I was diagnosed with Polycystic Kidney Disease through an ultrasound when my mother was 6 months pregnant with me.

I was stable up until the age of 12 when my kidney function rapidly started to decline. my mother was originally going to be my donor, and the transplant was scheduled to take place at the end of September 2009. Until then I was started on dialysis and my kidney function was monitored. I was only on dialysis for 4 days when they found a deceased donor kidney and on august 10, 2009 I received the gift of life.

I named my kidney 'Mr. Kidney' and he was with me for a total of 7 years and 3 weeks.

I was started back on dialysis in August 2016. After that I would break out in fevers after dialysis and the doctors didn't know what was causing it. I had 3 different catheters placed, a bone marrow biopsy, and many other procedures to find out why I was having fevers. It wasn't until they did one last biopsy that the doctors found out my kidney had turned necrotic. I spent a total of nearly 3 months in the hospital, after withstanding 2 rejections, 5 biopsies, and medicine intoxication, I lost my kidney to Histoplasmosis and had to get an emergency nephrectomy (kidney removed) after going into septic shock.

This is the longest I've been on dialysis, and it has been a bit tough for me, but with the help of my friends, family, and others out there on dialysis they have helped me cope with dialysis and waiting for kidney #2. Currently my sister and mother are compatible with me, but I have developed too many antibodies against my mother, and my sister has to wait to get tested since she just had a baby. But I know God chose me to go through this challenge for a reason.

Kidney failure has changed my life in a way that I realized how important kidneys are. Most people that listen to my story tell me that I am too young to be going through this, but in reality this could happen to anyone.

There are people out there who found out about their kidney problems when it was too late, but I was born with it so this is something I have to deal with for the rest of my life. My childhood memories are mostly full of hospitals and doctors appointments. I looked like any other child, but not everyone knew what I was going through. Kidney disease also helped me mature a lot at a young age. I didn't know what was wrong with me until I was 8 years old because I thought all growing kids had to take medicine and get growth hormone shots everyday. That was normal to me. Looking back at my life, my normal lifestyle is totally different from others. Now I'm more conscious of my health and my physical and mental well being. It has been a tough road, but I have learned a lot in my life about kidneys and how they are important to one's body.

My biggest fear living with kidney disease is dying at a young age. I have seen people code during dialysis, and it honestly scares me. What if I'm the next one to code? How would my family react? It's one of the many thoughts that run through my head, but that doesn't stop me from living life to the fullest.

I'm going through something most people my age can't fathom going through, and if I'm being honest I think of myself as a warrior. Kidney disease may have won this battle, but the war has just started.

I want people to be aware of how important kidneys are to their bodies. They are one of the most important organs you have because they make sure you keep the right amount of vitamins and flush toxins out of your body. Just because we sit for 4 hours connected to a machine doesn't mean we shouldn't be tired. Dialysis takes a toll on your body as a whole, and is very exhausting even if were "just sitting" there.

I maintain a positive outlook on life by surrounding myself with positive people, and by going on with my life as if nothing were wrong with me. Just because I have kidney disease doesn't mean i have to limit myself because of it. So far I have traveled to a different state, I still go on adventures with my friends, and recently went back to school to study nursing to be the best Nephrology nurse I can be.

I never liked opening up about my illness until I met my special someone. That special someone has been there for me throughout this whole transplant ordeal, has taken care of me when I'm sick or tired and has even driven to and from dialysis to make sure I'm okay. Living with kidney failure has also taught me that I'm not alone. There are other people out there that can relate to me and understand how I feel. I am very thankful that there are others out there that I hope to meet one day.

If you would like to be considered as a potential living kidney donor and help give Nancy the gift of life contact The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston


For information about their kidney transplant program click here

Patient Information:

Name: Nancy Saracay

Location: Houston, Texas

Date of Birth: 02/25/1997

Donor Blood Type Needed: O+

Is a Kidney Paired Exchange or Swap an option with the hospital you are registered with?: Yes which means even if you are not a match for Nancy, you can still help her receive a kidney by donating to someone else in need who you do match.

Follow Nancy's YouTube channel Kidney Kameleon here

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