Young sisters courageously battle kidney disease

Herald-Review | Emily Steele

Herald & Review photos, Lisa Morrison A kidney dialysis machine sits by Gillian Iron's bed for her nightly treatments. She had one kidney transplant as an infant and recently found out that she will need another kidney. Her sister and father also have kidney disease but no problems at this time.

MAROA – The bed where 10-year-old Gillian Irons cuddles her cat Blue is covered with a colorful blanket and a heating pad. On one side of her room, toys line the top of a dresser. On the other, boxes of medical supplies fill the wall.

Her room was once her parents' room, but they moved so Gillian could be closer to the bathroom at night when she is hooked up to the at-home dialysis machine. The fifth grader isn't sure what she wants to be when she grows up, but she knows it won't be a nurse or a doctor because she's tired of all the needles and pills.

Gillian has kidney disease, along with her father Mike and younger sister Grace. She's had one kidney transplant and another is on the horizon.

“There is no cure -- dialysis is not a cure; transplant isn’t a cure -- it’s all treatments,” said her mother Leslie Irons.

Kidney disease kills more than 90,000 Americans every year, according to the National Kidney Foundation. Leslie and Mike volunteer with the Macon County branch of Life Goes On to raise awareness about organ and tissue donations and encourage others to sign up as donors. Continue reading