During a routine checkup in 2008, Kelly’s doctors felt something was not quite right with her urine sample and referred her to a kidney specialist. Shortly after, she was diagnosed with IGA Nephropathy, an autoimmune disease that hamper’s the kidneys’ ability to filter waste from your blood. Over the next 4 years, Kelly underwent multiple rounds of high dose steroid and chemotherapy treatments, but they were unsuccessful and she went in to complete kidney failure by the summer of 2012 at the age of 27. She was placed on hemodyalisys 3 times a week while she waited for a new kidney.
Multiple members of their family quickly scheduled appointments to begin the donation testing process, and it was determined that her youngest sister, Katie, was a perfect match. On February 21, 2013, Katie successfully donated her kidney to Kelly.
Determined to return to her old, healthy life, Kelly ran her first half marathon 1 year and 1 day after their surgery. She completed her first full marathon this January. Without the continued support and research performed by the National Kidney Foundation, none of this would have been possible. Much more research is needed to be done to minimize the chance of rejection, elongate the life of donated organs, and eventually find a cure for kidney disease.
It has been 4 and a half years since the transplant and we want to contribute to this organization and help other families dealing with kidney disease. We will both be running the Falmouth Road Race on August 20th to raise money for the National Kidney Foundation. We appreciate all of your donations and support as we prep for the race!