CORRECTION TO THE SIGN EMORY'S PHONE NUMBER IS 855-366-7989
Hi everyone. My name is Natalie Pignataro, and I need a kidney. I am a 34 year old mother, wife and kindergarten teacher hoping to find my living donor match.
*** My blood type is A+, and I can receive from blood types A +, A - , O + and O - . ***
I was diagnosed with IGA Nephropathy in 2009. This disease was always in body but didn't begin affecting me until I got pregnant in 2006 and 2007. A medication to control blood pressure was able to slow the damage from my disease, but in October 2013, my doctor told me that I would need a kidney transplant and would have to rely on dialysis to survive until I received my gift.
I started dialysis on May 7, 2014 - my 34th birthday. I am currently on dialysis 3 days a week for 3 1/2 hours each time I go. Since learning that I would need to begin dialysis while I await a kidney transplant, my life has been all over the place. I felt as if I was being faced with a crisis, and I had two choices. I could muster the courage and strength to fight this battle and see it through, or I could fall apart and whine about it. I made the decision to wear my brave face, and I do everything I need to do. I still work 40 plus hours a week as a Kindergarten teacher, which is a very demanding job, as I’m sure you can imagine. I have an 8 year old son and a 7 year old daughter who need me, regardless of whether I’m sick or not, and I do everything I possibly can for them. I go to dialysis for 10 1/2 hours a week which is basically a part-time job. I try to be the best wife and friend as well. Do I have my moments where I lose it? Oh yes, but those are reserved for my husband, Joel. He sees me when I feel like I can't go on anymore. My husband has completely stepped in and been everything I need and is a shoulder to cry on. Do I think he has his moments? Yes, but he never shows me. It always amazed me how people with cancer are so strong, and they just keep on fighting. I now know what that looks and feels like. You just do what you have to do. Even at my weakest physical state in my life, I feel like I have become a stronger woman who is realizing everything I’m made of and everyone I’ve been blessed to be loved by. Going through all that I have been faced with has really shown me that I have an amazing support system. My family has rallied around me and helped me any way they possibly can. My mom is my rock who has taken me to every appointment and makes sure I have everything I need. She will be with me every step of the way to and through transplant as well, and I am forever grateful for her love and support. I have to go to dialysis right after work on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, yet our children still have to be taken care of and loved even when I can’t be there. It does take a village at times, and my husband, in-laws, father and his wife, and my mom are all doing all they can to make sure our children are well taken care of, even in my absence. My best friend and her family also step in and help me whenever needed. It’s been such a relief to know I do have tremendous help. Nobody complains because we all know this is something we will get through. However, my disease has been tough to handle for my grandparents. I never really thought our children understood what I was going through until our family went to Stone Mountain and began climbing the mountain. I was determined to make the climb and reach the top. I only have one life, and I want to live my life to fullest. Of course, it took me awhile to get up, and I was way behind. When the kids realized I wasn't there, they both began crying and searching to find me. They were both so worried about me and kept saying I shouldn't be climbing a mountain. I realized at that moment that they understood Mommy is sick and, deep down, they worry.
A transplant would be such a blessing. I’m only 34 years old and going to dialysis 3 days a week for 3 1/2 hours. It is somewhat depressing to think that a machine is what is keeping me alive. I should be enjoying these hours with my babies! Even though dialysis is keeping me alive, I know that it will eventually tear my body down. Having a transplant would give me a second chance at this wonderful life I already have. It would allow me to see my babies grow! Members of my family and friends have been tested but are not a match for me or are ineligible to donate. I have two cousins who are not matches for me but are still willing to the pair donor program - they would give a kidney to someone in order for me to get a kidney.
If it is in your heart to be tested at my living donor match, please contact Emory at 855-366-7989 and let them know you would like to be tested as a match for me, Natalie Pignataro (DOB 5/7/80). I cannot thank you enough…