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Marysville woman needs kidney transplant
MARYSVILLE — Brynn Peckham has been living at least half her life with scar tissue on her kidney, and more than anything, she’s just hoping that she can finally lead a normal life.
Brynn was born to Kirstin Peckham three months premature, weighing one pound, eight ounces. At the age of 12, Brynn was diagnosed with focal segmental glomerculoscierosis, which causes scar tissue to form on parts of the kidney, which in turn causes nephrotic syndrome in children and kidney failure in adults. Now 24 years old, the Marysville native has made her scarred kidney last longer than any of her doctors had expected that it could, but she can no longer mitigate the need for a kidney transplant.
“That kidney lasted her eight years longer than they said it should,” Kirstin Peckham said. “Brynn’s kept it going by taking very good care of herself. She’s so good about her diet, and she walks one to two miles every day.”
These feats are especially impressive when one takes into account how tired Brynn often feels, and how restrictive her dietary requirements are.
“She has to be that health-conscious, because while a cold or the flu is bad news for the rest of us, it’s potentially life-threatening for her,” Kirstin Peckham said. “Even just dehydration can send her to the hospital by making her blood toxic.”
With such a weakened auto-immune system to begin with, it certainly didn’t help when she contracted both E. coli and swine flu, but Brynn has nonetheless maintained a positive outlook throughout her ordeals.
“In spite of dealing with difficulties that no one should have to cope with, she has the best attitude,” Kirstin Peckham said. “If I had to put up with that level of hassle on a daily basis, I’d be a big whiny baby about it,” she laughed, “but Brynn is always smiling and seeing the best in everything. It’s amazing.”
“If I didn’t have all the support from my friends and family that I do, I wouldn’t be able to do this,” Brynn Peckham said.
While Brynn has proven that a sunny disposition and a rigorously health-minded lifestyle can get you through a lot, she reached the limits of what it can do on Dec. 16, when she had to go in for surgery at the Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle to have a catheter implanted in her stomach, so that she could start peritoneal dialysis as soon as possible.
Brynn’s aunt, Keola Scanlan, started a Facebook page for Brynn, at www.facebook.com/a.kidney.for.brynn, in hopes of finding her niece a kidney donor for her holiday present.
Brynn needs a kidney from someone with Type O-Positive blood who’s a non-smoker and does not have a history of diabetes or high blood pressure. The National Kidney Foundation will pay the expenses, including travel, for a possible donor. All of Brynn’s relatives been tested, but are unable to donate.
“We’ve had four potential matches, two of whom were even scheduled for surgery, before we were told that at the last minute that it couldn’t happen,” Kirstin Peckham said. “It’s been very frustrating, but Brynn was born beating the odds, so I know she’ll make it through this.”
Brynn promised that she would “bake cookies for life” for whoever donates a kidney to her.
“We know there is someone who’s willing to give my daughter a kidney to save her life,” Kirstin Peckham said. “We just need to get the word out, so that we can find that special person. We’ve already had five people call in, asking to be tested, who don’t even know our family, and about 600 folks have looked at the Facebook page for Brynn.”
For more information, log onto www.facebook.com/a.kidney.for.brynn, or call the Virginia Mason Kidney Donor Information Line at 206-341-1201, and let them know that you are calling about Brynn Peckham.