On dialysis with Sickle Cell Disease: One woman's story of survi - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

On dialysis with Sickle Cell Disease: one woman's story of survival

Felicia Robinson has Sickle Cell Disease and needs a kidney transplant Felicia Robinson has Sickle Cell Disease and needs a kidney transplant

"If I don't tell you what I'm going through, you wouldn't know just looking at me as to all the things I've gone through"

36-year-old Felicia Robinson was diagnosed with Sickle Cell Disease when she was an infant.
She is one of the nearly 600,000 people in South Carolina living with chronic kidney disease. South Carolina ranks third in the nation for the rate of people on dialysis.

"I've pretty much been battling in and out of the hospital ever since I was diagnosed at six months," she said.

Sickle Cell is an inherited disease of the red blood cells. Many of her cells are oblong or sickle-shaped,  making it harder for blood to flow.

"That causes pain," she said. "I mean very excruciating pain."

 Many medications to manage the daily aches and pains.

"Some days you know, I'm just to the point where all I can do is get up and go to the bathroom," said Robinson.

On average she says she's in the hospital six or seven times a year because her immune system is weak. Robinson had pneumonia, a leg ulcer that almost led to amputation, and even had a stroke that put her in a coma for more than week.

"I couldn't walk," she said. "I couldn't talk. I didn't know any of my family members. I had to have physical therapy and occupational therapy."

It's been a long journey.

"I know it could be worse," she said. "There are some people worse off than I am."

For the past two years she's been on dialysis because sickle cell weakened her kidneys causing chronic kidney disease. Now she needs a transplant.

"I was told that I need to raise anywhere from  $8,000-to-10,000 to have enough money to pay for the anti-rejection medication while I'm in Georgia."

She's been fundraising but needs about $2,000 more in order to be considered for the transplant list at Emory University in Atlanta.  Robinson said MUSC denied her because sickle cell makes her a risky patient.  

"Yes, Sickle Cell could still eventually compromise the new kidney but there's no guarantee anyway," she said.

Felicia believes a transplant could give her a chance at living a longer life.

"I want to get back to some of the normal things I was doing before I started dialysis," she said.

Including going to work full-time.

The diseases have impacted every aspect of her life but Robinson tries to stay positive.

"I just love life and everyday I'm breathing, even though I'm in pain, I still can move forward."

If you would like to help Felicia's cause you can send donations to the CPM Federal Credit Union "Felicia Robinson Kidney Transplant Fund"

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