Tampa actress and model offers hope after kidney transplant

You know, there’s no question. So many of us take our health for granted, but there are more than 100,000 people on the transplant waiting list. And every day 17 people die. Waiting tonight, we introduce you to a Tampa woman who was given the gift

Of life and she’s spreading the word this national kidney month. Hold on, I have to call you back. She is an actress and a model. But for Brianna Borrello beauty isn’t skin deep. It lives within her. Thanks to a boy who gave her the gift of life.

I started to gain a lot of weight. It was middle school when Brianna began noticing changes in her health and they started to see that my cholesterol was really high, were concerned I was going to have a heart attack. You know, in eighth grade,

It wasn’t until three years later that a biopsy confirmed she had kidney disease. My feet and legs were just really swollen from 16 to 22. PredniSONE slowed the progression that I was on multiple steroids. But in June of 2014, Brianna went into kidney failure. My creatinine levels

Were really, really bad and went on dialysis three days a week for 2.5 years, the machine becomes your life because your body can’t do it anymore without that machine. I wouldn’t, nobody would be living who’s on dialysis. You’re completely relying on it. You have to do it or

You will die. Well, she studied us. F Rihanna continued her acting classes but the real life drama was about to begin. I had a blood infection and that what I was experiencing was sepsis. The clock was ticking time was not in my favor. Once I was on dialysis,

There was no guarantee of when my last day was gonna be, when you end up on dialysis. You need a donor. In 2016, a five year old boy named Emmanuel would forever change Brianna’s world. There’s not a day that I don’t think of him

From the moment he was born Emmanuel Gutierrez faced enormous medical challenges. He was born with craniofacial anomalies and he had had so many surgeries and his young little life after surgery in 2016, Emanuel went into a coma and never woke up. A family friend knew the Gutierrez family and

Told them about Brianna’s need for a kidney. They wanted to directly donate to me. Emanuel’s five year old kidneys would be going to her. Emmanuel gave me the greatest gift that you could ever give somebody. And that is the second chance at life. I have a part of him and me

While the wait continues for many others. She offers a message of hope. It might not sound like it right now, but things will get better and there is a light at the end of the tunnel and I found the light and now I want to share that light. Well,

Despite the direct donation from Emmanuel Brianna wasn’t active on the transplant list and had to scramble to be approved for the transplant. She encourages everyone waiting for a transplant to strongly advocate for themselves.

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