KENTWOOD, Mich. -- A mother in Kentwood was about to receive the ultimate gift from her brother, a kidney donation, until they realized they were fighting a similar battle, and the timing saved his life.
"I’m trying to live by the 'I can’t stress over things I can’t control,' and God has a plan," said Tiana Madison, a mother of two in Kentwood.
Madison, 36, a wife and mother of a young son and daughter, has lived with Lupus since she was 17. Each night at home her fight continues using a peritoneal dialysis machine.
"Peritoneal dialysis is kind of like being in jail every night: you have to start it by a certain time," explained Madison. "If you have certain things to do in the morning you’re kind of married to your machine for that whole nine hours."
She's been on the kidney transplant list now for 11 months, and recently she had a breakthrough: when her kidney levels' functioning dropped dangerously below seven percent, her brother offered to donate his kidney. Their surgeries were scheduled for June 18.
"I offered it as soon as I found out she needed it," said Stephen Parks, Madison's brother.
"To give someone the gift of life, I mean that’s got to be one of the best things that you can do," said Madison to her brother.
However, two days before their surgery, Madison had an infection which delayed their procedures. Then later that week, Parks was taken to the hospital for breathing problems only to learn he has Lupus like his sister. The timing of this discovery he says saved his life.
"It was like God kind of stepped in," said Parks.
"I would have been on the operating table and according to the doctors, I wouldn’t have made it out of surgery because of [my] bilateral pulmonary embolisms."
Continuing her fight, Madison says she has even more to live for.
"I’m here for a reason, and part of that reason is to help my brother through his challenging time because he still has a lot of questions about the illness and a lot of things he still doesn’t understand," she said.
She and her brother advocate for others to become organ donors.
"A person can live a very healthy active life with one kidney," said Madison. "So, if that’s the fear of someone going in and getting tested, don’t be scared, don’t be scared."
Madison's church started this GoFundMe for her living and medical expenses.
She is receiving health care and hopes to undergo her kidney transplant with Mercy Health Kidney Transplant Center. If anyone would like to learn how to donate a kidney, or to start the evaluation process to become a kidney donor to Madison, you can call the Center at (616) 685-6222 or go their website.