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Fundraiser for Landrum native

Money being raised for recent kidney transplant

LANDRUM—After 4 years of dialysis and waiting on the kidney transplant list, Landrum native Erica Wilkins finally got her breakthrough earlier this month. 

But now she needs help financially for she and her family being out of work and for medical bills. 

Wilkins, 31, got a kidney transplant on Sept. 22. 

She grew up in Landrum and moved to Columbia, S.C. in 2008 to attend the University of South Carolina. 

She was diagnosed with end stage renal disease in the summer of 2015 because of unknowingly having high blood pressure and an autoimmune disease called igA nephropathy. 

“Over time, my kidney disease continued to worsen, causing my kidneys not to work well enough to keep me alive without assistance,” Wilkins said. “Thus my treatment options were limited to dialysis treatments and a kidney transplant.” 

Wilkins was receiving regular dialysis treatments, usually more than 8 hours a night, 7 days a week. 

Still, she has continued to work full-time, graduated from USC in 2012 and completed her MBA from North Greenville University during her illness. 

She said after being on the transplant list, she finally got the call on Sept. 21 that Duke had a kidney at 5:30 p.m. She had until midnight to eat, pack and make it to Durham and had her transplant around 5 a.m. Sept. 22. 

“I am very overwhelmed and thankful for the outpouring support I have received via social media, phone calls, prayers and text,” Wilkins said. 

She was discharged from surgery on Sept. 25, but says she has a long way to go. She expects to be out of work until December as well as her family to care for her. 

“I cannot even begin to describe my emotions and feel like I am still dreaming,” Wilkins said. “I am incredibly happy for the gift of life the donor’s family has given at the expense of their loved one and hope that I can one day begin to thank them properly, but of course, I know there’s no way I could ever thank them enough.” 

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Wilkins and her family with lost wages and medical bills. Wilkins will also face post-transplant medical expenses. 

To help Wilkins people can visit https://gofund.me/c78ea23c