My Story

Thank you for taking the time to learn more about my situation. I was diagnosed with Lupus Nephritis in 1990 at the age of 12. Unfortunately, when diagnosed at a young age Lupus is typically more serious and many times involves major organs. In my case the kidneys were affected from the start. Fortunately, I did remarkably well with Lupus and kidney disease. But over the years the disease slowly took its toll damaging my kidneys. In the fall of 2014, 25 years after my diagnosis, my kidneys totally failed and I was put on hemodialysis.

The last year has been rough to say the least. In 2015 I spent 70 days in the hospital working through blood pressure issues, a blood clot, blood transfusions, heart surgery…all complications of hemodialysis. In September of 2015 I started peritoneal dialysis (PFD) and started to get stronger and have less problems. I made it 6 months hospital free. Unfortunately, this past May I developed the shingles virus and had to be hospitalized a week for IV medication. The inactivity of two hospital stays in June caused me to get a blood clot and in total four stays of a week or more over the summer. As difficult as these past two years have been for me, I know that it has also been very difficult for my mom, my family and friends who have been by my side along the way. I’m so grateful for the incredible, unconditional support and love that they’ve shown.

I am working on strength to continue to work toward my goal of good health. Dialysis is a lifesaver, but not a good way to live. I spend an hour every day prepping for my dialysis and 8 1/2 hours hooked up to my dialysis machine. Dialysis is not something that I can do indefinitely. The average lifespan of a dialysis patient is only eight years, so the need for me to undergo a kidney transplant is urgent. Lupus patients are excellent candidates for kidney transplantation. 98% of patients do very well after a transplant and most of the time the Lupus goes away. I’m ready to face the remainder of 2016 with optimism, and in making my health and my future a priority.

Thank you for your continued love and support!

Zandra Jezior