Kidney disease currently affects one in nine American adults, while one in three are at risk for developing the disease, according to study by the American Kidney Foundation; Bellville native and current Butler and Bellville Elementary Art Teacher, Jenessa Luzader, has been battling a chronic form of a renal disease for nearly 15 years.
She now faces a stage five diagnosis and may miss half of the upcoming school year while she searches for a new kidney donor to replace hers, which is functioning at 10 percent.
Luzader was diagnosed with the illness in 2001 after a trip to the hospital for an unrelated matter stemming from a car accident stated Luzader’s mother Joyce Fenton.
She has been fighting the disease ever since, needing her first kidney transplant eight years ago.
“My brother was fortunately able to give me an organ,” said Luzader. “It let me accomplish life goals that I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise.”
Since receiving the kidney in 2007, Luzader went on to finish her bachelor’s degree in art education and landed a job in her hometown, teaching art to elementary students.
“Jenessa has dedicated her life to Clear Fork Valley, and the children in her community through her passion for art and teaching,” said her husband Kevin Luzader. “Due to circumstances beyond her control Jenessa is rejecting her previous transplant. Over the last year, Jenessa has grown weaker and more lethargic having less energy and stamina to do the things that she enjoys.”
Without a kidney donation, Luzader will inevatibly go into dialysis.
“A transplant will give Jenessa the opportunity to continue her career and get back the quality of live that kidney disease has taken away,” said Kevin Luzader.
Currently, some of the Luzaders’ friends and family are undergoing testing to see if they could provide a matching kidney to Jenessa.
“Anyone with O (positive or negative) blood type that is interested in getting tested can call the Cleveland Clinic at 216-445-3150, but we understand that not everyone is able to help out in this way,” stated Kevin Luzader. Fund raising is also an integral part in having a transplant and funds raised will help Jenessa with the transplant surgery, upcoming medication and medical expenses, travel expenses to Cleveland Clinic and living expenses after her transplant.”
In order to kick start the fundraising efforts, Aemee Ellis of Aemee Ellis Photography is offering photography sessions on August 21 and 23. All proceeds from the event will go directly to Jenessa Luzader. Anyone interested in taking part in a session can contact Aemee at hello@AemeeEllisPhotography.com and view her website at www.aemeeellisphotography.com. Donations can also be made to Knox Bank in Bellville, as well as Luzader’s fund webpage located at www.gofundme.com/jenessa-transplant.
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