HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - A Hattiesburg couple is sharing a lot more than just love.
“Mine is this silent disease," Jennifer Styron said. "You don’t know it’s there until it’s bad enough.”
In 2005 at the age of 18, Jennifer was diagnosed with a kidney disease.
“Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis," Jennifer said.
A disease 14 years later she continues to battle.
At first diagnosis, her kidney function was at 42 percent. Now, she fights living a normal life every day with only a 15 percent kidney function.
“Just a random blood test I had done because I was sick that found out I had a kidney disease," Jennifer said.
The symptoms at first were minor. Styron coped carrying on with her day to day life eventually meeting the man of her dreams. Jennifer and Cody tied the knot in 2012.
In sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, Jennifer and Cody will soon share more than devoted wedding vows.
On November 4 Cody will donate his kidney to his wife Jennifer.
“The excitement of, oh my gosh I’m about to get a new kidney," Jennifer said.
Jennifer’s mom was tested first, followed by Cody who turned out to be an even better match.
“I’m glad I am a match," Cody said.
“I was pretty much in shock," Jennifer said. "Because I have someone who loves me enough to help me have a life to be able to be here for my child.”
Right now, there are about 12 hundred people currently on the kidney transplant waiting list Jennifer would have been on, waiting for a donor.
“If he had not willingly made the sacrifice he is making there’s no telling how many years, it could be up to seven years that I would be waiting," Jennifer said. "Which means it would have put me on dialysis.”
Now, the family prepares for next month’s life-changing surgery in New Orleans.
“I knew I loved him, that I was in love with him and I wanted to spend my life with him," Jennifer said. "After this there is nothing, no one can say anything or make me even doubt the fact that he truly loves me. There’s just an entirely new level of marriage and love that share between each other now.”
According to kidney.org, there are more than 100,000 people across our nation waiting for kidney transplants. The Styron’s encourage you to become an organ donor because you could save someone’s life.
Right now, the Styron family is raising money to help with the medical expenses they are facing.
Gift cards and wood carvings will be raffled off Saturday, Oct. 12 at the Brooklyn Community Center to help in Jennifer’s fight.
You can also visit her Facebook page for more information on how you can help.