Hi! I’m Jade, your typical 18-year-old with just one difference. I was diagnosed with kidney failure, May 2016, actually a week after my birthday and the same week of my high school graduation. Crazy, right?
I was a healthy child growing up. This disease hit me out of nowhere. How did I find out? For the past couple weeks, I started to have flu-like symptoms and massive swelling in my face and ankles. I couldn’t understand why. I threw up everything I ate. I couldn’t even hold water down. It got so bad, one day, I literally passed out in my mom’s car on my way to do my hair for my graduation, which was the next day.
My mom rushed me to the hospital, and that’s where I found out I’d lost 95% of my kidney function in both kidneys. At first, I was confused. I’d never even heard of kidney disease or dialysis. It wasn’t until my second week of being at the hospital–I was there for about a month and a half–that I realized this wasn’t a joke. This was a chronic illness that I may be stuck with for the rest of my life.
I’ve been on dialysis for about 5 months now, and I’m currently in the process of being put on the transplant list. Unfortunately, my depression got the best of me these past couple months, and I had an incident of overdosing on my blood pressure medications. I now take anti-depressants and something for my anxiety. Honestly, I’m still having a hard time trying to face reality. I cannot work like a normal young adult, my plans for school have been delayed because of my constant anxiety, I lost my friends, and I don’t have the type of life I used to have.
Long story short, I moved to Orlando and graduated up there. After I got sick, I moved back to my hometown, Fort Lauderdale, to stay with my grandmother. Because of that, I didn’t really stay in contact with my friends and for a long while. I was even ashamed to admit I was sick.
Sometimes, I feel helpless and wonder, why me? But I’m very grateful for my small yet powerful family: my mom–she’s my rock–my grandma and my sister. I LOVE them so much! Also, I’m grateful for the strangers I meet every day that tell me to keep fighting.
I’m not perfect, but I’m slowly learning to love myself, and I’m having a stronger urge to fight and kick kidney failure butt! I started a GoFundMe and would love to have someone donate to help me with my medical and other needs. I’m in the process of being either approved or denied by Disability, and it’s really hard to buy even simple things when you can’t work to get a paycheck. My grandmother pays all of the bills, and my mother works a part-time job at a retail store. She tries to squeeze as much as she can to help me out of her sometimes $80 paycheck. I set my pride aside to tell my story today, and I appreciate that you even read this far. Anyway, my name is JADE-MOON, and THIS is my story.
The informational content of this article is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.