Benedict College Student On Quest For Kidney Donor - DatelineCarolina

Benedict College student looking for kidney donor

Chelsey Jones has been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease for two years. Chelsey Jones has been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease for two years.
Chelsey getting dialysis from Fresenius Medical Center. Chelsey getting dialysis from Fresenius Medical Center.

Reporter: Brittaney Chatman

"Waiting is a little scary because I've seen people in dialysis that are waiting for a kidney, fall asleep and not wake back up," says Chelsey Jones.

Many college students in South Carolina are immersing themselves in their classes. But Benedict College student is trying to save her future. Chelsey Jones, 23, suffers from chronic kidney disease (CDK), an illness that is most common among adults over 70-years-old.

After two years of waiting, Chelsey Jones found news that she has been listed active on the transplant list. She hopes to have a transplant six-months to a year from now and dreams of living a life free of dialysis machines.

"I'm so happy and ecstatic! When the lady at the front desk showed me the approval letter, I told her that if I wasn't on this machine I would get up and shout for joy." Jones said.

Jones was diagnosed when she was celebrating her 21st birthday in the hospital, after suffering from extreme fatigue and loss of appetite. She went immediately from heavy involvement in school activities, spending time with friends at college football games, to dropping out of Benedict to undergo dialysis treatment at Fresenius Medical Care Dialysis center three times a week.


"When the doctors explained what was happening to me I was like that's no way for a twenty-one year old to live her life," Jones said.

Chelsey's transplant expenses for the transplant will be covered through her family's health insurance, but Chelsey's doctors advised her to begin fundraising to cover expensive medical fees for her potential donor. Jones and her mother, Brenda Tookes, have been fundraising since 2012 and still haven't met their goal.

"We're doing everything from fish frys, selling bracelets, hosting garage sales. We are working very hard because Chelsey is ready to get back to her normal life." Tookes said.

But Jones is still cautiously aware that tomorrow is never promised with this disease.

"Waiting is a little scary because I've seen people in dialysis that are waiting for a kidney, fall asleep and not wake back up," says Jones.

Chelsey believes God blessed her by putting her on the transplant list.

She has vowed to God to be patient and continue fundraising so she can come home with two gifts: the gift of a kidney and a gift of a whole new life so that she can continue her education. 
 
If you would like to donate to her most recent online campaign, Fight for Chelsey Jones, visit http://www.gofundme.com/dmqegc
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