Archive for the ‘Jennifer’s Story (recipient)’ Category

And were off…

I have always known this day would come, and knew I would never be ready for Anna’s graduation. Our lives have been so crazy! We have been on the go for I know two weeks and it doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon.  I know every parent says ” I don’t know where the time has gone” and my goodness it is so true! It seems like yesterday that Anna was running around with pig-tails, and dragging her doll “pink baby” everywhere we went. I have to say I am really excited that Anna is starting a new chapter in her life. I’m not one of those mothers who mourn when their children start to grow up. Now I’m not saying there will not be a tear or two, ok I will admit there will be many tears. It’s not going to be easy watching her walk across that stage and receive her diploma, but God has a plan for her life and I get really excited to watch Anna start this next chapter.

The week began with our church honoring the graduates at all three service on Sunday with a luncheon with their family. Then all the grandparents and my sister and her husband came over to our house to celebrate Chloe’s birthday.  After the birthday celebration we went to a presentation at church called “Point of Impact” . Point of Impact was led by our church staff to share information and cast a vision. So as you see our Sunday was quite busy but oh, we are not through yet. Chloe got a new set of golf clubs and was itching to go to the driving range, which turned into 4 buckets of balls and playing 5 holes. I will share more about the golf course and Jason beginning to have lower abdominal pains in a minute.

My little adddict…

Chloe has found her thing in school and hobby ,she loves golf and wants to go everyday that Jason can take her. We just celebrated her fourteenth birthday. Our family decided to give her a new set of clubs, and oh my…..they are expensive! Chloe was so excited ! Her birthday was yesterday the 22nd and we decided to celebrate early on Sunday due to the fact that graduation is the same week. As I mentioned earlier our plan was to go to the range so she could hit a bucket or two of balls. Well, I should have know that would not have been sufficient  enough, we ended up putting in the dark on our last hole.  I will have to say she was smacking that ball pretty well! I can’t wait to see how much she will improve over the summer.

Swapping places

For the first time in 20 years Jason and I have swapped places. If you remember I mentioned earlier that Sunday evening when we went to the golf course Jason was having lower abdominal pains. Well it turned out that he had appendicitis. I tried to get  him to go to the ER on Sunday night but he did not want to inconvenience anyone to stay with the girls, so he promised he would go to get checked out on Monday if he was not any better. Jason called me about 12:00 and said he was on his way to the ER, and that’s when the craziness began of me trying to reschedule appointment. Then Jason called back and said they were going to do surgery in about two hours and I would have plenty of time to get down to the hospital. Then Jason called back a third time, this time he was borrowing the nurses phone because his phone had died, he said they are taking me back to surgery NOW!!. Oh my, it had only been 15 min since he said it was going to be two hours…..uhhhhh! I finished up at work and drove the speed limit all the way to RMC ( of course I did not speed. ha! ha!) It was really weird to see him laying in a hospital bed and those reclining chairs in the room are not very comfortable at all to sleep in!

Up at 4:

You know there would be more to this week, right? I also had a clinic appointment at UAB on Tuesday morning. I had to get up and leave the hospital at 4:30 to go home to get ready for my trip to UAB. My sister was sweet enough to go with me since Jason was still in the hospital. Jeff my brother-in-law had a doctor’s appointment and was already off work so he went to stay with Jason and bring him home. Jason is doing really good, he just has some trapped air in his shoulders from surgery. The day  finished with Anna’s  baccalaureate service and more tears….LOL!

The weekend in packed too

This weekend after graduation one of my best friend daughter is getting married, and we are so excited about it. Both Anna and Chloe are  in the wedding, and it is going to be so much fun. I will be doing the brides hair, which is always so much fun to see the end result, and get to pamper her.

live from the crazy farm



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Way to go JHS

The Senior class at Jacksonville High School put together a fundraiser where the high school was able to raise $526.87 last week through Caps for a Cause”. They raised enough money to sponsor a student this summer at Camp Bridges. Camp Bridges provides a summer camp for children who have received an organ transplant. You can find out more about Camp Bridges at http://www.campbridges.org/ . Jennifer and I are very proud of Anna for stepping up to the plate and leading her classmen as they selfishly served others.

