Streetsboro -- Life has changed a lot for Jennie Prentice in the past few months.
She was admitted April 29 to Hillcrest Hospital for severe anemia and low kidney function. Hemoglobin levels should range from 11.5 to 13, but hers was 3.
"I was just tired constantly," said Prentice, 22, a Streetsboro High School graduate. "No matter how much I slept, I was still tired -- not just tired, exhausted. I turned extremely pale. I lost all color -- my fingernails were white, my lips were white."
Prentice's was diagnosed with end stage renal disease, meaning her kidneys no longer operate as needed.
"I'll need a [kidney] transplant," Prentice said. "If not, I'll be on dialysis for the rest of my life, and I really don't want that."
Prentice is in the process of getting on a national donor list through The Cleveland Clinic which requires her to undergo a number of tests first. Her final test, an echocardiogram, will take place July 30. She currently undergoes peritoneal dialysis at home while she sleeps, which allows her to have somewhat of a normal schedule.
"Then they [The Cleveland Clinic] look at your case, and if they find something wrong other than your kidney failure, basically, they can't put you on the list. They haven't found anything wrong with me. Right now, it looks like I'm going to be on the list unless they find something wrong in my Echo."
If Prentice is put on the national list, she needs to find an eligible donor. The average wait for a cadaver donor is three years, Prentice said. Live donor testing is a second option in finding a match. Prentice currently has a list of 40 candidates who are willing to be tested for compatibility.
Prentice has undergone four blood transfusions, two kidney biopsies and other tests. Since she now undergoes peritoneal dialysis at home while she sleeps, she's able to have somewhat of a normal schedule.
But she's has accumulated large medical bills. And the bills will continue to grow, due to dialysis and future medications that would keep her new kidney functioning, in the event a transplant takes place.
So she and her parents are asking for help.
Prentice and her parents sell wrist bands and have accumulated about $400. She also accepts donations through gofundme.com and has accumulated $7,895 through donations. She has a goal of $25,000. Visit http://www.gofundme.com/jennieprentice to make a donation.
Prentice, an office assistant at Lou Ritenour Decorators in Twinsburg, has been playing the flute for about 10 years and especially enjoys playing in her church band.
Phone: 330-541-9400 ext. 4162