Teen Receives Kidney Wake Up Call

Klarissa Ramirez was in poor health from birth, but it wasn't until she was 12 that her family learned what was really going on. Always tired and lacking energy, Klarissa was turning into a pre-teen couch potato. Her mother couldn't stand seeing her daughter so inactive, so she urged Klarissa to try out for volleyball. In order to qualify for the team, Klarissa took a urine test during the required sports physical. Klarissa and her mother were totally unprepared when the doctor told them there were massive amounts of protein in Klarissa's urine, a sure sign of kidney damage

After further investigation, they learned that one kidney was failing and the other was tiny and had actually stopped growing when Klarissa was just six months old. It was evident that a transplant would be needed, and Klarissa’s mom stepped forward, was a good match, and gave her a kidney.

Today, both mom and daughter are living normal, healthy lives, but wonder what could have changed if they were able to detect Klarissa’s kidney disease earlier. They work hard to promote not only the importance of organ donation, but of early detection that might delay the progression to kidney failure. Their own wake-up call has made Klarissa and her mom determined to help others get educated about risk factors and avoid the shock they experienced.