Hi. My name is Becky Ray, and I am hoping my plea through puppetry touches the heart of a kind soul that would be willing to donate the kidney that I need so badly….the kidney that will save and forever change my life.
**My blood type is B, and I can receive from blood types B and O. My DOB is 3/21/76.**
It is a reality that is not easy to accept, but it is reality nonetheless. The fact is, this is a matter of life or death for me. In 1995, as a freshman in college, I was diagnosed with Lupus. The effects of Lupus vary from person to person. For me, Lupus resulted in kidney issues that I have battled in every way I can until there was no other option than to rely on dialysis to live while I pray and wait for a transplant.
After my diagnosis, I immediately began a high dosage steroid, and for 5 years, I had regular IV treatments that were similar to chemotherapy. About every 2 months, I had to plan a weekend to travel back home from college and basically vomit and sleep for a few days. I tried to phrase it less graphically, but I would be downplaying my experience, and I was asked to share exactly how kidney disease has affected my life. Eventually, I started receiving IV treatments in the city where I went to school, but I still had to deal with the sickness. My dream career was to be a puppeteer, and I succeeded to a point, but I always had to maintain two full-time jobs – one to satisfy my love of being creative, and one to maintain constant health insurance coverage. Rest is imperative with my disease, but so is remaining active and focusing on an ultimate goal. It was a catch 22, but at the time I chose to follow my dreams. With around 2 hours of sleep each night, I achieved my Master’s degree as my kidneys continued to fail me.
In 2012, my kidneys completely failed. Since then, I have been unable to work and have been living with family members. I have depended on peritoneal dialysis, for 9 hours every night, to stay alive for the past 2 years. Dialysis leaves me exhausted and sluggish. Honestly, it’s hard for me to even recall the last night I had what you would call a good night’s sleep due to two common side effects of kidney failure – insomnia and restless leg syndrome. As dialysis removes toxins and extra water, it also depletes essential nutrients while failing to filter out any surplus of other electrolytes that could be damaging. Following a renal diet is practically an art in itself. My kidney failure has led to what is known as an associative condition called neuropathy.Associative means it was made worse by kidney failure and maybe cured with restored kidney function. Neuropathy is a painful condition that makes walking or standing for more than 30 minutes physically unbearable. Neuropathy also makes it unsafe for me to drive. I am now living with my parents who are looking after two adult children with life-threatening illnesses (my brother is severely disabled). I know they feel the stress, and it hurts me to know they are doing their absolute maximum to see to it that we are okay – at least as okay as I can be for the present day. Both of my parents have acquired their own health issues with age, and I would give anything to be physically able to care for them.
God has made it clear that if His plan is for me to receive a kidney, it will be from someone I don’t know all that well. Unfortunately, the only person with my blood type in my immediate family is my father, and his health excludes him from being my living donor.