Featured Story-ShanTina Redmon

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A mom’s wish
Teen struggles with rare disease; friends host fund-raiser tonight

By Emily Williams

Most mothers would be hoping to provide presents like video games, clothes or other things on a teenager’s wish list for Christmas.

But Sharane Redmon just wants to be able to afford the medicine that will help her seriously ill daughter ShanTina, who suffers from a rare, incurable kidney disease.

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ShanTina, 14, has been diagnosed with Focal Segmental Glomeruloscerosis (FSGS) and travels to Memphis twice a month for treatment at LeBonheur Children’s Medical Center.

“She’s the baby,” said Redmon, a beautician at Sheer Expressions beauty salon in Batesville.  

Eventually ShanTina will need a kidney transplant, her mother said, but she is not yet qualified, though her kidney function is decreasing.

ShanTina was nine years old when she began exhibiting swelling and other symptoms of the disease.

Doctors had difficulty pin-pointing a diagnosis and her condition worsened, bringing on labored breathing and dangerously high blood pressure. A specialist in Memphis  discovered that ShanTina had kidney failure and the diagnosis of FSGS was made.

The disease is painful, difficult to treat and the medications are very expensive, the mom said. One drug costs about $1,500 a month.

ShanTina uses a blood pressure patch to help with that condition.

A home-health aid comes two times a week to check on her.

Though the family does get some government assistance with her medical costs,  the situation has put a strain on the family budget.

In addition to the financial burden, Redmon said she often finds herself overwhelmed and in tears from the emotional strain of watching her once healthy, vibrant girl struggle with the disease.

“There are times where ShanTina will be found curled up in a ball in so much pain,” her mother said.

She has taken a lot of time off from her job to be with her daughter when she’s not feeling well.

ShanTina tries to live a normal life and attends Quitman County Middle School,  where she’s a member of the band.

Often she ends up coming home from school early because she doesn’t feel well, Redmon said.

“She did march in the parade in Quitman and played the flute,” her mom said. “She wasn’t feeling well enough to march in any other parades.”

Friends step in to help

 Friends of the Redmons have set up an account at Renaissance Bank for anyone who wants to donate to help with medical costs, costs of living, her medications and, just like for any child, a happy Christmas.

A benefit will be held tonight at the Family Life Center in Lambert at 6:30 p.m. to raise money to help ShanTina during the holidays.

Her mother asks for prayers. Anyone who would like to offer encouragement may call her at 662-801-2891.