Linda (Story) Terrill, of Eldridge, formerly of DeWitt, had no symptoms or any idea that anything was wrong in 2015 when she was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease.
She simply had been applying for health insurance at the time when her doctor made the discovery.
Now, Terrill is in Stage 5 end-stage renal failure with only 14% kidney function, and she is looking for a new kidney.
In August, Terrill and her daughter, Jennifer (King) Wendland, a 1989 Central DeWitt graduate who also lives in Eldridge, went to her first appointment in Iowa City.
It was there they learned Terrill had been approved for a transplant.
“That was the best news we had heard,” Terrill related. “After that appointment and some additional visits, I got the call Oct. 1 that I had been added to the National Kidney Donor List.
“They told me it could potentially be two to three years before a donor would be available, but to always be prepared,” she noted. “Currently, there are over 100,000 people waiting for that one kidney. The demand for organs far exceeds the supply. The doctors have advised me that a living donor would be our best option.”
Terrill and Wendland are hopeful that spreading the word about her condition will encourage others to get tested to see if they would be a potential match.
An event has been planned to help raise funds for Terrill’s extra expenses (travel to and from Iowa City, time away from work, etc.), and raise awareness about her need for a new kidney.
In addition, Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center will be on hand to conduct free blood-typing for anyone who wishes to find out what their blood type is.
The “Shopping for a Sister, Benefit for Linda Terrill,” will be held Tuesday, Nov. 5, from 4-7 p.m. at Bling Bling Sisters (behind Biaggis), 5169 Utica Ridge Rd., Davenport.
Bling Bling sisters will donate a generous portion of the night’s sales to the cause. Refreshments also will be served.
Living donors can be parents, children, husbands, wives, friends, co-workers or even strangers.
A living donor candidate should:
ν Be at least 18 years old
ν In good physical and mental health
ν Free from high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, HIV, hepatitis, or any organ-specific or infectious diseases
ν Must have a body mass index (BMI) that is less than 35.
Live donors also must be willing to donate, be well-informed, have good support and have no alcohol- or substance-abuse problems.
For Terrill, specifically, anyone who has a blood type of A or O (positive or negative) might be a match.
“Through this process, we learned that a donor would have most of their testing and surgery covered by my insurance,” Terrill said. “And, when their kidney is removed, the remaining kidney will grow to compensate for their missing kidney.”
Terrill also noted, in the future, if a donor needs a kidney of his or her own, their name would be first on the donor list.
Wendland said watching her mom endure this process with such strength and faith has been nothing short of amazing.
“Since finding out a few months ago that my mom needed a transplant was a reality, there have been a lot of emotional ups and downs,” she related. “My mom has always been healthy, and it’s difficult to see your parent in this new light and in need of an organ transplant.”
Wendland had Hodgkin’s Lymphoma almost 10 years ago, and therefore cannot be considered as a donor. And, due to underlying causes, other family members are unable to donate as well.
It’s been very disheartening for Wendland, who describes her mom as her best friend.
“I tend to want to have control and a plan in place knowing when, where, how and who,” she related. “God has had to remind me, often, that I am not in control and I need to trust in Him and in His timing. My mom’s faith grows more and more everyday and she fully believes that God is in control and already knows who her donor is and will provide all in His timing.”
Wendland added, just recently someone mentioned to Terrill the he would consider being a donor because, “God gave us two kidneys so that we could give away one to someone in need. We only need one.”