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Water View woman needs kidney transplant

Carole Carter of Water View, a 1981 graduate of West Point High School, has been living with little known of a disease referred to as Polycystic Kidney Disease or PKD.

PKD is an inherited disorder that causes many fluid-filled cysts to form on both kidneys, causing enlargement of the kidney and eventually destroying the working kidney tissue.

There are currently 600,000 Americans living with this disease and thousands here in Virginia awaiting a donor organ on an average of 6 to 10 years. Many of those patients die before a matched donor can be found.

In 2000, while Carter was employed with Rennie’s Petroleum managing one of its locally owned stores, she was informed that the decline of her kidney function had began. Her kidneys were only functioning at about 60% of what is considered normal.

While currently working at Lowe’s in Gloucester, Carter learned in September 2008 that her kidney function had dropped to levels at which she had to begin thinking of treatment options. She has been tested and found to be a candidate for a transplant and is presently awaiting a donor match, which could take years to find.

Since January 2009, Carter’s kidneys are now in what is known as Stage 5 End Renal Disease and soon she will be undergoing treatment with dialysis. Unfortunately, over time the process of dialysis can weaken other organs and cause other health issues leaving this treatment not to be the most favorable.

Carter wants her story told and for readers to ask, “What if it were me? Would you not want someone to offer to share an organ that could save your life?”

A person can make a difference and possibly be a candidate to become a living donor. Carter is in need of a donor with blood type O, in good overall health, between the ages of 18 and 60.

Anyone who would like to make this kind of difference in Carter’s life, or someone else’s life by being a living kidney donor, should contact the Hume-Lee Transplant Center at MCV/VCU Medical Center at 804-828-4104 or 1-800-762-6161, ext. 4104, and speak to Karen Huber, transplant coordinator.

Possible donors can even remain anonymous to the recipient if they choose.

Carter can be contacted at Donations toward her medical expenses are being accepted at Baylands Federal Credit Union, c/o Carol’s Transplant Fund, P.O. Box 392, West Point, VA 23181.

posted 05.19.2009

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