Waiting for kidney transplant, Cape Coral woman's hopes fade

NEWS-PRESS | Melanie Payne

A year ago Melissa Tuff was hopeful.

Hopeful she’d find a donor. Hopeful her failing kidneys would keep working until then.

Hopeful she’d never have to go back on hemodialysis. But now that she spends three days a week hooked to a machine that cleanses her blood and three days a week recovering from the treatments, she wonders if it's worth it. Unless she can get a kidney transplant or use a different type of dialysis, Tuff is considering stopping treatment. That decision would, within days or maybe a week or two, end her life.

Before Tuff was forced back on dialysis she tried to enjoy life while she still could.

She took a road trip, driving from her Cape Coral home to Michigan and then Arizona and back.

“It usually takes 21 hours to get to Michigan, but I did it in 18 because I didn’t have to stop to pee,” she joked. When kidneys fail, you don’t produce urine, she explained.

Once in Michigan, Tuff picked up her friend Stephanie and they drove to Sedona, Arizona. "We heard how beautiful it was and we wanted to see it and camp," she said. "My family never took me camping growing up and I wanted to do camping." Continue reading