Say "Yes" Today

Audrey Bella Langston

Hello January and a new face in the LifeLink Faces of Transplantation Calendar. Meet Audrey.

Audrey, a newly minted police officer with the Chicago Police Department who had a baby and young teenage son at home, was on a weekend birthday trip with friends when she began experiencing a terrible headache, nausea, frequent urination and a general lethargic feeling. She cut her trip short but on the way home, Audrey’s symptoms became alarmingly worse when she lost her ability to see. Although her blindness was temporary, doctors eventually diagnosed Audrey with Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), a condition that causes kidney damage. Audrey, who as a police officer kept herself in incredible shape through exercise and healthy eating, was shocked by her diagnosis. At the recommendation of doctors, Audrey implemented further lifestyle adjustments to manage her disease and was able to remain an active duty police officer until eventually she began dialysis and was placed on the waiting list for a kidney

transplant. After several potential donor opportunities fell through, Audrey’s godson, Roger, declared he wanted to become a living kidney donor and on March 4, 2005, during her birthday weekend, Audrey received her gift of life. Audrey returned to active duty for the Chicago Police Department where she served a total of 21 years until her retirement in 2014. Audrey says “Since my transplant, my greatest joy has been the things I’ve done in my volunteering. I now pay it forward to others who may not have a great support system; my volunteer work has healed me.” Audrey serves as a LifeLink volunteer, the co-chair of the Tampa General Hospital Transplant Patient Family Advocacy Council and hosts a podcast, Bella’s Hope for Healing, to bring awareness to kidney disease as well as other important topics like mental health.