Nancy Rose is on the Renewal waiting list for a kidney donation. Renewal is holding an information meeting at Young Israel of Toco Hills on Sunday, May 7 at 7pm. Read more about the Renewal here..

The week that Nancy Rose spoke with the AJT, the 72-year-old grandmother visited Emory St. Joseph’s Hospital from her Peachtree Corners home twice. A permanent catheter in her chest wall developed a painful clog and needed immediate attention.

For patients with kidney failure, access to the veins is established to open blood flow out of and back into the body after it is cleaned by dialysis.

Three afternoons a week Rose spends four hours at a dialysis center, comes home to her independent living apartment, eats dinner with her husband and goes straight to bed. She is exhausted and short of breath.

The day after dialysis she generally feels energetic enough to play cards or have lunch with a friend. She occasionally takes a day trip to Madison or Rome on the weekend.

“I’d like more time to do things that I like to do. I’d like to feel better. Some things are just annoying as a dialysis patient,” Rose said.

Her nutritionist at the dialysis center instructs her what to eat and what to avoid: no chocolate, no nuts, limited potassium, limited liquids. Part of her annoyance is that she cannot eat foods high in potassium, such as avocados, bananas, potatoes and tomatoes.

At a regular checkup four years ago, Rose’s blood work showed that her potassium levels were sky-high. Doctors traced the issue to a pre-existing condition and a medicine she used for more than a decade.

She started peritoneal dialysis at home in February 2013. After some medical issues, she switched to hemodialysis, which has proved effective. Then began the search for a donor.

“Our life isn’t our own,” said her husband of 50 years, Norm Rose. “It’s a depressing lifestyle. That’s why we moved to independent living — to be around other people.”

It was a neighbor who introduced the idea of accepting help from Renewal. Reading an article in the AJT, Norm and his neighbor debated the ethics of limiting kidney donor awareness services to Jews.

Nancy is listed at two hospitals for kidney donation: Emory Transplant Center and the University of Tennessee Erlanger Health System.

Norm, in good health at 76, is social and active. He enjoys playing bridge, poker and pinochle with friends at the independent living complex. He participates at Temple Kehillat Chaim in Roswell when he can, describing longtime friends there as warm and supportive.

“We have a strong family and a strong support group, including my sister and cousins, grandkids, daughters — and our sons-in-law actually like us,” he said with a laugh. “It’s not easy. It’s a very difficult situation. I hope that, quite frankly, Nancy gets a kidney. She needs a kidney, and we want her to have one.”

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