Ger Xiong helps others start businesses. Now she needs help to find a kidney donor.

Ger Xiong of Oakfield cooks soup in her home Sunday November 12, 2017. Xiong needs a kidney transplant and hopes someone will come forward to sign up for the paired match program through the National Kidney registry. Doug Raflik/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin(Photo: Doug Raflik/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin)
FOND DU LAC - Ger Xiong has good reason to worry about things that have gone beyond her control.

Hooked up to kidney dialysis for four hours three times a week, there’s time to think about the four children who rely on her, her loving husband and her work in the community assisting low-income entrepreneurs.

The vivacious 36-year-old who rarely stands still is in kidney failure and in search of a donor — someone who can come through and save her life.

Because she is a part of the Hmong community, cultural beliefs held by her family members make it difficult for Xiong to find a blood relative who could provide a match.

“To give a part of themselves to someone else, they get scared,” Xiong said. “They think when a person leaves this earthly life, they should do so with the body intact.”

Xiong suffers from IgA nephropathy, also known as Berger’s disease. The condition, seen most often in Asians, occurs when a protein called IgA builds up, inflaming and damaging tissue. IgA normally is produced by the immune system to protect the body from foreign substances such as bacteria or viruses, said her doctor, Bret Pasiuk, a nephrologist with Agnesian HealthCare. Continue reading

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