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It’s been a battle

Crutchfield needs kidney transplant

There are an estimated 26 million Americans that are affected by kidney disease. It is on the increase and according to the American Association of Kidney Patients, it has become almost an epidemic in our nation affecting more people every day.

Alabama ranks first in the nation for diabetes, the leading cause of kidney disease, and ranks fifth in the nation for kidney disease. At this time there is no known cure, but kidney dialysis is one way to extend the life of patients. Right now there are nearly 8,000 patients in Alabama who are on dialysis and more than 3,000 are waiting on kidney transplants in Alabama alone.

Almost everyone in this area knows at least one person suffering from this disease.

Davita Dialysis here in Brewton has an office in the Brewton Heights Shopping Center. There are currently around 25 people who are going through dialysis three days a week. One of those people is Lynn Mills Crutchfield.

Crutchfield was diagnosed with kidney disease around four years ago. At that time she was a stage four disease patient, but since that time her status has progressed to become an end-stage renal disease.

“I knew something was wrong with me but I had no idea that it was as bad as it was,” Crutchfield said.

Blood test results led her to Dr. Linda Lee Stallings at the Nephrology Associates of the Gulf Coast in Pensacola. In a range of stages which dictates the severity of the disease, Crutchfield was already at stage 4, which called for drastic changes in her life style. For the past four years, she has been fighting against the disease.

Within the past year Crutchfield has moved to end-stage kidney disease, which means she is now actively looking for a kidney transplant. She is required to go to dialysis three times a week.

“It is hard to have to do that on a regular basis,” she said. “There is nothing else I can do. At the beginning I thought I would do the dialysis at home but all the steps that I would have to take made it too hard to do. I decided to go to Davita Dialysis.”

She is not the only one in this area who is depending on the dialysis and is hopeful about the possibility of a transplant. There are three shifts, three days a week and there are enough spots for nine on each of the shifts at Davita.

She is listed on the live donor list and recently had her hopes up about getting a kidney from her son, Matt, but after testing, he was determined to not be a good match. So now she needs someone who can, and will, offer to volunteer to be tested to see if a good match can be found.

“I know it’s asking a lot to ask someone to donate one of their kidneys,” she said. “I would ask everyone to be tested. If you can’t help me, maybe you could help someone else. It won’t cost the donor anything except the cost of the trip to be tested in Birmingham.”

For that purpose, friends of Crutchfield have gotten together to have some fundraisers during the next few months to cover expenses.

Crutchfield is an Escambia County native and has lived here all of her life. She and her husband, Kenny, who is the owner/operator of Crutchfield Pest Control, attended school here and have raised their two sons here. Her son, Matt, is married to Sabrina, and they have a son,  Riley. Adam is married to Misty and they are the parents of Nicholas.

Upcoming fundraisers will be held over the next few months in hopes of raising enough to off-set any expense the donors have and help with the terribly high expenses that she will incur. There are high expenses involved, both now and after the transplant.

There will be medications before and after a transplant. Although she is receiving help from some related organizations, such as the Alabama Kidney Foundation and the American Kidney Foundation, it will only go so for.

There will be a bake sale on Aug. 25, at the L-House from 4 to 6 p.m.; a fish fry on Sept. 24, at East Brewton Civic Center with entertainment provided by Buddy Bell and the Silver Eagle from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and Bingo on Oct. 1 from 5 to 7 p.m. Tickets are available for the chance to win a 40 gallon Grizzly cooler. Check The Brewton Standard for additional fundraisers to compensate the expenses for a donor.

For more information about becoming a kidney donor, call Crutchfield at 251-867-7279.

 

process and the details of a kidney transplant.

“Anyone who is interested in becoming a donor, call me,” she said. “Anyone can be tested. It won’t take long and if I am not a good match, it may be that someone else would.”