24-year-old, single mother of two Christine Toves is fighting for her life but the battle is with time. She has end-stage renal disease and her kidneys are failing. But make no mistake, faith is not lost and her search for a living kidney donor continues. She speaks with PNC in hopes that sharing her story will help her find a match.
Christine’s search for a kidney took her from the village of Chalan Pago to Austin, Texas where she has been for the last two years. Almost three years ago, she was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that has now progressed into end-stage renal disease. The disease causes a build-up of proteins in the kidneys that over time leads to kidney failure.
“Just recently, my sister came out to Texas to be a living donor for the last three months but with the COVID we had to postpone. Waiting was really just eating me away and my sister was denied and, uh, well, she has kids herself so I was kind of okay with it because what if her kids need a kidney in the long run. I was just thinking of my nieces and my nephews but um … I’ve had a couple of my cousins wanting to donate their kidneys. My mom and dad also wanted to donate their kidneys to me. They were saying, just take it. But they can’t. The transplant center is not willing to risk my life like that in the long run. Like they really want to try to find the best match for me,” Toves said.
Without a match, Christine must undergo dialysis and the treatments are taking a toll on her petite body.
“My overall health right now is better than it used to be. But I’m losing a lot of weight and, yeah, because there’s so much fluid and this puts pressure on my heart. So sometimes it’s hard to breathe and, yeah, there’s some fluid in my lungs that they still need to get out. It could cause more health problems if it sits there over time and they don’t get all of it out,” Toves said.
She added: “It just affects me so deeply because my kids are so young and all they want to do is play and being, you know … The way I am with my kids, that’s all I want to do basically … to give them the best childhood they can have right now and it’s really hard … I’m just enjoying my time being alive and being around them while I can because at one point I thought I wasn’t. So this really really changed my perspective of life … just to be grateful for every day that I get and just be around and be present.”
If you would like to see if you are a match for Christine or for more information visit her page at Christine Needs A Kidney on Facebook.