My mother gave me life… twice: Tahnie’s #ThankList

07142015_Tanhie_AG_FBAs a part of our ongoing #ThankList campaign, we are sharing stories of gratitude from our community of friends and fans. If you have a story you’d like to tell, tweet us @amgreetings!

Just barely a year into the world, baby Tahnie’s future became a fragile one that would require an intense fight for survival. Born with a rare disease, each passing year brought her closer to an inevitable battle. Then the day finally came when the waiting was over, and her mother stepped in to save her. Here is Tahnie’s amazing story of a mother’s love to save her child, and how Tahnie was given a second chance at life and “conquered her impossible.”

In 1984, a few months after my first birthday, I was diagnosed with the ultra-rare disease, Cystinosis. My mother became aware of the fact I would need a kidney transplant at some point in my life. Fast forward through the years, amid several hospital stays intertwined in a happy childhood, that time came when I was 10 years old. She stepped up to donate one of her own kidneys to me without thinking twice.

Because of her gift, I was able to completely avoid dialysis, the process in which a machine filters the blood in the body, acting as an artificial kidney. It is a treatment that works, but it’s riddled with often severe side effects and can be incredibly challenging to tolerate. 

{ How do you thank someone who gave you life not once, but twice? I don’t think there is a way. However, I live my life to the fullest, not daring to waste any extra days her generosity has given me. }

How do you put into words the tremendous gift of giving you more life so that you could become a mother yourself? There are only about 9 other women in the world with cystinosis, who have survived the high risk pregnancy. My daughter, in many ways, owes her existence to her grandmother. For this, I will never be able to repay her! And yet, spending my days chasing after my dreams with gusto is one thing I aim to do with every fiber of my being. 

To read more about Tahnie, follow her at today is a miracle and a happy girl, where she continues to celebrate “conquering your own impossible.”


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