“I’ve had three kids and I’ve seen a lot of symptoms, but this was different,” said Margarita, Zayda’s mother.
After insisting on numerous follow-up tests, Zayda was eventually diagnosed with ANCA Vasculitis, a condition where her antibodies attacked her kidneys. She had only 14% kidney function left. Doctors were telling Margarita that she should prepare for a transplant.
“We thought transplant was the only option,” Margarita said. “But thanks to organizations like the National Kidney Foundation and the research they support, we are here two years later and still going strong.”
Zayda’s kidney function improved after numerous therapies and medications, and although a transplant is still likely in the future, she is able to do cheerleading and play outside like other youngsters.
Zayda and her family are also able to spread the kidney disease message, whether at school or at the National Kidney Foundation’s Kidney Walk. This is the third year Zayda, her siblings, mother and friends are walking.
“We’re supporting everyone with kidney disease, and teaching people about kidney disease,” Zayda said.
This year, in advance of the Walk, Margarita set up a Facebook page, Going Green for Zayda, where over 150 people wore green to support Zayda in her battle against kidney disease. The gesture brought Zayda to the point of tears.
For her mother, the ordeal that Zayda has gone through, and the tough road ahead, is still a story of hope, one she hopes other parents will learn from.
“People need to really push for their kids and get their kids screened if they think something is wrong.” Margarita said. “Do it before it’s too late.”