Determined twin to fly out to Australia to donate kidney to sister

A woman is determined to fly to Perth, Western Australia from the UK for surgery to help her twin sister.

Abbi, 38, was recently diagnosed with two types of kidney disease.

The diagnosis came after she had aching limbs and a bloated feeling. Manchester Evening News reports.

At first, doctors attributed her symptoms to rheumatism, but further tests revealed that she had severe kidney problems.

Desperate to help her twin, Leor Holtzman Foster, a teacher and mother of two, began getting tested in September to see if she could be a donor for her sister.

Fortunately, doctors recently revealed that it could be.

The sisters, who grew up in Chester, are now collecting money for the trip, during which the 38-year-old Leor will leave her husband John, the two children Eva and Hannah and her job for around eight weeks in Perth.

About Abbi’s diagnosis, Leor said, “It came out of the blue. She suffered from symptoms such as bloating and sore limbs.

“She had been on her way to see the doctors in Australia for a while, but they passed it off as rheumatism and then it got worse.

“Then they said, ‘Oh, we did the blood test and you have kidney disease.’

“So they started medication to stop the kidney disease from getting worse, but it went on and they found that she had two types of kidney disease, so it’s really rare.

“Then her kidney function declined very quickly over a period of 12 months. It rose from around 65 percent to currently five percent.

“So she’s on the daily dialysis that she does at home in the evenings.”

Leor said she found out two weeks ago that she could be a donor for her sister, who moved to Australia about eight years ago.

She added: “She was put on the kidney transplant list but I started work in Manchester last September to see if I could be a donor for her and then we found out two weeks ago that her advisor was Your living kidney donor asked me to do so.

“This is the path we want to go. The reason is that she can reduce the amount of medication she has to take after the operation, and the success rate is higher because we are a perfect match.”

Leor said the Covid pandemic resulted in Abbi going through the “life changing condition” without her family being able to get to Australia.

She said: “When Abbi was diagnosed, the pandemic was in full swing and we weren’t even able to support her emotionally.

“So she had to go through a life changing condition and prospects of needing a donor with her partner and my other sister, so she was really isolated.

“So that was the hardest part. It was really difficult for all of us not to just go and really hug her.”

A fundraiser has now been launched to finance travel expenses, which will include multiple hospital trips, two surgeries for Leor and Abbi, and recovery steps.

Leor said, “We’re just trying to work out the logistics. At the moment, Australia’s borders are closed, so I have to apply to the government for access to the country under extenuating circumstances.

“Then I have to organize a flight, it will be difficult. Then I have to go into isolation if Covid is still present, and then I have further tests done there and whether I still have a” The operation will take place in Perth for her.

“I’m a high school teacher, but I also have two small children at home – a five-year-old and a three-year-old daughter – and a husband who I have to go for about six to eight weeks.”

Abbi told her sister that there was “no pressure”, but Leor said she was “determined” to help her twin.

Leor said, “She was absolutely brilliant. She said, look, there is no pressure, if you don’t want to do it, that’s fine.

“But I am determined to help her because she is my twin and I know she would help me. I could just steal and eye them in the future!

“We are very supportive of each other. My family was brilliant, everyone helps each other and is a good sounding board.”

Donations for the GoFundMe campaign can be made here.

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