Sometimes it’s the smallest things

Not only did the students help raise money to send a student to camp,  several students plan to go volunteer during one of the camps. So many times we don’t look at the big picture, we seem to be focused on the details of the current event. I guess what I’m saying is, for some the fundraiser has been more than just paying a dollar to wear their cap to school or even to raise money to sponsor a student for camp. For  some, this small event may have changed their life. The impact on those who go volunteer at camp this summer is not known at this time. The potential influence very well could be the deciding factor that helps them choose their career. Who knows, maybe we will read one day where an organ was donated and  find out it all started one day back in high school by paying a dollar to wear  a cap to school. Or maybe someone will be a doctor, nurse, social worker, transplant coordinator. Only time will tell, but from what I’m hearing Caps for a Cause was only the beginning for some.

Pressing on ,


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Chronic Kidney Disease 

April 29, 2012

            Chronic kidney failure (also called chronic renal failure) is a serious, long-term condition of the kidney’s that causes a progressive loss of kidney function and, ultimately, end-stage kidney failure (Komaroff). Some of the symptoms for CKD are frequently passing urine, frequently thirsty, and high blood pressure (Chronic Kidney Failure). When my mom had CKD her symptoms were: being dehydrated, having headaches, and being nauseous. She was diagnosed with CKD when she was 16 years old. The diseases that most often cause Chronic kidney failure are diabetes and high blood pressure partially ,because kidneys are not well-controlled by treatment (Komaroff). In this disorder which occurs over a period of years, the kidneys gradually lose urine ability to filter body wastes from the blood and dispose of them in the urine (Komaroff). As a result, there is a buildup of toxins and fluid in the blood, which produces few symptoms at first (Komaroff). Indeed, you may not have symptoms until most of the kidneys function is lost (Komaroff).

Chronic Kidney Disease is treatable, but just because it is treatable does not mean it is curable. The two ways of treating CKD is having a healthy diet and doing to dialysis. “Dialysis is used while a patient is awaiting transplant and during episodes of oliguria or of threatened rejection, while, on the other hand, patients who find dialysis a psychological burden can be offered a transplant” (Chronic Kidney Failure). My mom has used both kinds during the three times that she has had dialysis over the years. “There are two main techniques of dialysis in current use. In peritoneal dialysis, the patient’s own abdominal cavity is used as the container of fluid; the fluid is run in, allowed to reach equilibrium, and removed, taking with it, urea and other wastes” (Chronic Kidney Failure).  “The process has proved suitable for the short-term treatment of acute renal failure, especially in infants, and can be used in the treatment of individuals with chronic irreversible renal failure” (Chronic Kidney Failure). The second type of dialysis is hemodialysis. “Hemodialysis (filtration of the blood through semipermeable membranes) has also been used in the treatment of acute renal failure, since the method-the artificial kidney- was devised, in the 1940’s; but, for chronic use, the problem was one of repeated access to the atrial blood stream period” (Chronic Kidney Failure). “This was largely solved by the introduction of a permanent shunt between an artery and a vein (an arteriovenous fistula), by which a suitable vein, usually in the arm, is connected directly to an adjacent artery” (Chronic Kidney Failure). A healthy diet consists of keeping your weight under control and normal blood pressure.

“The Living Kidney Donation program at UAB enables a healthy individual to donate a kidney to someone in need of a transplant – the surgical placement of a healthy human kidney into the body of a patient with kidney failure” (Transplant, Kidney). To cure CKD you have to have a kidney transplant. There are two different types of kidney transplants living donor (the three kind of transplants my mom had) and cadaver transplant (from a deceased person).  A living donor may be a relative, spouse, or even a close friend of the recipient.my mom’s three kidney transplants were from our pastor, a lady in our church, and her mom. One cool fact is that when you get a new kidney, if the old one isn’t in the way, the surgeon just puts the new one on top. So in all, my mom has 5 kidneys. “To be considered as a living-kidney donor, you need to be in good health and without any history of high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, or other major illness” (Transplant, Kidney).

“Your immune system is your body’s defense against foreign invaders like bacteria or viruses. Unfortunately, your immune system cannot tell the difference between a harmful invader and your transplanted kidney and will try to reject it” (Anti- Rejection Medications). My mom takes many medicines to keep her healthy so her body doesn’t reject the new kidney. Rejection is dangerous because it can permanently damage your new organ and can sometimes lead to re-transplant. “That is why your transplant team has intended for you to take anti-rejection medications as part of your long-term therapy” (Anti- Rejection Medications).


Works Cited

“Anti- Rejection Medications.” Transpantexperience.com. Astellas Pharma US, Inc., n.dn Web.

29 Apr 2012

“Chronic Kidney Disease.” The New Encyclopedia Britannica. 2007. Print.

