GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – March is Kidney Disease Awareness Month and one woman in Eastern North Carolina is sharing her story to help others.  

According to the CDC, more than 1 in 7 adults in the United States suffers from chronic kidney disease. Greenville resident Chariesse Boyd is one of those adults. 

“When I was told that my kidneys were failing, I was in denial,” said Boyd.  

Boyd went in for her annual checkup, and that’s when the doctor found protein in her urine. She didn’t have any symptoms at first, and then, they started.  

“I would get sluggish, lose my energy,” said Boyd. “I started swelling up. I was swelling up all over my body. My body started retaining the toxins and the fluid because my kidneys were not able to release them because we release our toxins when we urinate.” 

Her doctors said her kidney failure was genetic and also a side effect of the high blood pressure medication she was taking. She was put on dialysis for four years until she was eligible for a kidney transplant. Then, she finally got the news.  

“I received the call one Saturday evening at about 11:30 pm,” said Boyd. “[The transplant centers] first question to me was, ‘how soon can you get to ECU hospital’ and I was like ‘six minutes.’” 

It’s a call she believes came from heaven.  

“I took care of my mom until her unexpected death. And then about two and a half weeks after she passed away, I got the call for a kidney,” said Boyd. “My mother went to heaven and petitioned for me to get a kidney,” 

Now, she has her whole life ahead of her, with her new kidney expected to last for over 10 years. She’s sharing her story to raise awareness. 

“I would encourage [people] to ask their medical professionals. And if they don’t get answers from them, don’t stop, look it up. Go to a dialysis clinic. And last but not least, make an appointment with a kidney physician,” said Boyd.  

For more information about kidney disease, click here.