Greenville woman survives generational kidney disease

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – A Greenville woman is sharing her story as a survivor of a kidney disease, which has afflicted three generations of her family.

“My grandmother, my two sisters, my mom, and myself,” said Tammy Edwards, listing the family members diagnosed with the disease.

In 2016, Edwards herself was diagnosed with kidney disease.

“Going to have to do dialysis and then sometimes being tired, frustrated too, and maybe sometimes a little pain,” Edwards described.

Through her treatments, Edwards found solace in music.

“I had to sing wherever we were and then have to be back that Monday morning to start dialysis, so that was my life for 6 1/2 years,” she said.

Edwards has been passionate about singing since her childhood, often performing with her sisters.

“I don’t even know when it started, but my father will always get us in the living room and just sing us and have us singing together until we form a group,” she recalled.

The Edwards sisters toured officially until one sister became too ill.

“My sister passed away in February 2021, and my mom passed away in April 2021,” Edwards said.

She also lost another sister to kidney disease in 1990.

Despite these losses, Edwards maintained her faith. Two years ago, she received unexpected news: “They had a kidney for me. The good news was there, and I’ve had the kidney for almost two years now.”

With the support of friends and her church community, Edwards remains hopeful.

“Greater is still in front of her and with her faith and her support around her,” said Bishop Veron Blake Phillips.

Edwards feels fortunate for her second chance at life.

Cynthia Daniels, Honor Bridge’s Hospital Liaison, highlighted the challenges faced by over 100,000 people on the national organ transplant waitlist.

“Tammy is now able to continue her family’s legacy by singing again with her kids,” Daniels added.