In a series of very unusual events, a nosebleed, which turned out to have nothing to do with the teen's rare disease, also revealed her parents' cancer.
It was early January 2013 when Crystal Enns, then 14 years old, experienced a severe nosebleed: it just wouldn't stop. In fact, it became so bad that she was forced to skip school days. Normally, nosebleeds happen because the very thin lining with small blood vessels in the nose breaks. However, her parents believed this was something more serious.
She was diagnosed with juvenile nephronophthisis, a rare disease that affects only 1 in every 920,000+ people in the United States, according to Genetics Home Reference. It is characterized by fibrosis or scarring of the kidneys. It also leads to the inflammation of the organ. By the time the disease was discovered, the kidneys were severely impaired the doctors recommended a transplant immediately.
Her parents stepped up to the plate and were eventually found to be a match. So they had their kidneys examined for possible donation. That's when another bad news hit them.
Both parents, Mark and Cristy, were discovered to have kidney cancer. Thinking about the incident that happened about 3 years ago, Cristy couldn't help but described it as simply "crazy," when speaking to CBS 11 News. After all, she believed that at 39 years old, she was young to have such cancer. Further, none of them showed any symptoms prior to the diagnosis. The two of them had the same type of kidney cancer.
It's a good thing that Crystal immediately found another perfect match. She received a new kidney from her aunt in April 2013. As for her parents, they also had a successful treatment.
The family could not have been more grateful for the experience as they believe it only strengthened their faith in God.