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When Crystal Enns was
14, she experienced a persistent nosebleed that prompted her parents to take her
to see her doctor. Once there, she was
told that her nosebleed was not an issue, but something more heartbreaking
showed up in the test results.
Crystal was diagnosed
with juvenile nephronophthisis, a rare kidney infection that causes inflammation
and scarring of the kidneys. If left undetected, the infection would ultimately
lead to kidney failure. Doctors strongly urged Crystal to get a kidney
transplant, which led to her family being tested to see if anyone was a match.
According to an
interview with KTVT, Crystal's mom Cristy was tested first. When her results
came back, she was shocked to hear that she had an abnormality on her kidney
which would require more tests. Crystal's father Mark underwent testing next
and the doctor delivered shocking news: Mark had kidney cancer.
Before the devastation
could sink in, the doctor revealed that Cristy's test results were back and she
too had the same type of kidney cancer Mark had developed.
Dr. Albert Quan, the
pediatric nephrologist at Medical City Children's Hospital in Dallas who
treated Crystal, told ABC News that this had never happened during his 25-year
Thankfully, with both cancer
diagnoses, the cancer was caught early; both parents could be treated with an
operation that eliminated the cancer from their bodies without chemotherapy.
Crystal, now 17, is now an advocate for organ donors while her parents continue
to express gratitude for the family's recovery.
overwhelmed with gratitude to God for allowing us to find out about her kidney
disease when we did because Mark and I would never have been tested
otherwise," Cristy Enns wrote in an email for ABC News. "The timing
of her nosebleed allowed us to begin the donor screening process early, with
plenty of time to discover and take care of our alarming cancer diagnosis
before it came time for Crystal's transplant."