So I’ve been holding this secret for months now. I need a kidney transplant.
My kidneys are failing which, if you’ve read my blog posts or follow me on social media, you already know by now.
A few years ago I was diagnosed with Polycystic Kidney Disease. Since then it’s been a rollercoaster of emotions and non-stop learning about my condition. Educating friends and family has probably been the hardest part. When I told them the news they automatically assumed the worst.
But you guys know me, I’m a fighter. I’m not going anywhere without a fight and I’m certainly not letting my condition take over my life or my body.
So how did I get to the point of needing a kidney transplant?
I got pregnant again. I knew it was a major risk but having Trevor wasn’t planned and it just happened so our only choice was to accept our blessing and adjust. My pregnancy was high risk. I suffered from severe anemia and gestational diabetes on top of having a Vitamin D Deficiency and high blood pressure. It was the perfect combination to wreak havoc on my kidneys.
My entire pregnancy my kidney function was stable until I got to the end. My function started to decline to about 45%.
Giving birth was where my body really started to work against me. Having a c-section was extremely hard on my body. I lost so much blood that I suffered an acute kidney injury that typically people recover from but my body wasn’t able to do that.
In the following months of giving birth my kidney function continued to decline into the 30s.
Now here we are today. My kidneys are functioning at 26% and I’m trying to do everything I can just to stay afloat. To avoid dialysis. To stay healthy and able to be here with my kids.
After I got pregnant with Trevor, God told me that I needed to start preparing my life for whatever may come in the future. Shortly after that I started writing letters to my kids just in case. Making sure that their email inboxes were full with pictures and videos and emails from mom. Making sure that if I’m ever not here to get them through hard moments that I can leave something for them to hold onto.
I knew then that it was time to start having conversations with my husband about what could possibly happen and telling Tatiana about my condition.
Those conversations were the hardest and still ones that we continue having because the possibility of not surviving is a reality for me.
At 29, I have to think about how my kids and my husband would get by without me. I have to make sure that my affairs are in order, that I have a will and life insurance, and all the things that people have to do before they might possibly die.
Never in a million years would I have thought that this would be my life. That I’d be here.
But here we are.
Figuring things out one step at a time and praying that I find a match before it’s too late.
Where am I in the process?
Back in July I sent in all of my paperwork to be reviewed to make sure that I’m a candidate because apparently people can be denied for transplants which is something I didn’t know at all.
Since then my application for a transplant has been approved and now the even harder part begins.
I can’t get on the national registry for a deceased donor because I’m not on dialysis yet. Once my kidneys are functioning at 20% and I’m on dialysis then I can get on the registry for a donor. The wait time is 3-5 years for my blood type. Some people don’t make it that long on dialysis.
It’s critical that I find a living donor. (You can apply to donate here)
In the meantime, I have to have a full work up of my entire body, a mental health evaluation and financially be able to afford to get a new kidney which costs somewhere in the millions. Thankfully we have amazing insurance which I’m sure will cover a large portion but I still don’t know exactly how much of that cost we’ll be responsible for.
There’s a lot of unknowns surrounding us right now.
But I’m confident and faithful that it’ll all work out. God’s got me and that’s something that I know for sure.
But is it still A LOT? Yes. It’s more than anything I’d ever think I’d have to go through at 29 with 2 young kids. And who would’ve though that after everything that I’ve been through in my life, everything that my family has been through – that there would be more to endure?
What do I need from you?
More than anything we need support and prayers. There’s a long road ahead of us and we just need prayers that I can find a living donor to avoid dialysis.
If you’re wanting to learn more about the donor process, you can read about it here.
If you want to apply to see if you’re a possibly match, you can do that here. If you’re planning on applying you’ll need my full name (Bianca Dottin Ferrell) and DOB (04/11/1991).
Thank you for reading and supporting. My family and I truly thank you and appreciate you!