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Virginia — Spending nine hours a week in a dialysis chair watching her blood filter through a large machine was not what Wendy Rodgers imagined for her twenties.

“Going through dialysis was hard for me,” Rodgers said. “It was a reminder that you might not be there next time. It wasn’t viewed as a place where you’re going to get better.”

Rodgers was 27, a young mother to an 11-year-old daughter and just beginning her career as a teacher when her life was disrupted by sudden news – she was diagnosed with lupus, and her kidneys were beginning to fail from the disease.

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