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This fundraiser ended on 06/28/12

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If you or anyone you know would like to donate for Amanda or would like to be tested for a kidney transplant please see the info above

Amanda Cimino has spent every single night for the past six years hooked up to a dialysis machine. The machine fills her stomach with medicated fluid, dwells there for one hour, then drains. This process goes on every night for eight hours. Amanda is dependent on peritoneal dialysis for her survival. Peritoneal dialysis is a process in which a surgically implanted catheter in her stomach attaches to a machine and removes toxins and fluid from her body. This procedure is done every night at home. Unfortunately, after six years, the dialysis and kidney failure has taken a toll on her body. Her kidney failure has caused hyperparathyroidism, which depletes the calcium in your bones. This condition has left Amanda in extreme pain throughout her body. The mortality rate of living on dialysis is high. Only 50% of patients go beyond three years. Every day she goes without a transplant, increases her risk of dying.

Amanda was diagnosed with Wegners Granulomatosis, a rare blood disorder, when she was 12. Along with other complications, this disease was the onset of chronic kidney failure. At age 15, she began hemodialysis and was lucky enough to receive her first transplant within a year. She lived a normal, healthy life for eight years. She began to have trouble and almost lost her life when a biopsy of her kidney caused internal hemorrhaging. She has had over 800 blood transfusions. She has also been diagnosed with Pseudotumor Cerebri, which causes the increase of intracranial pressure. The procedure to relieve the pressure is a spinal tap, which Amanda had done eight times.

Every day is a struggle for her to get out of bed, her body is slowing down and her pain is getting more and more severe. It is becoming evident that she is running out of time and desperately needs to find a kidney.
Amanda is a 32 year old wife and a mother. When she was in good health, she and her husband, Andrew, adopted a baby boy, whom they named Aiden. At the age of two, Aiden was diagnosed with autism. Today he is attending school and getting care for his autism.

One year after the birth of Aiden, when she began to lose function of her kidney, she became pregnant. She was in shock because she was told that her chances of conceiving a child with her medical conditions were slim to none. When she first got pregnant, she was put on hemodialysis four hours a day, six day a week. When she was 26 weeks pregnant, she was put into ICU for bed rest and 24 hour dialysis. Within four days she gave birth to a 1lb. 3 oz. baby boy they named Austin. Austin remained in the NICU for four months. During this time Amanda was going to dialysis for three hours a day, three days a week. Amanda not only had to worry about her own health, but also her infant son’s, who for the first three months of his life his health was extremely precarious. Today Austin is a healthy four year old.

The financial burden has been extremely difficult for Andrew and Amanda. Andrew had lost his job soon after she became pregnant. The health demands of his wife and children have made it very difficult for Andrew to work. At the moment, the family’s income is Amanda’s disability. Their income last year was $23,000. They made too much to qualify for food stamps. They almost lost their home to foreclosure but were able to work with the bank to decrease their monthly mortgage payment. Their families help as much as possible. Until Amanda receives a kidney, it will be difficult for Andrew to work.

Amanda has been on the national list for a kidney for six years. Her blood type is O neg. Her husband and two other relatives are O pos and have been tested. All of which fail to match. All three of them are on the National Paired Exchange Program with her. Amanda is a difficult match because of her antibodies, otherwise known as PRA. The blood transfusions, her previous transplant, and the pregnancy have all contributed to the amount of antibodies in her blood. There are new techniques in the field of kidney transplants that can help people with a high PRA.

Amanda Cimino has spent more than half of her life struggling with kidney failure. She has displayed a tremendous amount of strength and courage in all her health problems, the many stays in the hospitals, the years on dialysis, the scary moments of almost losing her life, the continual pain she endures and the many problems associated with her kidney failure. She has not only been strong battling her own health but she is a loving mother who had taken care of her premature son for months in the hospital. Today she is lovingly raising her sons. Amanda is an amazing woman. She is kind, loving, and intelligent. When you first meet her you would never know the burdens she is carrying every moment of her life. She deserves to live a long and healthy life. She needs a kidney as soon as possible. She has two young sons who need their mother to live.
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