| Katina and Ellen on her first day back in class after her transplant!|
Hi my name is Ellen Minturn. I am a pharmacist, like our instructor Katina. who graduated from I have a supportive husband and 2 adopted children. ( I was told to avoid getting pregnant as you will soon know why...)
I have always felt that exercise was important, but mainly because, initially, I had no choice but to exercise. When I was five years old, I was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes Mellitus. This is not a disease brought on by poor lifestyle choices, but instead one of many auto-immune diseases that was triggered by a flu I had prior to that.
So, I had to start insulin injections, watching everything I ate, including no sugar or desserts and exercising at least 30 minutes a day as prescribed by my physicians.
Due to lots of fervent prayers, good care by my parents, as well as my education in a medical field, I was able to prevent kidney failure for 43 years and without complications. It was not an easy road, but taught me to know human frailty, when it is definitely not asked for!
I learned about Katina's class when it was advertised at the Honeybee festival. I joined in on the fun at the festival and decided to join. I had to stop, eventually, because I became so tired from what they called "Stage V" kidney failure.
I was put on a donor list for a kidney, and opted for a pancreas, as well, even though I was told the pancreas increased the surgery to 8 hours. On October 30th, 2014, I received both and was told it would take 6-12 months to recover fully. I had many friends, family members praying to the Lord, for its success.
Sometime during the winter months, I was getting short of breath. Duke Hospital (which I highly recommend to ANYONE) ran cardiac and pulmonary tests on me to determine why. While I do still have to take a couple of anti-hypertensives, they recommended I might be de-conditioned from the surgery and to get back into exercise SLOWLY.
So I returned to Katina's Zumba class and enjoy it thoroughly even though I am not yet at my full potential.
Whatever happens down the road, I will not be discouraged, for I know He is with me "even to the end".
I give the Holy Trinity thanks for the donor and his/her family and hope to meet or communicate with them one year from the date of surgery, as per Donate for Life's policies.
Please consider being a donor!