when I live alone and have all tile floors! I could drop to the ground and be seriously injured and it could be days or weeks before anyone would even know! That is a big reason as to why I put this surgery off for years and years, because I was afraid of the possible complications over the long term. Fingers crossed I have only had one drop in my calcium since being discharged and my Tums/medication doses were adjusted to hopefully compensate. I have had some symptoms of low calcium since surgery like terrible leg cramps while on the dialysis machine so I am basically getting zero quality sleep since the cramps wake me from a dead sleep and I have to walk around until the let up. Hand and mouth numbness are symptoms as well which I’ve thankfully only experienced once. So…between that and just being hooked up to this machine 11 hours a day I haven’t felt much like sharing the depressing reality of things as of late. I’m trying to focus on regaining my strength and staying healthy enough to remain active on the transplant list which is not always easy…but every day I get up and do my best to put on a happy face and remember that things could ALWAYS be worse! Someone somewhere is wishing for the things I still have control of. I can still use my legs and arms, I can still see, speak, and breathe on my own…all luxuries when it comes to a life of chronic illness! One of the lyrics from a song by my favorite band (Dave Matthews Band) says…”there’s bad times, but that’s okay…just look for LOVE in it”and that is something I live my life by…always look for the LOVE in things! If I had never experienced a chronic illness such as this, I may not have met some of the wonderful people that I have over the years. Those who continue to inspire and amaze me with their poise, strength, and perseverance…not to mention constantly restoring my faith in humanity. I am still here because of people like them, and people who care enough to read & share my updates/rants like YOU! So, thank you!

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Guestbook

January 26, 2019

Please give generously to Mel's campaign

James Myers

July 17, 2018

I am praying for you, Melissa. I am having trouble paying my bills, but will do my best to send a check to help....i care a lot....i am so sorry that you need another transplant sending you prayers, love and hope...Christina

CHRISTINA HIGGINS

July 17, 2018

My heart goes out to you i hope my donation can help i will keep you in my thoughts and prayers and will continue to follow your progression

mark hadbabane

November 13, 2017

it wasn't much but I'm glad to donate. Big hugs sister.

Dominique Haynes.