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Three friends from same church need kidney transplants

Church launching education campaign to raise awareness
Posted at 11:00 AM, Jan 30, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-30 11:00:04-05

FRANKLIN — Among the hymns, the prayers and the faithful, three members of the Turning Point Church in Johnson County struggled with a similar health concern. All three would learn that they are experiencing kidney failure and are in need of a kidney transplant.

Jane Cruzan lives in Greenwood. Her room is full of boxes who’s contents are keeping Cruzan alive. The 72-year-old has done dialysis at home since June 2021.

“If I don’t have my dialysis I would be constantly vomiting and eventually I would I die,” said Cruzan.

She says her reason for fighting is because she loves to travel.

“I have a lot adventures to go yet. I love adventures," Cruzan said.

Aaron Gonzalez is reflecting on life. During height of the pandemic in June 2020, he received an unexpected diagnosis that his kidneys are failing.

"It was really hard," Gonzalez said.

His wife Ashley sat by his side on the couch during our interview.

“The reality is you can’t live forever on that machine," Ashley said. "As the years go by, we are approaching our third year doing this dialysis as years progress his health condition deteriorates,” said Ashley."

While the waiting is tough, Aaron remains hopeful.

“Live your life to the fullest because you never know how much time you have left," Gonzalez said.

The Gonzalez' have been married five years.

Daniel and Nola Bryant have been married 17 years. Daniel was diagnosed with diabetes in 1996 is also struggling with his kidneys and has been on home dialysis since June 2022.

“Even if you don’t know anybody that needs one and you feel you need to or want to go ahead and do it," Bryant said. "Somewhere out there will be a match for them and use that kidney."

Daniel, Jane and Aaron are now on the Kidney Transplant Waiting List. As members of the same church family, they have become their own support system.

Facing the same struggle, they're bounded by a faith that offers hope. The only enemies on journey are time and the lack of organ donors.

If you are interested in becoming a donor, you should have a conservation with your family and then your doctor.

You can contact the National Kidney Foundation Hotline at 1-855-653-2273.