"He or she who saves one life,
it is as if they have saved the entire world."
-Mishna Sanhedrin 4:5
Everyone in life has hurdles to jump over and obstacles to face. Most of the time, I think these hurdles are personal. They are something that helps us grow and change, lessons in disguise.
Then there are hurdles that cannot be accomplished alone. They require the support and assistance from family, friends, teachers, doctors and many others. Right now, with respect to the hurdle Iím currently facing, I actually need the help of a stranger. Iím hoping you might be that person.
When I was three, I was rushed to the hospital. I was in renal failure. For six months, my parents sat at my bedside with anxious eyes. Then somehow I contracted respiratory syncytial virus.
None of my doctors knew what to do except for one man, Dr. Jacob Nutman. He helped me overcome my first great hurdle and saved my life. He is also one of the reasons I want to become a doctor and why
Iím currently studying biology. He thought differently; he was persistent and he never gave up on me.
But chronic lung infections plagued my childhood. At times, I was forced to wear masks at school. At times, that was incredibly hard. Suddenly, everyone knew something was wrong, and, as someone who keeps relatively private,
I wasnít keen on all of the attention. But I knew I had to do it. I knew I was doing it to help my body fight and to help stay alive and healthy. At eight, I was diagnosed with an immune deficiency and began receiving treatments that greatly improved my life. However, I was still in renal failure and I needed a transplant.
In 2009, my father donated one of his kidneys to save my life. Though I worked incredibly hard, taking anti-rejection drugs and diligently following doctorsí orders, my body began to reject the kidney. Six months ago, I learned that I needed another kidney. My fatherís kidney is failing.
Immediately my mom volunteered.
Unfortunately, doctors found a huge tumor on her kidney that was recently removed with her left kidney. The surgery went well, and mom recovered, but she cannot donate her kidney to me.
Nearly every family member and friend I have has gotten tested through Renewal to see if they are a match. I cannot adequately express how grateful I am that they tried. I know I cannot jump over this hurdle by myself. I know my mom and dad cannot help me either. I need the help of a stranger. I need to rely on the kindness of others. Could that stranger be you? If you have A or O type blood, please consider getting tested to see if youíre a match.
When my mother told me that we were going public with my battle, I wasnít sure how I felt. Then, I remembered that this is part of the protocol.
This is just like wearing the mask in third grade, only now the mask is a Facebook page, a website, and a vulnerable letter to total strangers. This has to be done.
My kidney is failing, and Iím asking you if you will consider getting tested and donating a kidney to save my life.
Please help me clear this hurdle.
ANDREA IS IN DESPERATE NEED OF A KIDNEY
(Blood Type A or O)
We have created this website, shareasparekidney.org.
Here you will find updates as well as information related to Andrea's condition. Our goal is to obviously help Andrea find a donor and ultimately create a social network and information resource to help
others in similar situation.
We wish to extend our deepest gratitude for your ongoing concern, love, and support. If we put our collective ideas, resources, and
creativity towards the task at hand, we will achieve the best possible outcome for Andrea.
Juliette, Arik and David