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Source: Jacob Wackerhausen / Getty

Gospel singer Tammy Edwards underwent a lifesaving kidney transplant two years ago that has since given her the ability to perform again with members of gospel music group, Tammy Edwards and the Edwards Sisters.

While her family has a legacy of music, chronic kidney disease, too, greatly impacted the lives of Tammy, her two sisters, and their mother. Tammy was the first to successfully receive a kidney transplant after losing her mother and two sisters to the disease known for shutting down the kidneys ability to properly function over time.

SEE ALSO: First Person To Receive Pig Kidney Transplant Dies

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease, “the disease is one that affects more than 37 million adults in the United States.” The case of the Edwards family was unusual and one that doctors considered rare. “I’ve never seen a family with as many members affected with chronic kidney disease as the Edwards family,” Dr. Cynthia Christiano, Chief of the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension at ECU Health where the singer gets treatment, shared. “We do know this disease runs in families but this is an unusual case.”

Tammy was well into her 40s when she developed CKD (chronic kidney disease). The disease took over her life. For several years, Tammy spent countless time at a clinic receiving dialysis alongside her mother. The thought of not having a functioning kidney began to devour her daily thoughts, causing her to compare her situation to that of others.

“Anytime I would look at a person, I would look through them and see their kidney. Isn’t that crazy?” Tammy told Good Morning America. “I’d be like, ‘They have a kidney, and their kidney works. Mine doesn’t.'”

After losing her sisters and mother to the disease, she knew she had to make a change. Tammy underwent weight loss surgery and began to put her health first in order to be placed on the kidney transplant list – a list that was somewhat competitive depending on several key factors.

 

In November 2022, Tammy received a phone call that would change her life forever. Doctors found a kidney that would give Tammy the life she desired, free of dialysis and with full ability to perform again with Tammy Edwards and the Edwards Sisters, the group that expanded her faith years ago.

“Since the surgery, I’ve been doing well,” Edwards said. “I’m just continuing going to my doctor visits and keeping up with everything the doctor says, and having my faith.”