FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – An area teenager needs a kidney transplant to help her battle a life-threatening disease.
Doctors discovered Noel Resor’s rare condition nearly a year ago, and have told her she may need multiple transplants over her lifetime. The family has teamed up with an organization to help with the cost of what could be multiple transplants.
Resor was 14 when she found out she had Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), a rare disease that attacks the kidney’s filtering system causing serious scaring.
Mark Resor, Noel’s father, said he still remembers how it all began early last May. “She was seemingly normal, nothing was wrong,” he said.
Mark and Elizabeth, Noel’s mother, took the teen to see an area doctor, who recommended Noel be taken to Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis because she was dealing with something serious.
“I thought we should pack an overnight bag, and we’d get her some medicine, and be back the next day,” Elizabeth Resor said. Noel ended up staying at Riley’s for two weeks.
After her two week hospital stay, Noel would return home only to have her symptoms quickly come back. “We saw that she was just miserable,” Elizabeth Resor said. Since being diagnosed with FSGS, the Resor’s have had at least one scheduled trip a month to the Indianapolis hospital, and several other unexpected ones, too.
“In these last two months, I’ve gone to like 10 doctor’s appointments, and every month it feels like we add another doctor because something has gone wrong,” Noel said.
Mark Resor said the biggest fear he and his wife have right now is that Noel’s heart is working too hard to make up for her kidneys failing. The family has to monitor the teen’s blood pressure daily.
Noel’s transplant could come any time within the next year. Her father said doctors need that time to get the teen’s body strong enough for the operation.
With the cost of a transplant often exceeding $500,000, the Resor’s have teamed up with the Children’s Organ Transplant Association (COTA) to help the family shoulder the financial burden. COTA is a national charity dedicated to organizing and guiding communities in raising funds for transplant-related expenses.
COTA is helping the Resor’s raise $75,000. “I can not tell you how blessed we feel,” Elizabeth Resor said.
The funds raised for Noel through COTA will always be available for her medical expenses.
“This disease is going to be with her forever,” Elizabeth said. “It’s likely she will need another transplant. We just don’t know how soon.”
Noel’s parents fear their daughter won’t be able to get insurance once she goes off their plan when she’s an adult.
“COTA will put funds in an account that she can use on her kidney disease, as long as there is money in it,” Elizabeth said. “When she’s no longer on our insurance and living on her own, she’s still going to be taken care of.”
Two events have already been planned to help the family with medical costs. On Monday, April 28, there is a fundraiser at Chick Fil-A at Jefferson Pointe. That night, 15 percent of sales between 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. will go towards Noel’s campaign. On Friday, May 16, Thunder Bowl is sponsoring a Bowl For Life event where families can bowl ($60), or a lane can be sponsored ($75).
Donations may be mailed to the Children’s Organ Transplant Association, 2501 West COTA Drive, Bloomington, IN 47403. Checks or money orders should be made payable to COTA, with “In Honor of Noel R” written on the memo line of the check. Secure credit card donations are also accepted online at www.COTAforNoelR.com.
While the experience has been tough for the entire Resor family, it has helped confirm Noel’s career aspirations. “I’ve known since I was in fourth grade that I wanted to be a nurse,” she said.
As one of the oldest patients at Riley, Noel has become a patient other children look to for encouragement. During her long stays, the longest being 24 days, she has talked to other patients about operations and other procedures to let them know they’re not as painful as you may expect.
“I just want to help people,” Noel said.