LEXINGTON, MA–Ranjana Sundaram, a 23-year-old Lexington, MA-resident who has been on dialysis since March of this year, needs a kidney—urgently.
“I have end stage renal disease and am on dialysis now. This terrible journey started nine years ago. This autoimmune disorder affecting my kidneys hit me out of the blue as I was finishing middle school,” Ms. Sundaram wrote on National Kidney Registry website. “One morning I noticed my legs were swollen and ended up getting a biopsy and numerous tests. The doctors were unable to find a cause but had me take a six month trial of steroids to see if it would help. Sadly, it did not help my kidneys, instead, my face blew up and I put on a ton of weight.”
Ms. Sundaram graduated from Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, MA in 2018.
She says her kidney disease progressively got worse despite doing exercise, watching her diet, and taking her medications.
“My doctors say that a living donor transplant is the best outcome for me, given my age. Several members of my immediate and extended family tried to donate their kidneys for me. Unfortunately, they were all disqualified for various reasons,” says Ms. Sundaram. “Kidney disease and dialysis have taken a toll on me and my family. I take a ton of medicines. I go to a dialysis center three times a week for four hours each to have my blood cleaned.”
She says she is unable to go back to school or take on a full time job because the dialysis takes up a lot of her time.
“I worry that I might not be able to swim, travel, or meet my close friends; my favorite activities,” says Ms. Sundaram. “When I see my mom going through so much as my primary caregiver, I feel very sad.”
Ms. Sundaram says that despite her life has been filled with doctor visits, blood draws, hospitalizations, and procedures, she graduated from Lexington high school and Mount Holyoke College on time, both intense and competitive institutions.
“My doctor says the longer I am on dialysis, the more it will affect my overall health. Since I have no other medical problems, a kidney transplant is the best option for me. This will allow me to move on with my life and become a productive member of society,” says Ms. Sundaram. “Once I get the kidney transplant, I would like to attend graduate school to gain the necessary skills to help others who suffer from this horrible disease. I want to give back to the community by being a kidney disease advocate.”