WACO, Texas – A rare genetic kidney disease took the life of one father whose children are now living with it, as well.
Bekah and Sarah Kraut have Alport Syndrome, which causes the kidneys to fail – the same diagnosis which took their father’s life in 2008.
Shortly after his death, they – along with their brother, Josh Kraut – found out they had it, too.
Bekah says when she first got the diagnosis at a doctor’s appointment, she was in disbelief.
“Like, the biggest shock of my life. And honestly, I honestly didn’t really believe it at first,” Bekah said. “I was like, no. It’s something else. There’s no way.”
Bekah was the last of her siblings to be diagnosed, and a few months later began dialysis.
She began to doubt if she would get a kidney transplant, but she attended an event and received the miracle she had been hoping for.
“There was this one person who walked up and said, “I’ve always wanted to donate my kidney, and I think that I should donate to you. I feel called to donate to you,” Bekah said. “Her name is Camilla.”
Camilla ended up being her perfect match, and her sister Sarah also met her perfect match, Emma Ruth, in history class at Baylor University.
“Right when I told her, Emma was like, I’ll go get tested. I’ll go try,” Sarah said.
Emma Ruth says the moment Sarah shared what she was going through, she knew it was important to help.
“That night I told my grandma, like, I have a very strong overwhelming sense,” Emma Ruth said. “It wasn’t, like, responsibility. It wasn’t, like, ‘Oh, this person needs to be saved,” or anything like that. Her strength in the moment that she told me made me love her so much.”
A love that was not just about donating an organ, but being by her side as a true friend. Even getting matching tattoos with class number “1305” – where they first met.
“Its a very humbling thing to be able to see what people go through that don’t have working kidneys and need organs,” Emma Ruth said.
Emma Ruth says the experience changed her life, and the sisters hope their brother Josh can have the same life-changing experience.
“My brother has been dealing with dialysis, failed kidneys, failed transplants for his whole adult life,” Sarah said.
They say their mother, Amy Kraut, has been the rock of the family – working multiple jobs to handle medical expenses for all three children.
“I just want her to have a break from it, finally, because she never has,” Bekah said. “If there was anything that somebody was willing to give to my brother, for my mom’s sake,” Bekah said.