This family has gone through more kidney operations than any other
SANDRA Mullings knows one day her daughter will need a kidney transplant.
It likely her grandchildren and great grandchildren will too.
It's because her family has a rare genetic condition, Autosomal Dominant Tubulointerstitial Kidney Disease (ADTKD).
This means her siblings, cousins and all other blood relatives will inevitably have to live with the burden of having kidney disease.
They found out in November last year, after Mrs Mullings experienced years of pain, suffering, and hospital visits.
Six yers ago at the age of 51, Ms Mullings was going grey, using a walking frame and struggling to have the energy for day-to-day tasks.
"I was just tired all the time and I had a really bad taste in my mouth. Honestly, I thought I had a really bad fungus infection in my lungs," she said.
In 2010 tests revealed she had renal failure.
She spent two years on dialysis, before on Australia Day, 2012, she received her first kidney.
While other transplant recipients were walking around the ward, Mrs Mullings laid, still in pain for 19 days.
She said the kidney "worked" for five days, but because of health complications, including an aneurysm in her groin and an infection, doctors had to take it out.
It took two years before she received her next kidney, after she had countless visits to Brisbane to kill the fungus that was found in her body.
"The second time around I handled it a lot better emotionally," Mrs Mullings said.
"The first time was so hard. Even though you see psychologists, it's not real until you get that kidney.
"You start thinking, someone out there has lost their loved one to give me this second chance at life."
Mrs Mullings isn't alone in her battle with kidney failure. She said several of her cousins have also had kidney transplants.
Her older brother, Lance Hayward, died from health complications when he was 57, and he had just started kidney dialysis.
After speaking to a nurse at a routine check up in November, she and the health professional realised the impact kidney disease has had on her family.
Now her siblings, cousins and daughter all have regular hospital visits to "check up" on their kidneys.
Mrs Mullings holds on to hope one day there will be a cure or better treatment for their condition.
She will hold a high tea fundraiser the Princess Alexander Hospital renal unit and kidney research on August 7.
It will be held at the QRI Hall in Off Lane.
For tickets phone 0409848647 or 0452433644.
Please note: This story has been changed since it was originally published. It was originally stated that Sandra's brother Lance's death was before he started kidney dialysis, however that was incorrect, Lance had already started dialysis. We apologise for the misunderstanding.