A TEENAGER who suffers from a rare disorder that causes her kidneys to leak has spoken of how her life has changed since she got ill.
Harris High School pupil Natasha Cottrell, 15, said her symptoms started nearly three years ago.
“I was ill all the time and missed a lot of school,” she said.
“It was horrible. I just couldn’t do anything and felt really tired.”
It took doctors a long time to diagnose Nephrotic Syndrome. Natasha and her family have spent a lot of time in and out of University Hospital in Walsgrave.
Natasha, of Wentworth Road, Rugby, added: “I just felt relieved that my condition had a name.
“I’m treated with steroids but the medication can make me feel really down. It means I can’t have much salt and I really crave a packet of crisps with my friends.”
Nephrotic Syndrome is a condition where the ‘filters’ in the kidney become leaky.
This means large amounts of protein leaks from the blood into the urine which means sufferers lose a lot of protein.
Natasha’s mother Lorraine said: “This causes a lot of complications.
“These can be an increased risk of developing infections as they lose antibodies in the urine, an increased risk of developing blood clots in the blood vessels, high cholesterol level, increased risk of vitamin D deficiency and anaemia.”
She added: “The biggest complication of all that is caused by Nephrotic Syndrome is kidney failure.”
Patients get treated with steroids or other medication to help reduce the protein from leaving the body. “There are again a lot of side effects and complications that can make the patient quite ill,” added Lorraine.
Natasha has been told she could ‘grow out’ of the condition.
NeST is a charity dedicated to finding a cure and stopping the people who have Nephrotic Syndrome suffering. Lorraine is holding a fundraising event at the Griffin Pub in Overslade from 12pm till 11pm on July 28.
There will be a raffle, cake sale, face-painting, bouncy castle, quiz, lots of games and a visit from Peppa Pig. In the evening there will be a disco and karoke.
Call 07913 660201 for more information.