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SUPPORT TAJZE JOHNSON

About Tajze

My name is Tajze Johnson, and I need a kidney. I was diagnosed with kidney disease at birth. I grew up in Rochester, NY, unaware that I had a serious illness. I played with other kids, participated in sports and did what normal kids did. I did not understand why I was going to so many doctor visits and getting ultrasounds.

 

During my young adult years, I went to school, worked and pushed myself to reach my goals. In my early 20s I began to experience the symptoms of my kidney disease. I developed protein in my urine, high blood pressure, swelling and fatigue. I did not let that get in my way

 

​In December 2019, I was diagnosed with end-stage renal disease. That meant that it was only a matter of time before I needed to start dialysis or get a transplant. I was able to go about six months before I started dialysis. That time was crazy because I was actively driving 5 hours one way to occupational therapy assistant school in Blacksburg, VA, every other weekend. Not to mention, the COVID-19 pandemic was in full swing. I didn't let dialysis stop my progress, and I graduated from that program in May 2021 and enrolled in a Doctor of Occupational Therapy program at Methodist University, where I am in my second year. 

 

Receiving a kidney would be life-changing. Managing school, medical appointments, working, and hooking up to a machine for over 10 hours a night to live has been difficult. I know that my faith in God and the support of my family and friends are getting me through.

 

While I am on the transplant list at four transplant centers, it can take years to receive an organ. I am also working to receive a living donor kidney. If you or someone you know may be interested in getting an evaluation, please check out the applications on the right of this page.

 

In addition, transplants are costly, and the medications that I will need to be on for the rest of my life are also expensive.

 

I really appreciate your support.

Living Donor Applications

Did you know?

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is a serious and life-threatening illness that impacts more than 37 million adults in the United States. Unfortunately, as many as 90% do not know they have the disease.1 CKD disproportionately impacts Black adults, with 16% of the demographic with the illness, compared to 13% of White adults.1 While Blacks are more likely to need a kidney transplant, they are less likely to get one.

Data from 2013 showed that Blacks waited almost two years longer than Whites for transplants. And a year longer than the overall average (~4 years).2

In 2020, there were 390 Black living organ donors, compared to 4,129 White living organ donors.3 About 16% of kidney transplants in Black patients were from living donors.4 33% of transplants in White patients were from living donors.

Footnotes:

1. Chronic Kidney Disease in the United States, 2021. Published August 2, 2022. Accessed November 30, 2022. https://www.cdc.gov/kidneydisease/publications-resources/ckd-national-facts.html

2. Kidney Disease Statistics for the United States | NIDDK. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Accessed November 30, 2022. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-statistics/kidney-disease

3. Farouk S. Reenvisioning the Kidney Donor Risk Index without Race. Kidney News. 2022;14(1):9-10.

4. Organ Donation and African Americans - The Office of Minority Health. Accessed November 29, 2022. https://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/omh/browse.aspx?lvl=4&lvlid=27

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