Komaroff, Anthony. Harvard Medical School Family Heath Guide. New York: Simon and

Schuster, 1999. Print.                                                                            .

Schoenfeld, Alex. “Potassium Levels in Heart Failure Patients with Kidney Disease.”: Private

MD News: (2010): n.pag. Web.29 Apr 2012.

“Transplant, Kidney .” Uabmedicine.org. University of Alabama at Birmingham n.d. Web.                         29.Apr.2012.


Chronic Kidney Disease

  1. Definition of Chronic Kidney Disease
  2. Symptoms of Chronic Kidney Disease
    1. Frequently passing urine
    2. Frequently thirsty
    3. High blood pressure
    4. Diabetes
  3. Treating Chronic Kidney Disease
    1. Going to dialysis
    2. Having a diet
  4. Curing Chronic Kidney Disease
    1. Getting a transplant
    2. Taking your medicine
  5. Medicines after Chronic Kidney Disease
    1. Anti- rejection medicine
    2. High blood pressure
  6. Living with Chronic Kidney Disease
    1. Healthy diet
    2. Regular blood pressure

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Organ Donation

Today was the day! This morning my senior class at Jacksonville High School was privileged to have Beverly Berry from the Alabama Organ Center come to our school and share information about organ donation. Beverly was able to share how organ transplantation takes place. Beverly was very helpful by answering questions from the students and addressing the myths of being an organ donor.  AOC also works closely with Camp Bridges. Camp Bridges is a camp for children and teens who have had an organ transplant. Camp participants  are sponsored by private donations, communities, and various fundraisers. Beverly gave great insight and motivation to our class.

Everybody wear your caps

My senior class at Jacksonville High School began their senior class project today. We are doing a fundraiser called “Caps for a Cause”.  This entire week our high school is wearing hats for a dollar a day. All of our money is going to sponsor a child for Camp this summer. Mom or dad will give an update later with the total dollar amount we raised.

Last impressions

Most senior classes just donate a plaque or something to the school. We wanted to reach out and make an impact in someone’s life. So we chose Camp Bridges. Our mission is to influence the younger classmen to make selfless decisions and help others. Hopefully we set an example to our school and show that you can make a difference.



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Garden and bugs and hose pipe oh my..

Ok so this garden is taking more time than I had originally thought, due to the fact I have now had to cover the plants at 10 o’clock at night because of the blame cold. Then the next day I had to water because it hasn’t rained. Jason seems to think the that I needed a work out to turn the water on. I also don’t care for the bugs and spiders that are around the facet!

At least there is only one..

I am always doing some goofy things, but today I did a doozy! I made it all the way home and went to get my stuff out of the car and noticed I couldn’t find my wallet. I came on in and ate some supper, and then looked the car over. Once I couldn’t find it I decided to go back to the shop and look for it. I figured it was inside, but to no avail. I prayed as I was leaving and just happened to look over in the parking lot where I usually park, and lo and behold there it was! I can’t imagine how busy I must keep God on a daily basis! At least there is only one of me and not twins! I think my mother had chills when I just said that! Hehe! I think I can tell I’m getting old, because I don’t even remember putting that darn wallet on the blame car hood.

The countdown has started..

The count down has begun on graduation, due to the fact there is less than a month left. Anna has gotten thru prom and we had senior pictures taken. I honestly can say I don’t know where the time has went! I was looking at her pictures and got a little emotional, because I can still see  her little baby face in there. I haven’t cried any up until I saw those pictures, and my heart just melted! I am really looking forward to the next chapter in her life. We are so very proud of her and feel very blessed to have her as a daughter.


I have learned more about golf in the last two months than anyone should have to know! Chloe has kept Jason and I busy going to matches several times a week. Yesterday was the last match and can I just say Chloe had a ball! I love that she makes a point to get to know every girl that she is teamed up with. I can’t imagine where she gets that talking thing from!Hehe!! I am so proud of the young lady she is becoming and also hilarious!! We never know what she is going to say!

live from the crazy farm,



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90 days without dialysis

On Monday April 23rd it will have been three months since Jennifer’s transplant. Today we were at UAB for her 90 day check up. She got an excellent report!!!  Woo hoo!

Every time we come over here I’m reminded of just how many people are dealing with kidney disease. Jennifer and I are blessed that today we celebrate 90 days without dialysis. But for so many that is not the case. I will share in the post some of those we know that are waiting for a kidney.

Share with as many people as you can

I need you to share this post with as many people as you can. Today I’m sharing with you people who are in desperate need of a kidney transplant. Please share their need with as many as you can….face book and twitter would be great. If you have a blog please share this post with your followers.

