Bogart resident Nadia Laguins wants to be healthy again, not only for herself, but for her 11-year-old son Elijah, a student at Malcom Bridge Middle School.
“I want to enjoy my son and continue to be the best mom I can for him,” she wrote in a recent Facebook post. There’s just one big hurdle. Laguins needs a new kidney.
Laguins graduated from Oconee County High School in 2003 and moved to the Lawrenceville area.
She enjoyed her job delivering mail for the United States Postal Service. Then, she and Elijah moved back to Oconee about three years ago.
Laguins found out she had kidney disease last March.
“I was thinking I was fine because I was just living life, and then I just went to the doctor and he ran some tests,” she said. “It was a regular checkup, so I was surprised.”
Laguins didn’t have common indicators like high blood pressure or diabetes.
Then, she was dealt another blow. She was told that with the disease’s impact and the various treatments and tests she would have to undergo, she wouldn’t be able to work. That also meant she wouldn’t be able to be as active with Elijah, something she especially treasured as a single mother.
“My family called us roadrunners because we stayed on the road all the time. I used to take him to Virginia to visit his dad or to go to Myrtle Beach,” she said. “Whatever he wanted to do, if we could afford it, I would do it.”
Laguins has to go to dialysis three times a week. Twice a month, she goes to Emory University Hospital for lab work.
“It’s a lot of lab work because once I get a new kidney, we don’t want it to go bad,” she said.
Rejection is a very real concern for any organ transplant recipient, and the time to get a transplant can be prolonged because of all the checkups, tests and other procedures and planning that go into facilitating the best-case scenario.
Laguins’ doctor told her in January that a living donor would be her best chance for survival.
That’s why she decided after that appointment a couple weeks ago to write up a Facebook post which went viral on local groups pages and profiles.
“Once I do that,” she said, “and we match, hopefully I can start my life over again.”
Laguins has already had a lot of family members, friends and acquaintances reach out to her, and numerous people have already gotten tested.
If someone is considering becoming a living donor for Laguins, he or she can fill out the form at:
muschealth.org/medical-services/transplant/living-donation. Medical University of South Carolina hospital is based out of Charleston, South Carolina.
Donation costs are covered by Laguins’ insurance, and the information people put on the form will be kept confidential with the transplant team.
After her transplant, Laguins is planning to set up a GoFundMe page to raise money to pay the difference for her anti-rejection drugs. These drugs are critical so that her body won’t reject her new kidney. Even with insurance, the medications cost $1,500-1,800 a month out of pocket.
So far, one or two people have matched with Laguins, but she has not been set up for a transplant with a match yet. She is hopeful that she and her medical team can find just the right match in the near future.
“If anybody’s willing to help, please fill out the form and just pray for me,” she said.