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By Micaela Steenstra, East Buchanan freshman
WINTHROP – Four years ago, my mother was received a kidney transplant.
Lim Steenstra was diagnosed with IgA Nethropathy in February of 2000, when I was six months old. Also called Berger’s disease, there was damage or disease in the kidneys due to an antibody rebellion against the kidneys. This disease affects males a majority of the time.
My mother was told the chances of ever needing a transplant were slim, and if she were ever to need one, it wouldn’t be until she was in her 60s and 70s.
She got sicker and sicker as I got older. By the time I was born, she had lost 60 percent of her kidney functioned. Her doctors told her that since she only had 40 percent after her pregnancy, she could not have any more children. I am an only child.
When her function dropped below 20 percent, the cutoff for getting on the transplant list, my father offered his kidney during a doctor’s appointment. He went through extensive testing, and in the end was told he had “gold standard kidneys” and was a match to my mother in blood type and several other criteria.
November 12, 2010, my father’s kidney was removed and placed into my mother. My mom immediately felt wonderful, and my father felt like my mother had immediately after surgery. My mom stayed in a transplant home for a month so she wouldn’t get really sick, to keep her near the hospital, and to make sure her new kidney worked. I didn’t see her from after surgery until Thanksgiving except through Skype, which was difﬁcult. However, her kidney still works very well today, and I am very grateful that she isn’t sick anymore.