Christ Church Parishioner Seeks Kidney Donation
Twenty-year old college student Kiana Grant was once a competitive dancer with boundless energy, a multitude of interests and a contagious enthusiasm for life. Today, Kiana's energy is focused on only two things: Finishing college and finding a new kidney. Kiana was stricken with lupus at the age of sixteen. Lupus is a chronic, autoimmune disorder in which the body attacks its own tissues. About 1.5 million Americans have lupus; the disease strikes mostly women of child bearing age. Women of color are two to three times more likely to develop lupus than Caucasians. Although the cause of lupus is unknown, genetics and hormones are thought to play a role.
Kiana has lupus nephritis, a specific type of lupus which causes damage to the kidneys. The disease has progressed rapidly. Diagnosed only a few years ago, Kiana now receives dialysis treatments three times a week. A kidney transplant is her only hope for a relatively normal life. Once a new kidney is implanted, Kiana will need to take medication to prevent her body from rejecting the new organ. The drugs used to prevent the body from rejecting the donated kidney are similar to those used to treat lupus. Additionally, sometimes after the transplant, patients afflicted with lupus do not exhibit symptoms of the disease. The quality of life after a kidney transplant can be normal.
Kiana's family is appealing to her community for an altruistic, living donor.
The Grants have been parishioners at Christ Church Newton for generations. They are appealing to their parish family and local community for help.
Kiana will have to wait many years to receive a kidney from a deceased donor due to allocation policies. A kidney donation from a healthy, young adult is ideal, as Kiana would not have to wait years for the transplant to occur. A transplant from a living donor also has the best chance of working for many years. Unfortunately, there are no suitable donors in Kiana's immediate family.
According to the National Kidney Foundation, kidneys donated from living donors offer better outcomes. The donor need not be related, but must be in good health and have normal kidney function. The transplant can take place at a time convenient for both the donor and recipient.
Medical expenses related to the donation will be covered under the recipient's insurance plan. Donors can expect to live a normal, healthy life with only one kidney. However, they are advised to avoid contact sports such as football or boxing.
Despite her health issues, Kiana, a junior at Seton Hall University, continues to aggressively pursue a degree in political science with an eye towards becoming an attorney who specializes in health and international law. Kiana deals with dialysis three times a week and lives with the debilitating effects of lupus every day. However, she insists on attending college full time and is receiving very good grades. She has a wonderful attitude and a beautiful spirit.
Those who are interested in learning more about donating a kidney to Kiana Grant are encouraged to contact Bobbie Grant at 973-726-4595. Information is also available by calling the St. Barnabas Living Donor Medical Team at 973-322-5346 or by visiting www.barnabashealth.org/livingdonor.