We would like to provide you with Ivonne’s medical background so that you can better understand her diagnosis and her plans to perform the transplant in a foreign country.
Ivonne was first diagnosed with PKD when she was 21 years old. At the time, nobody in her family knew what it meant to live with this disease and even the doctors at the time told her that she could live a long and healthy life.
As we came to learn over the years, there has been a lot of ignorance around the disease in the medical field and very few have tried to overcome it. In other words, Ivonne has gone through a lineup of physicians that did not know or understand the disease and even mistreated her.
Over the years, many members of her family reached the chronic stages of the disease. First she lost a cousin who lived with the family when they first arrived in California; then she lost her father after 8 years of dialysis and a fist to fist battle with it.
As we write this email, 26 living members of her family have been diagnosed with the disease and are suffering the symptoms at several stages of organ decay.
Her sister is a strong survivor of double-organ transplant. Her nephew, Ivonne’s sister’s older son, has also moved to Colombia and just completed the protocol examinations to get himself listed for transplant.
This disease gives us no break. It does not matter wheather you are male or female. It does never skip a generation. It’s probability is very steady: 50-50 chance to have it passed on. And there is no known cure for it, except for what the doctors call, replacement therapy; in other words, a complicated transplant.
Ivonne was born in Colombia. Her parents moved to Venezuela when she was only three, but because of her birthright, she was able to claim her Colombian citizenship.
She is following in her sister’s footsteps, who received a successful double transplant 15 years ago and still lives. Ivonne will get her surgery with the same battery of doctos who operated on her sister. This fact fills us with confidence that everything will go well in due time.
There are two legislation changes in Colombia worths mentioning:
- Only Colombian citizens can be recipients of organ donations. This is good, because it diminishes the opportunities for an illegal organ black market down to zero. In other words, the procedure is completely legal.
- Every Colombian is a de facto donor by law, unles they opt out. Most people do not opt out, but are very inclined to donate their organs when deceased. Since the law came into effect earlier this year, the number of organ transplants have increased, shortening the waiting periods for patients like Ivonne.
As of May 23, 2017, Ivonne has been listed in the transplant waiting pool for two days. Compatibility tests are run every month to ensure the doctors and biomedical technicians find the best match possible for her blood type, immuno system, and genetic composition.
As of May 25, 2017, Ivonne got her double transplant, liver and kidney, from a 22 year-old young man. She is recovering very well at the hospital. You can follow the frequent updates at https://facebook.com/ivonnesfund.
As of June 9, 2017, Ivonne was sent home to their rented apartment in Medellin, Colombia. Her recovery continues strong. She will have weekly checkups with the surgical team to make sure her body is responding well.
As of May 25, 2018, Ivonne has recovered fully from the surgery. She is strong and hopeful. She is sharing her life changing story with many, inspiring them and challenging them to live with a higher purpose.
Our attitude is very high, our heart is filled with peace, and our hopes are never ceasing.
Thanks for your support.
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