Dawn knew that she might inherit polycystic kidney disease (PKD), a genetic condition with which both her mother and four out of her five siblings struggled. From age 20 to 44, her kidney function slowly declined to less than 20 percent, making a transplant her best opportunity for a better life.
Few hospitals could have resolved the complex twists and turns in Dawn's road to transplant. After three pregnancies, her antibodies had built up and she was sensitized to transplant, a situation that can cause the body to reject a new organ. Living in England, she and her husband James researched options across the United States and chose Houston Methodist J.C. Walter Jr. Transplant Center.
After undergoing a state-of-the-art desensitization protocol developed by Houston Methodist physicians and finding a strong donor match in Barbara Ward, a wonderful new friend, Dawn received a successful transplant in November 2010. Today she lives a full life with excellent renal function.
"My donor and my physicians at Houston Methodist gave me a new life," she said at her most recent follow-up, a huge smile lighting her face.