ASHBURN, GA (WALB) - March marks National Kidney Month and a family here in South Georgia is using their daughter's story to spread the word.
The National Kidney Foundation says kidney disease is the 9th leading cause of death in the country.
Many Americans are in danger of contracting kidney disease through high blood pressure, diabetes or even family history.
The Brown family from Ashburn shared their journey to fight for a cure for Macy Ray and others.
"The morning that she woke up and I looked at her and I knew something was wrong. She was admitted to the hospital that day," said Melba Brown, mother to Macy Ray Brown.
Doctors diagnosed Melba Brown's nine-year-old daughter Macy Ray Brown with a rare, incurable kidney disease back in July 2015.
"She seemed to have had a stomach virus but then after 24 hours passed, the symptoms had gone down but she started exhibiting new symptoms," said Melba Brown.
Brown said her child started looking puffy in the face and was no longer the same person.
"They pretty much decided that what she had was nephrotic syndrome, the one that did not have a cure," said Melba Brown.
That means Macy's kidney filters are damaged, and protein along with waste can leak into her urine, leading to swelling around the eyes, hands, and feet.
"The mother mode comes out in you and you just start fighting for her and with her," said Melba Brown.
Macy fought the disease for more than two years.
She took nearly 40 medicines a day, went through three chemo treatments, 80 infusions, and had 15 hospital stays.
"It's tough to see your kid go through anything especially when it's a disease there's no cure for," said Wayne Brown, Macy's father.
Now Macy has been in full remission since August 2017.
"I feel very blessed of how I've gotten much better from when I was," said Macy.
She has more energy now, very playful and high off life.
Macy is now leaving messages for those still fighting the disease she struggled with for around a quarter of her life.
"You just need to keep fighting and never give up," said Macy Brown.
"We want to try and reach out and get a little bit more awareness of it and help with the Nephcure organization as much as we can and raise an awareness," said Wayne Brown.
Although Macy is in full remission, the family said she is not cured.
They are working with Nephcure Kidney International to raise money for research treatments and to find that cure.