Photo: Dr. Mary Miller of Quincy, right, donated a kidney to her sister, Amy Fallmer, left, less than two months ago. (Submitted Photo)
Less than two months ago, Miller donated a kidney to her sister. In doing so, Miller, 49, not only gave an organ to Fallmer but also gave Fallmer's children a mother and her husband a wife.
Fallmer, 40, who lives in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., has bilateral reflux, a congenital defect in the size of the tubes that connect the kidneys to the bladder. It was the result of a birth defect that went undiagnosed until age 14. Fallmer eventually needed two kidney donations, one furnished by her mother in 1993 and another from her sister in May.
Fallmer struggled with the effects of kidney disease, which included frequent hospitalizations due to high blood pressure and kidney infections throughout high school and into college. Fallmer was forced to quit high school track and tennis, despite having once excelled in both. She made the best of her high school and college career by staying involved in many activities.
At 22, however, Fallmer's kidneys had reached end stage renal disease. Just a quarter away from graduating college, she was forced to leave school and begin dialysis.