Brian McAardle

Brian had a kidney transplant around thirteen years ago and is now needing another kidney. Brian has a unique situation. His dad and sister both have had transplants. Unfortunately when you have other family members needing kidney transplants and each one is the same blood type you tend to use up all the available matching kidneys from family and friends. Brian’s blood type is  O+ and can receive  a kidney from blood type O- or  O+ . In most cases is the hardest blood type  to get when you are on the waiting list. Brian has three precious children who would be so happy if their daddy could get a kidney. Brian has someone willing to pair with another family who may have someone who matches Brian but does not match their family member. So if you were tested for someone and did not  match and your blood type O and you would be willing to see if you were a match for Brian, he has someone who would be test for the person you know if you are match for Brian.If you would like to call to see if you are a match for Brian please call  1-888-822-7892. If you would like more about “paring”  and how it works email me  at 2givelife@gmail.com

Brent Vohun

A few months back Brent was diagnosed with kidney disease and is now on dialysis. Brent like Brian has small children who would be so excited for their daddy to get a new kidney. Brent’s blood type is A+ and can receive a kidney from A or O blood type. Brent is currently on dialysis and would love to end those treatments. To be tested for Brent you need to call  Barbara O’Neal at 404.605.4128 to see if you are a match.

Cathy Hill

Cathy had her first transplant in 1994 from her brother. Cathy’s kidney function is now around 17% with dialysis in the future if she does not get a kidney transplant. Cathy’s blood type is AB and she has been on the waiting list since 2010. A person with AB blood type can receive a kidney from any blood type. The number to call to be tested for Cathy is 1-888-822-7892.

Need to know information

The plus or minus factor in blood types relates only to a particular cell type in the blood and this factor is not part of the kidney. Thus, the positive or negative feature in blood typing has nothing to do with the matching of a kidney between a donor and a recipient. It remains, however, important in matching when a blood transfusion is considered.

Your privacy is strictly protected when you call to be tested…..the donor will only know you were tested if you tell them. Every step of the process is control by the one being tested. There is never any pressure placed on anyone who calls. The initial testing can be done locally where you live, it is simply having blood drawn and mailed to the hospital. If you are a match then you would have to go for a one day testing at the hospital….nothing painful! There is no cost associated with the one being tested or donating. If you would like to talk to someone who has donated a kidney please email me at 2givelife@gmail.com and I can put you in contact with a donor.

Pressing on,


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Time will tell

Time will only tell if I have a green thumb or not. In the past I don’t think it was my abilities to grow and produce amazing flowers and vegetable, it was simply the lack of interest on my part that lead them to the point of dehydration. So my potential has never been released, well that is my take on the gardening situation……I’m sure Jason’s’ thoughts are completely different.

It’s a partnership

Jason and I made a deal, he would prepare the ground and do the planting and I would take it from there (he has the easy part always). So far we have three types of big tomatoes plants, two different types of salad tomatoes plants, red bell peppers, orange bell peppers, yellow bell peppers,  green bell peppers, banana peppers, cucumbers, squash, and strawberries. We are going to finish up this week planting some cantaloupes and some blueberries. Oh, and maybe a small herb garden. I will be sure to provide photos of the goods when harvest time arrives.

Any tips on hydrangeas

We have three hydrangea that do really great each year……..not! The have the prettiest green leaves but only produce a few flowers. The question is where do they do the best, full sun, part sun, morning sun, evening sun? The two we have in the back yard seem to do great until July, then it seems like they just can’t take the heat. The one in our front yard does not get very much sun until the afternoon and it has grown to be the largest of the three but may only have two flowers a year. So we welcome any advise on hydrangeas.

Spring of blessing

It was about this time last year when all my doctors appointments began. I was starting to feel tired a lot and becoming nauseated almost daily. I had no idea I was in renal failure for the third time in my life and what the year would bring. My Spring this year is filled with blessings. I have been able to go watch Chloe in her golf matches, spend time with Anna as she prepares to graduate high school in   about 5 weeks and the energy to do my first  garden. I am so thankful that I am able to do all the things that I enjoy and be involved in what the girls have going on. Jason and I are coming up on our 20th anniversary and I am so excited, because we are planning a trip to go somewhere alone. It has been a while since we have done that and I can’t wait. It’s hard to believe that a whole year has gone by since I started feeling bad and how much has happened.  God has been so good to me and I’m excited about being able to encourage others who are facing kidney disease.

live from the crazy farm,



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