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Professor lends support to lupus-sticken student

Hopes to find potential kidney donors

Special Photo 
Clayton State University student Rosalynn Gresham (shown) is in need of a kidney transplant and criminal justice professor, Dr. Sarah Stein, is trying to make that happen by raising awareness in the community about her student’s condition.

Special Photo Clayton State University student Rosalynn Gresham (shown) is in need of a kidney transplant and criminal justice professor, Dr. Sarah Stein, is trying to make that happen by raising awareness in the community about her student’s condition.

MORROW — Clayton State University’s faculty is galvanizing support for student Rosalynn Gresham, who needs a kidney transplant.

The Hampton native is battling lupus.

Gresham, 34, is one of an estimated 1.5 million Americans living with the chronic autoimmune disease, according to data from the Lupus Foundation of America. The foundation reported that there are more than 16,000 new cases of lupus annually around the country.

Gresham was diagnosed with lupus at the age of 17. She has been on dialysis since January 2011, attending treatments three times a week and splitting her time between the classroom and the hospital.

She said her kidneys failed that month and she lapsed into a three-day coma. She was subsequently hospitalized for a month.

“I’ve been praying to God for a kidney donor,” Gresham wrote in an online appeal for potential donors.

Dr. Sarah Stein taught Gresham in her criminal justice class at Clayton State and was one of those tested last year to be a kidney donor.

The professor is leading efforts to find Gresham a donor.

“She’s extremely bright, she’s extremely driven to do what she wants to do, and she has a zest for life that is unbelievable,” said Stein. “I at least wanted to give her that hope that someone out there is trying, and I hope other people will try as well.”

Stein will host an information session April 3, from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m., on Main Street on the second floor of the James M. Baker University Center. She said she hopes to raise awareness of Gresham’s condition and provide information about the testing process to be a donor.

“I really feel blessed with Ms. Stein,” said Gresham. “I think she’s an angel. I didn’t know her and she didn’t know me, but it made me feel a lot better [to have her support]. I’m really grateful to her.”

There is an online fundraising effort for Gresham at www.giveforward.com/newlifenewbeginnings. It ends May 30.