Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Kidney donation deepens sisters' bond

Courier Post | Mark Tribble 
Oaklyn residents Nicole Valianti (left) donated a kidney to her sister, Krystal Valianti. Both played sports at Collingswood High. Wednesday, July 1, 2015(Photo: JOHN ZIOMEK/COURIER-POST)

For the 21-year-old collegiate athlete, a walk upstairs seemed too much.

Out of breath each time she got to the second level of her family's two-floor Oaklyn home during the winter holiday break, Krystal Valianti sensed something amiss.

Sure, she'd always felt a little tired. Naps throughout the day were normal. Exhaustion after lacrosse practice had lingered in the past.

The gut reactions from those around her seemed apt. Maybe she was lazy. Valianti never stood as a model of emphatic participation off the field. Relaxed and calm, she'd go with the flow.

"If I told her sister to run five miles, she'd run 10," her mother Dot Valianti says. "If I told Krystal to do it, she'd run one and say she ran five."

However, her mother knew the shortness of breath didn't make sense. Never one to volunteer for doctor's appointments, Krystal begrudgingly went in mid-January at her mother's behest.

"We were all scared, freaked out," Krystal says of her tight-knit family. "We didn't know what would happen." Continue reading

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