News Article - Venis Gibby
Duluth Woman Waits on the Ultimate Gift
November 20, 2011
Venis Gibby has been diagnosed with a rare kidney disease, and after the first kidney transplant failed, she is now forced to wait in hope for a live donor to step forward.
Venis Gibby is the type of person that believes you should live every day to its fullest.
"I think that's what keeps me positive and going," said Gibby.
Now 38 and currently living in West Duluth, Venis graduated from Denfeld High School in 1992.
In 1999, the mother of four was diagnosed with a kidney disease that would consume the next 12 years of her life.
"It was called henoch-schonlein purpura, which is very rare. For short, they call it HSP," said Gibby.
In 2000, Gibby received a kidney transplant and--for the time--everything seemed to be going fine.
"I think I waited two years. I got my transplant, and it worked for nine years," said Gibby.
Three years ago, however, things took a turn for the worst. Gibby's body rejected the donated kidney.
When Venis isn't busy working full time or raising four children along with her nephew, chances are you can find her at the Fresenius Medical Care Dailysis Unit.
Venis's treatment takes three days a week-a full time commitment in and of itself.
"There's only two patients that I know of at dialysis that work: me and another kid. Everybody else gets to go home and take a nap, and the two of us... work full time and still do our dialysis," said Gibby.
Unfortunately, Gibby's dialysis options are also wearing thin. The time-consuming procedures are no longer working, and Gibby's final option--the insertion of a graft in her leg--could fail at any time.
"I'm already using my last option in my leg right now--in this leg, right here--and the [flow] is already starting to slow down," said Gibby.
Though her situation is critical, Gibby still finds time to put others first.
She recently helped people by volunteering at the Haunted Shack in Morgan Park, and wants to organize an event to raise money for others who are undergoing dialysis.
"I want to start working on a kidney gala for patients at the dialysis units because there actually are people out there that can't afford that stuff. They're trying as hard as they can," said Gibby.
Gibby now spends her time waiting, updating her website on her condition, and praying for a living kidney donor to step forward.
Several of Gibby's friends have been tested as potential donors but ruled out.
The average wait for a deceased donor is three and a half to five years--time that Gibby doesn't have.
"But I still just have to pray that it will happen, and that's all I can do," said Gibby.
If you would like to be tested to see if you could be a match for Venis, please call her donor coordinator, Alaina Gluomac, at 1-800-328-5465, option 5, then 1, then 7. Or, you may call the hospital at 1-800-328-5465, option 1, and say that you would like to be tested to see if you are a match for Venis Gibby. If you like, you may also get in touch with Venis personally at firstname.lastname@example.org.