Chelsea C. - Diagnosed at age 13
Hi, my name is Chelsea and I have Systemic Erythematosus Lupus (SLE). I have been living with lupus for 14 years now. I was first diagnosed at 13. When I was first diagnosed my lupus was pretty stable, it wasn't until my junior year of college that I started getting really sick. My nephrologist had me on a lot of medication, which I believe was the cause of my kidney failure. My kidneys became useless and at that point it was time to start dialysis and get on the list to receive a transplant. Because my father has lupus and other medical issues he could not be my donor. My mother stepped up and said she would get tested, but unfortunately, she was not able to be my donor because her health issues became a problem.
One day at my friend’s graduation dinner, as we all sat at the table I began to feel that it was time to tell my friends where I had been and what was really going on. I told them that the reasoning for being in and out of the hospital lately was due to my kidneys failing and that there was a possibility I would have to have a transplant soon. My best friend Chelsea immediately said she would get tested and went the following week. I've known her since kindergarten. When the tests finally came back she called and said she was a complete match and that we could schedule as soon as possible. Our transplant was set for 02/01/2016, but I unfortunately had a seizure two days after my 24th birthday and it had to be pushed back a month.
On 03/01/2016 my family and I received the best gift I had asked God for all year, a new kidney and at that, my best friend’s kidney. I am amazed at God's work because of him I got a new life and another chance to live the way I want to. I am truly blessed to have a friend who sacrificed something so major to save me and to this day we are both healthy and doing great! Chelsea has been living in Denver for the past 4 years, and I am getting ready to graduate with my Masters in Criminal Justice Administration (CJA) in December.