As a high school student, Fanny Powers suffered from recurring bladder infections and soon discovered that her kidneys weren't working properly. "I had none of the difficult symptoms associated with kidney failure, just low protein in my urine. But there was definitely something wrong."
Fanny was referred to NewYork-Presbyterian/ Columbia and treated effectively with medication for several years. By the time she was 23, however, she was on dialysis and having a hard time with it. Her veins were small and hard to access. Her blood pressure rose after every treatment, and she often required hospitalization. Fanny was dangerously underweight, having dropped from 130 to 92 pounds.
At this point, the only alternative was a transplant. Fanny's father donated a kidney, and according to Fanny, "the transplant team at Columbia did such a fine job, you can barely see my scar." Soon Fanny was back at Iona College, pursuing her studies in marketing and advertising.
When it came time to start her family at age 31, Fanny was concerned about her medical history. "I was told that transplant patients usually have their babies early, and that these infants tend to weigh less," she reports. "My son, Luke, was an 8 pound baby, and very sturdy, though he came three weeks pre-term. My protein levels dropped a bit, but they returned to normal right after delivery."
At 35, Fanny is expecting her second child. "This has also been an easy pregnancy. I look back on those early years and can hardly remember what it felt like to be sick. My medical team at Columbia has helped me lead a rich and active life."