A young family is pleading for help from the community after a young mother was struck with kidney disease.
Twenty-three-year-old Emanda Tetreault was diagnosed with end stage renal disease. Her kidney failure was first discovered when she was pregnant with her son, who ended up having to be delivered 10 weeks early. While the boy is healthy, Emanda ended up being admitted to the hospital after a series of different tests.
“Finally, I was told I had end stage renal disease and that the only way I will live another week is if I start dialysis,” said Emanda. “I now have to do dialysis three times a week for four long hours just to stay alive.”
Emanda and her husband and their two-year-old son were living in Edmonton when she was diagnosed. With her not able to work and her husband unable to travel for work, money had become scare.
“We just couldn’t keep up with the bills,” she said. “The only thing we could do was leave the life we had built up in Alberta and move back to my home town of Grand Forks.”
Emanda says her husband is working odd jobs to pay some of the bills but she will need a side job as well.
“I will eventually have to find a side job in between dialysis, raising my two-year-old son, and doing my motherly household duties,” she said. “Dialysis does a lot to your body; it’s a lot of up and down days. Most days you don’t feel your best.”
With no cure for kidney failure, Emanda’s only option for treatment is a kidney transplant.
“If everything goes well, my new kidney could last up to 20 years,” she said. “The hardest part of this is waiting to find a match, since I have no living donors. I am O+, which is very common and that means I could be looking at a seven-year wait for a kidney.”
She said there is a website called matchingdonors.com that links donors to people want to donate.
“Most people on the site are matched with someone by six months to a year,” said Emanda. “Membership fees are pricey at $600. The whole process leading up to a transplant is very expensive as well. We have lots of trips back and forth to Vancouver. Once I get my transplant in Vancouver I would have to find accommodation and money for food, cab rides, and so on. I would have to relocated there after the surgery for at least three months.”
Although she has not found a donor kidney yet, she is hopeful.
“All I want in life is to be able to play with my son again without feeling ill all the time,” she said. “I also want to be able to go back to school and help support my family. Just to live a normal life again and watch my son grow up and become the amazing man I know he is going to become.”
She is hoping to organize some fundraisers such as a garage sale but she’s not sure how to go about it.
“I personally have no idea how to do this but I think it would be a great idea,” said Emanda. “I don’t have any money for this but if someone could point me in the right direction that would be awesome.”
There is a Go Fund Me page for Emanda as well. Anyone wanting to help out can go to gofundme.com/emandaneedsakidney.