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Community comes together to help "JordanD" with transplant

Brian Garner
May 13, 2014

The News & Reporter

A coalition of community members are coming together to help a Chester family raise funds for a critically-needed kidney transplant.

Seventeen-year old Jordan Diggs of Chester was recently diagnosed with chronic kidney disease and as the website telling her story put it, 'it is not a question of IF she will need a transplant, but a question of WHEN she will need transplant.'

When the Diggs family learned she would need a transplant, an operation usually costing upwards of $500,000, they turned to COTA, the Children's Organ Transplant Association.

According to the release from COTA, 'the Children’s Organ Transplant Association (COTA) is a national charity dedicated to organizing and guiding communities in raising funds for transplant-related expenses. In Chester, volunteers are raising funds for COTA in honor of transplant patients like Jordan Diggs.

'Jordan is the daughter of Bill and Emily Diggs. Born August 7th, 1996, Jordan was diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease. The doctors at Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte, North Carolina, have recommended a life-saving kidney transplant. An estimated $25,000 is being raised by Chester volunteers.'

Robin Noland is the spokesperson for the community group raising the funds needed for Jordan's transplant.

“Jordan and her family were told in September that she had chronic kidney disease and would need a kidney transplant. I think they said she was down to 26 percent kidney function. At that percentage, she is still doing fine, but the doctors have said she will have to have a transplant, it's only a matter of time, so they have put her on the transplant list for a donor,” Noland said.

Jordan's health prevents her from attending regular public school. She is a student of the South Carolina Virtual Charter School.

Jordan's health issues began when she was four years old and was diagnosed with Fibromuscular Dysplasia, or FMD. According to the press release, '(Jordan) had her tonsils removed and her blood pressure was extremely high after her surgery. The doctor's sent her home with her blood pressure high and her throat bleeding. She was taken back to the ER the next morning and they sent her by ambulance to Carolina's Medical Center in Charlotte, NC. She went straight to PICU (Pediatric Intensive Care Unit) and had tests done which shows that she has FMD in her renal arteries ...she was in the hospital for about two months before her blood pressure was controlled enough to go home.'

Her mother explained FMD on the COTA blog this way: 'FMD causes narrowing in the arteries, usually in the kidneys, but can also be found in the brain, neck, arms, legs and abdomen.'

Noland said Jordan has already has a big toe amputated, because of difficulty in the blood getting to that part of her body.

“Walking is very hard for her; she has a problem getting blood to her legs because of the blood vessels in her legs,” Noland said.

Bravely facing the future, Jordan recently posted this on her COTA blog about learning she had chronic kidney disease:

'When I first heard about my kidney function dropping I was shocked. After that I remember crying about it. It was very scary but I realized everything happens for a reason. I had and still have faith that God can fix and do anything. I pray and hope that God will heal me and I'll keep it up until that day comes. Who knows maybe a transplant is the way God is going to heal me. Maybe this is a story I can tell someday to someone else who needs help through something like I am going through now.'

Noland said the funds raised for the transplant will “be used directly associated for whatever expenses Jordan needs and doesn't have,” she said.

“COTA makes sure that no child or young adult is turned down because of expenses,” Noland pointed out.

The coalition is raising money for the moment through the COTA website and by word of mouth, but they do plan some actual fundraising activities in the future. According to the website, $110 has been raised as of press time.

Volunteers are needed to assist with fundraising activities that will help with transplant-related expenses. Individuals and groups interested in more information can contact Community Coordinator Denise Mathis at 803-374-7580 or tdmathis@ymail.com.

Donations may be mailed to the Children’s Organ Transplant Association, 2501 West COTA Drive, Bloomington, Indiana, 47403. Checks or money orders should be made payable to COTA, with “In Honor of Jordan D” written on the memo line of the check. Secure credit card donations are also accepted online at www.COTAforJordanD.com.

Robin Noland says the community can help Jordan by donating, and by keeping her in their prayers, too.

In many respects, Jordan has the same interests and likes as a child in perfect health. She lists her pet cat, anime cartoons, her iPad, foreign movies and singing as her favorite things. Her wish or dream is 'to be healed and live a normal life.'

With the help of the people in the community, Jordan will be able to enjoy her favorite things, and do just that.

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