We are saddened to report that Sandy passed away in 2014 while waiting for a donor who never came. The world will miss you, Sandy. Rest in peace. Her story remains here in her memory.
My name is Alexandra, or Sandy for short. I'm a 58-year-old mother of an adult daughter and many “acquired” children whom I’ve gained throughout the years. I was widowed at age 39 when my young husband died of cancer. Now--19 years later--I’m a new bride again. I married my wonderful husband in March, 2011.
In 2009, I had surgery to have 34 kidney stones from my right kidney. There were complications, which required a second surgery and 4 days in ICU, but I pulled through. I was sent home thinking that my kidneys would now be normal, and life continued. My primary doctor monitored my kidney functioning, and my lab numbers kept improving.
In January, 2011, I went to be with my husband-to-be, who was stationed in Hawaii. Everything was good. I walked 3 miles a day and had so much energy, I thought my body had stabilized. We decided to move to Virginia Beach, so while in Hawaii, I packed his belongings and then went home to Virginia to pack my own. I resigned my job of 9 years, and we moved to Virgina Beach, where we were soon married.
In May, I made an appointment for my yearly physical. I was feeling a little tired but figured it was from all the stress of moving. I never expected to hear that I was in stage 4 kidney disease! (There are 5 stages--the 5th being dialysis or death.) I cried for months, not understanding how this could have happened, since I’d followed all my doctor’s recommendations. Suddenly, I had no control over my body, and my life was no longer my own. This disease has taken so much from my family and me.
My husband has been wonderfully supportive--I couldn't ask for a more caring person. There are days when I barely have the energy to get out of bed, and he is always there to help with whatever needs to be done. He’s been involved in my disease from the beginning--he goes with me to every doctor’s appointment and hospital test.
I waited so many years to find this man, my soulmate, whom I love so much...and I’m asking God to give me at least 20 years with him. I don’t want to leave this earth and him behind.
I'm doing everything I can to be proactive and prevent my disease from reaching stage 5, but kidney disease is progressive. My doctor has recommended a preemptive transplant (meaning a transplant before having to go on dialysis). Because dialysis is so hard on the body and causes other significant health problems, a preemptive transplant is the best possible treatment for me.
I work part time just to be out in the world, but it takes everything I'm worth to get out of bed in the morning and make it through till I can come home and rest in the afternoon. I've always been a hard worker and I love my career, but this disease has taken so much from me.
I need a donor who has type A or O blood. If you would like to be tested, please contact my transplant coordinator, Liza B. She can be reached at Sentara Hospital in Virginia Beach at 757-388-3977. Tell her that you are calliing in reference to Alexandra Rainville.
Thank you for considering giving me a second chance at life--a chance to spend the next 20 years with the man I waited for so long. Hopefully, my donor and I will find each other, and my soulmate and I can grow old together. Sandy