SAN ANTONIO – One woman suffering from end-stage kidney failure said it was thanks to her faith in God and a special friendship that has pushed her to continue fighting and raising awareness about this terminal illness.
Candice Allen, 30, was diagnosed three and a half years ago in 2015.
“I went to the doctor and thought, ‘Oh, it is nothing serious,’ and they did a biopsy and found out that I had end-stage kidney failure. The doctor came in and was like ‘Ms. Allen, you have about six months.’ I thought, ‘six months until what?’ I was young. I just did not know how this could happen.”
Thinking her life was over, Allen said she didn’t realize how much her life was just beginning. She met Elvira Lozano, who was 77 years old and suffering from end-stage renal failure and liver disease.
“There was a lady right next to me and I am already feeling sorry for myself with that whole depression,” Allen said. “She was next to me talking to a doctor and she was crying. I asked, ‘Are you OK? What’s wrong?’ She said ‘I am sick. I don’t want to live anymore. I don’t want to be here. I hate it here. So I told her, ‘If I come to treatment, you are going to come to treatment too.”
That was the start to a wonderful friendship-making her treatments, which were at least three times a week for four hours straight, bearable.
“It didn’t even seem like we were doing dialysis,” Allen said as she laughed. “It was like the most fun class ever. I am talking to her. She’s talking to me. We are like ‘Girl, what are we gonna eat today?’ She would say ‘Girl, I want a puffy taco.’ I would say ‘Yeah, with extra sour cream!’ The dietitian walking by would be like ‘You two can’t eat that.’ I would say, ‘My momma said we could have it so we are going to eat it.'”
Because Allen knew how much she meant to Lozano, she didn’t want to risk their lives being separated.