My name is Arlett Valencia, I live in Las Vegas, Nevada and I’m a kidney recipient 3 years post-transplant. My journey began at the young age of 7, I was diagnosed as a type 1 diabetic. I was on insulin to control my blood sugars, even though I had a good childhood with this disease, when it was party time with my school friends, I remember my friends eating cupcakes and sweets. I could not I was always offered a pencil or eraser instead, this made me sad at times, because my friends could eat whatever they want. I was on a special diet and it wasn’t fair. Even at the young age of 7, I understood why I couldn’t eat like my friends because of my disease.
As I got older, my disease was destroying my kidney’s. I tried going to Trade School for a massage therapist, but this was too difficult for me trying to control my diabetes taking my insulin shots and my continuing fatigue. After having a few miscarriages, I got pregnant my dream was to become a Mom. I had my son Fabion, and I was so happy, but my insulin shots were up to 7 times a day. My son would come to my bed and yell Mama trying to wake me up. He knew to give me juice and to call for help on the phone by dialing his Aunt or 911. My son is a miracle to me and had saved my life many times. As time went on my kidneys have failed me, I was on dialysis and now needing a Kidney and pancreas transplant.
I’m vey thankful that I have my parents and siblings to support me and my Son. They also did fundraiser events to cover non-medical expenses, such as travel, hotel at Mayo Clinic, prescriptions copays and food. I went to Mayco Clinic in Arizona for my evaluation and work up for transplantation. My weight was an issue to get transplanted. My BMI was too high so I decided to have bariatric surgery to make my weight goals in order to get on the list, because otherwise I would have been denied for transplant. Once my weight goals were met, I was listed at Mayco Clinic, Arizona. I received the call on October 10th, 2015, for a kidney only waiting 3 ½ years on dialysis. I had a young Kidney Donor waiting for me. I was so happy Thanking my God every day. Surgery was a success and I was no longer hooked up to a dialysis machine at a Center or at home. I had freedom, just the freedom of walking in my house! Just WOW! I went on to enjoy my life with my Son and family going on trips and even to Mexico. My Donor giving me a 2nd chance of life and I was living with no restrictions.
As time went on 3 years later, I was having problems, I wasn’t feeling good, I felt tired and sick. I knew something was wrong. I was returning to Mayo Clinic having done several biopsy and test indicating that my donor kidney was failing me. Today, life has been difficult, I defiantly need a pancreas and kidney this time. I have been listed at University of Utah, but my listing has been placed on hold, due to other health complications and further testing that is currently going on. When my listing becomes active, means I would need financial assistance for travel, hotel, prescription co-pays and food.
Every day that I wake up I realize that my young kidney Donor saved my life. I’m very thankful for that, but my heart breaks, because I must go through transplantation again. My thoughts are in fear for going through this transplant, because the pancreas is a very delicate organ. I pray for strength to overcome. Overall, I am thankful for my young donor who said yes to Organ, Eye and Tissue Donation and giving me a 2nd chance of life and bonus time with my Son. Please say “Yes” and Register to be a Donor.