At 24, Melissa was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease after giving birth to her second daughter. After her third child, she had lost all functionality of her kidneys. She was placed on the transplant wait list in June of 2002. Although Melissa initially began dialysis treatments in-center, she was selected to participate in a nocturnal home hemodialysis program. After 6 weeks of extensive training, Melissa set up a machine in her bedroom and dialyzed on her own every other night for 8 hours while she slept. She received the gift of freedom from a deceased donor in April of 2012.
Nearly five years post-transplant, Melissa’s transplant kidney rejected, causing her to resume dialysis at home. Melissa’s passion and commitment to awareness has been revived following such an extensive journey. Despite working full-time and raising three children, Melissa is determined to continue advocating for technology, education, and research to improve outcomes of those affected by kidney disease.