Gulfport woman overcomes multiple challenges, but still in need of kidney transplant

A Gulfport woman is reclaiming her independence after her kidney failed, requiring her to go on dialysis, but that’s not the only obstacle she has to face.

At the young age of ten, Jana Rocker was faced with a challenge many could only imagine: losing her left arm to bone cancer. “It was very aggressive. They had to do an amputation and that’s how I lost my arm. Luckily, I recovered from that. I had no further metastasis. It did not come back and I am very fortunate for that.”

If that’s wasn’t enough, the chemotherapy caused acute kidney failure. Rocker was able to overcome it, at least for a while. “It was pretty stable for several years. What happened was I ended up getting sick about 37 years later. I was in the hospital and I got dehydrated. It actually triggered the start of my kidney’s actually failing.”

After hearing the bad news, Rocker was nervous so she went to a second option just to be sure. “They concurred that I needed to start dialysis.”

Rocker was then paired with her amazing nurse, Barbara Broome, from Fresenius Kidney Care in Gulfport to start her dialysis treatment. “I had surgery to implant the catheter. We decided to do peritoneal dialysis for me. I’m doing it at home. My doctors said I would be able to do it at home.”

Broome said, “She picked on it right away. She was absolutely great.”

Barbara trained Jana on how to do dialysis from home, allowing her the flexibility and strength to still work full-time and do what she loves the most: cross-fit. “Anybody can do cross-fit. If I can do it, anybody can do it.”

Broome says that Rocker has become more of a friend than a patient. “We have become a family. It’s like family.”

Rocker says her faith keeps her going. “When I was like ten-years-old, it’s like turn it over to God and you really have to do that you know.”

Rocker is currently waiting for a kidney transplant. She is in need of an O-type kidney. If you or anyone you know can help, call 504-355-1311.

Categories: Featured, Harrison County, Local News, News

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