Fairhaven Woman Desperate to Find Miracle Kidney Donor in Next 12 Months
Conni Andrade has lived through some up and downs in her life. She has been through two marriages, moved to Indiana and back, and has gone through some unthinkable tragedy.
"I lost my daughter when she was only eight years old," Andrade said. "A friend of my brother's put her on the back of a motorcycle with him." They were riding on County Street New Bedford near the bend by Fair Street, not far from Our Lady of Guadalupe at St. James Church. "When he took that bend, he thought the car coming up Fair Street wasn't going to stop. He slammed on the brakes and lost control of the motorcycle."
Andrade said there are some days she can talk about the accident, and some days she can't even bear to think about it. "It's an ache that your body has that is unexplainable," she said.
About five years ago, Andrade was diagnosed with Wegener's, a very rare disease that causes inflammation of the blood vessels in your nose, sinuses, throat, lungs and kidneys. Then a year ago, doctors discovered damage to Andrade's kidney and immediately put her on dialysis in Fairhaven three days a week and started searching for a kidney donor.
"The problem is they won't do a transplant for someone after they turn 75, and the clock is ticking," she said. "This is my last year to find a match. I turn 75 on August 30."
If you've ever considered donating a kidney, Andrade is part of the Brigham and Women's transplant program.
"I've been through a lot," she said. "I've had a little bit of everything involved in my life."