HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A set of siblings in Sumner County fighting a rare kidney disease for years are in kidney failure pleading for kidney donors.
Twenty-five-year-old Nick Wilson and his older sister, 29-year-old Brittany Davie, have Alport Syndrome. It is a rare kidney disease with no cure.
"Alport Syndrome is a chronic kidney disease that affects the kidneys. Your body produces massive amounts of protein and causing high blood pressure, and at later stages, after that high blood pressure has worked on your kidneys, you go into kidney failure," explained their mother Cindy Wilson who has been attending appointments with her kids for years.
"Both of my children are in kidney failure," stated Cindy, "They are in chronic, renal failure, and their kidneys don't work on their own anymore so this [dialysis] machine basically keeps them alive."
Nick found out he had Alport Syndrome when he was 7 years old and had been managing his symptoms with medication for more than a decade until Spring 2021.
In May, Nick started dialysis at a center three days a week for four hours at a time.
"I wouldn't want anybody to have to go through it, because sometimes it is tough, but I realized that doing this dialysis is helping me a lot," he explained.
His sister, Brittany, has been doing a different kind of dialysis for more than two years.
"I do peritoneal dialysis. Totally different," explained Brittany. "I have a port that is inside of my stomach, and it just hangs, and at night I hook my machine up and I have three fluid bags that sit beside that machine. And, you know, there's a whole process to it, you got to hook it up you have to prime it and the whole process getting it all set up takes about 40-45 minutes. And then once the machine is ready to go. I can hook myself up to it and have to wear a mask, nobody can be in the room when I hook myself up to it. It has to be just a very sterile environment. And once I'm hooked up, I just lay in bed until I fall asleep."
She has to do her treatment seven days a week for nine hours a day.
Brittany has had challenges in childbirth, struggles with her eyesight and now wears hearing aids for loss of hearing that Alport Syndrome is known to cause.
Although Cindy said their family is usually very private once both her children went on dialysis, they felt it was necessary to speak out.
"At some point you have to get past that and just tell people that we can't have this," explained Cindy.
During the summer of 2021, the family and their friends had decals made for their cars to help spread the word.
Nashville drivers might also notice a digital billboard on I-40 with Nick and Brittany's faces on them during September and October.
"[We] just have to understand that we're gonna make it," said Nick. "You know, we’ll get a kidney one day. You just have to just keep praying and understand that there's people out there willing to help us out."
"My daughter's that O+ positive and she can only have O blood. My son's B+, he can have B, or O blood," explained Cindy.
It is a family plea for two kidneys to help save their children's lives.
"If you're willing to help somebody, help us. We really need a transplant, both of us do," pleaded Brittany. "You will seriously be saving our life. We don't want to live like this forever. We don't want to do dialysis forever."