Carly Campbell has always dreamed of being recruited for volleyball, but her medical condition may get in the way.
“I’ve always wanted to get recruited for volleyball, but there’s always an ‘if’ because of this kidney transplant I’m having,” Carly said.
Carly, 15, suffers from chronic kidney disease due to kidney necrosis, but her condition doesn’t keep her from being a vibrant teenager. She smiled with her friends while they washed cars for a fundraiser.
Carly was scheduled for a kidney transplant Tuesday, Jan. 21. Her mother, Tammy, is the donor. To raise funds for medical expenses, the Campbell family had a fundraising car wash Saturday, Jan. 18, near 67th Avenue and Thunderbird Road.
Glendale Charities sponsored her and had fire and police vehicles on site for people to enjoy
Tammy, who is a registered nurse at Banner Thunderbird Hospital, said Carly has struggled with her condition since birth.
At birth, Carly had kidney problems. “She lost a lot of blood at birth and her kidneys were without blood for lots of time,” Tammy said. “After 15 years, it’s finally time to go forward with the transplant.”
Despite her condition, Tammy said Carly has led a normal life who looks like a healthy teenager. But she does struggle, and Tammy wants her life to improve.
“Hopefully she’ll feel much stronger and better,” Tammy said. “She’s really done well throughout her life but I’m hoping once she gets a good kidney she’ll feel stronger and have more energy.”
The family has a target goal of $70,000 and has raised $22,000, according to the donation website. The money will go toward lifelong medical expenses, Tammy said.
Tammy said she is nervous about the surgery, but she is happy to donate her daughter her kidney. The procedure will take two hours for Tammy and four hours for Carly. Carly’s recovery should take roughly six weeks.
Paul Campbell, Carly’s dad, describes her as a “typical teenager.”
“She loves playing volleyball and she wasn’t able to play during the fall because of everything going on with her kidneys, so she was pretty bummed out about that,” Paul said. “But hopefully we can get her back to health and she’ll be able to start playing again.”
Paul Campbell has been a Glendale Police officer for over 20 years. He said he is grateful for the support his family has received from the community.
“I actually had my commander out here this morning washing cars and getting his car washed and the fire department from Glendale was here as well,” Paul said. “There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for them and vice versa.”
Paul said she felt an overwhelming sensation when the family found out Tammy was a match for Carly.
“I felt blessed,” Paul said with tears in his eyes. “I was very blessed and I’m very happy my wife could be a donor. It was an overwhelming sense of relief.”
A Sunrise Mountain High School student, Carly said they began discussing a transplant when she was 12 and her kidneys were quickly declining.
“Eventually they just stopped working, so we want to do this before I have to get dialysis,” Carly said.
She said she is nervous and excited at the same time. She said it doesn’t seem real the surgery was happening.
Mostly, Carly said she is happy for her health to improve.
“I struggle most with taking my medication,” Carly said. “I’m just a teenager and it’s really hard to stay on top of my medicines.”
Throughout her condition, Carly said her friends have been supportive and always reminding her to take her medication and asking how her medical appointments went.
Her school has been supportive as well. Carly said they had a “Comfy for Carly” day at school where people dressed up in pajamas and donated money for the fundraiser.
Carly said she would like to get back to volleyball after the surgery, but it will depend on her well-being. She said she is just glad and happy her mother is the donor.
“It’s just really cool to see her doing it for me,” Carly said. “I couldn’t see anyone else doing it.”
Despite her condition, Carly is described as a cheerful person who keeps a positive attitude, even in the most challenging times. The Campbell family said they are grateful to the community and support they have seen.
“She’s a young vibrant teenager who has her whole life ahead of her,” Tammy said. “This is just a bump in the road.”
For information on Carly’s fundraiser or to contribute, visit cota.org/campaigns/COTAforCarly.