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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

March Kidney Disease Awareness Month
South Africa teen with progressive form of Fibromuscular Dysplasia seeks help from New York Doctor

Ashleigh Botha of South Africa is a beautiful teenage girl who’s been diagnosed with a progressive form of Fibromuscular Dysplasia (FMD). In the past year Ashleigh has been battling with dangerously high blood pressures. FMD has taken on a toll on young Ashleigh’s kidneys. Her kidneys are not functioning as they should, her right kidney is functioning at less than 30 percent and her left 60 percent. Once an active high school girl she now unable to attend school regularly. Ashleigh suffers daily from pain which leaves her confined to bed at times. Because of Ashleigh's condition she cannot take pain medications. What makes Ashleigh’s disease more devastating is that according to her mother Colleen, “South African doctors do not have the experience or knowledge to treat this disease and if it is not managed correctly, there can be major complications. Ashleigh's doctors have told us to take her to America for treatment.”

Along with Ashleigh's FMD she also suffers from Spondylolithosis of the spine, which has caused her spine to become unstable at the base and to curve by 39 degrees. Her Spinal Surgeon in Cape Town has told us she will possibly need a metal rod, with plates and screws inserted into her spine in the near future.

FMD treatment is available in the US, which will make Ashleigh's life easier and help with the pain and symptoms she suffers from the disease. Ashleigh’s family are trying to raise funds to send her to New York where she will be seen by Dr. Jeffery Olin a leading expert in the treatment and management of FMD. Dr. Jeffrey Olin is the Director of Vascular Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York.

With the cost of medical bills adding up for the Botha family they are struggling to raise money to pay for Ashleigh's care. Ashleigh’s mom states “We are trying to raise funds, due to the very high cost of medical treatment and expenses, as well as the bad Dollar/Rand exchange rate, to enable us to take Ashleigh to America as soon as possible.”

Kari Ulrich a Registered Nurse in Minnesota, who is also afflicted with FMD has set up a trust fund to help Ashleigh get the medical care she needs.

The account for donation in the US is:

Account Name: Ashleigh Botha Recovery Account Trust
Account Number: 7860881825
Wells Fargo Bank
122 East Main Street
Albert Lea, MN 56007