'I laugh to keep from crying'

AMBER WILSON, above right, focuses on maintaining a positive attitude as she battles kidney disease. Her name is on the National Kidney Register and she is hoping for a live donor match. At left, she is pictured with her cousin, Shauna Baine, who wanted to donate a kidney to Wilson but was not a match. Wilson was diagnosed with IgAN kidney disease in March 2017.
From seeing Amber Wilson’s broad smile and getting a glimpse into what promises to be a mischievous sense of humor, you might never guess her body is waging war with itself.

But it is. And she is fighting back while hoping for a kidney transplant to extend her life and improve its quality.

Wilson, 36, has immunoglobulin A nephropathy, also called IgAN for short, or Berger disease.

“My Granny had kidney disease but it’s not the same kind,” Wilson said, adding her condition is “not anything I inherited.” In her case, proteins attack the kidneys’ blood filtration system.

According to the National Kidney Foundation’s website, www.kidney.org, IgAN damages the glomeruli – the tiny filtering units inside your kidney where blood is cleaned – and can cause kidney disease. Continue reading