dessa1 300OWENSBORO, Ky. (11/18/13) - Dessa Main is a fighter. The kind of fighter that would cause a heavyweight champ to cower before the first punch.

Dessa has been fighting against the odds her whole life. Dessa, born and raised in Owensboro, was only 17 when she found out she was going through renal failure. She was on dialysis treatment for three months until Dessa’s mother, Louise Main, did what most mothers would do and gave up a kidney to save her daughter’s life.

After 13 months, the kidney was rejected. Her oldest brother, Chris, then stepped in with another kidney. The transplant lasted almost four years, but then Dessa’s body rejected that, too. Dessa lived on dialysis treatment again for almost nine years. No one thought she was safe, but they didn’t think that she would soon be fighting against her biggest challenge thus far.

Last month, Dessa’s family noticed what looked like a bedsore on the back of her body. Doctors performed a biopsy on the now 31-year-old and concluded that it was actually a rare disease called Calciphylaxis. The disease only appears in less than 4 percent of dialysis patients and it is treatable in the beginning stages. But, Dessa, the young woman, who could “never catch a break”, was in Stage 8. A stage Owensboro doctors had never seen and could not treat.

Within a month, the open sores have covered most of her body. Her nephrologist, Dr. Bashar Maurad, says there’s “not much” they can do about her pain at this point. As family and friends gather at her bedside, there is an air of sadness in the room; an air of conclusion.

“She’s been battling for so long…when the time comes and it’s her time to go, it’s her time to go,“ Dessa’s brother, Timothy Main, said.

Living a normal life was never in the cards for Dessa.

“For 13 years, she’s had restrictions,” Louise said. “Once she goes, there won’t be any needles, There won’t be any more doctors, hospitals or restrictions. She’s going to be on a vacation…a well deserved vacation,” Louise said.

Dessa has been training for this fight her whole life. But to the girl who was once “so humorous”, it’s not about her. The “selfless” woman recently presented her niece with a birthday present; and to her fiancé - an anniversary card, even though their anniversary is not until December. During her long fight, she would even tell her family that she would rather it be her fighting than one of her brothers and sisters, because she “knows how to take pain”.

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And as her last wish, Dessa wants her family to be debt free for her funeral arrangements. The family has arranged an account on The website lets people donate, anonymously or not, any amount they want to Dessa’s cause. Dessa’s goal is to raise $15,000, and in two and a half days, Dessa’s story had over 2,000 shares on Facebook and had raised several thousand dollars. But, the fight isn’t over yet.

“Whether it's two weeks from now or whether it's tonight, I’m treasuring the last moments with her,” Louise said.

If you would like to donate to Dessa Main and her family, Click Here.

Taylor Riley
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