Ten months ago, Jami Mock's life changed dramatically when she found out she had acute kidney failure. The disease came on suddenly and was the result of a stomach infection that may have stemmed from E. coli. Unfortunately, there's no way to know.
"By the time I got to the hospital, I didn't have the germ left in me," she said. "I just had the effects of what had happened."
So just what happened? Mock said the stomach infection led to hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a clinical disorder characterized by progressive renal failure associated with microangiopathic (non-immune, Coombs-negative) hemolytic anemia and thrombocytopenia.
In Mock's words, HUS is basically "a disease where your blood explodes."
The "explosion" clogged her kidneys, leaving them unable to function; ultimately shutting them down. Other than a short eight-week reprieve, she's been on dialysis ever since.
A benefit concert
A business teacher at East Syracuse-Minoa High School, Mock hasn't been back to work since February, but she plans to return as soon as possible.
"What you do is who you are," the 34-year-old said about her teaching career. "When you don't do what you do, you lose a little bit of who you are."
Mock is also a co-advisor for DECA, an association of marketing and management that takes on community service and public relations projects. ES-M High School has more than 100 students involved in the club.
'Rock for Mock,' a benefit concert, is a DECA project falling into the category of community service, Mock said. DECA students wanted not only to help raise funds for their teacher's cause, but also to raise awareness for organ donation.
"[The students] are doing a lot of public relations and trying to get the word out on donating and signing your license, letting your family know and making people aware of live donations," Mock said.