13-year-old with failing kidneys asks community for help in finding organ donor
A 13-year-old girl is asking the community for help after her own kidneys began to fail following treatment for a rare condition.
In 2019, Natalie Ballin was diagnosed with Severe Aplastic Anemia, a rare condition where her body didn’t make enough blood.
She received a bone marrow transplant later that year, but doctors believe the drugs to keep her body from rejecting the donated marrow may have damaged her kidneys.
"It feels like a loop sometimes. I just wake up, deal with everything, go to sleep, and wake up again and just repeat it,” said Natalie Ballin.
Her parents tried to donate one of their kidneys to their daughter but found they were not a match.
"The idea that I couldn't help my daughter and knowing that it won't be an easy path forward because it's not so simple as, ‘Here's a kidney, let's go,’ it was also very crushing,” said David Ballin, Natalie’s father.
Natalie has spent the last year on dialysis two to three times a week, which has kept her out of school.
"She's right on the edge of being healthy. We just have one more thing that's needed,” said David Ballin.
Natalie says she has dreams of dancing and fencing and being a normal teenager again.
Natalie’s family says a living donor could keep her healthy for the next 20-30 years.