One East Texas girl is fighting for her life, and she needs your help.
Ana Montanez of Grand Saline was diagnosed with a rare kidney disease last summer.
Ana just turned 10 this January, and her family says she was pretty healthy until last summer, when doctors diagnosed her with a disease that's not only serious, it's basically unpronounceable. It's called MPGN type 2, or dense deposit disease, and it means that protein and blood are being deposited on her kidneys - making her one very sick little girl.
"She went to her dad's house this past summer in West Texas, she usually does," said her grandmother, Paula Lister. "And when she came back she was all swollen - her face was swollen, her feet were real swollen."
"When I got swollen I could hardly open my eyes because all the fluid went to my eyes and to my feet so it was hard for me to walk," said Ana.
Ana saw doctors in Tyler and Dallas, who diagnosed her with membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis type 2, or MPGN.
"It makes deposits in your kidneys," Lister said. "Where your kidneys usually filter the urine, hers aren't because they're blocked."
The disease has changed everything for Ana, who loves to cook but has had to change her diet to cut out sodium.
"I'm always tired when I play a lot," she said. "I can't ride my bike anymore. I can't see friends and I can't go to school."
"Before she was out riding her bike and playing all the time, jumping on the trampoline, went to her friend's house, went to school, but she can't do any of that anymore because of this disease," said Lister.
She's been in the hospital 15 times in the last five months - the last time for three weeks to treat a blood clot in her neck.
"I can't go out of my room so sometimes they bring me toys to play with. I like cooking, so I ask them for cooking stuff. So I'll make my Grammy food with cooking stuff," she said of her hospital stays.
The family has medical insurance, but since Ana has to go to the doctor every two to three weeks, they've started a "Give Forward" page to help with other expenses.
"It's going to be used for gas to go back and forth and meals while mom's there with her, because all of that gets kind of expensive," said Lister.
Patients with MPGN Type 2 typically experience end stage renal failure within 10 years.
Ana will likely go on dialysis and may even need a kidney transplant at some point, although a new kidney would also be affected by the MPGN.
If you'd like to donate to the Montanez family, please visit their "Give Forward" page.
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