This blog entry comes from one of our Patient Co-Investigators on the study, Lana Schmidt, who after 13 years of dialysis- finally got the kidney she has waited for.
With kidney disease, some people are fortunate to have a straight and narrow path, no twists or turns on getting a kidney transplant. They receive the call, get transplanted, and go home, while I on the other hand was placed on a twisted and complicated road.
After a battle of life and death each day being on a dialysis machine for over 13 years, I was told there was finally a way off this road, but it would cost $110,000 dollars for a special drug, soliris. It was an orphan drug that would suppress my antibodies, so I would not reject the kidney, which was what I needed for the lengthy list of antibodies I have. Desensitation (removing of antibodies) would not work for me.
If it wasn’t Dr. Enrico Benedetti’s medical ingeniousness and his willingness to try this drug with a deceased donor, I’d still be struggling to stay alive. I encourage every person to push through the obstacles that are placed on your road to getting a transplant and get your life back; after what I’ve been through, I believe all things are possible.
Lana's story was also covered in UIC News Center- check it out here!