Young mom in need of kidney moves to Arizona for shorter transplant waitlist

KPNX | JR Cardenas

Angelica Ayala and her son. (Photo: Angelica Ayala/Special to 12 News)
At the age of 17, Angelica Ayala went in for what would turn out to be a life-changing physical exam just before basketball season started.

That physical exam resulted in a trip to Phoenix Children's Hospital where MRIs, lab tests and more exams ended with a diagnosis of focal segmental glomerulosclerosis or FSGS, which means scarring of your kidneys.

"We didn't know what to do, there's never been any history of this in my family, I was always happy," Angelica, a young mother of a 3-year-old boy, said.

"It's been a difficult ride, I was misdiagnosed at first, and was put on heavy medication that changed my mood, when the results came back, again my medication changed, it was a learning process for me all over."

Angelica was always involved in school sports. But as of five years ago, that all changed. Due to having FSGS, there are many things she has stopped doing.

"I can't be out in the sun a lot, or walk, or eat salt, it's difficult for me when I'm with my son, he's 3, he wants to do that and I can't. When I see my husband and son eating certain things, or my husband wants to go out I can't do those things," Angelica said in tears. "I just want to be normal." Continue reading