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My Story

In 1998 I was diagnosed with Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD).  PKD is a degenerative genetic disorder which has caused my kidneys to fail at age 53.  At a family reunion in 1998, one of my uncles asked me if I was aware of this disease.  When my young family returned to Colorado, I made a medical appointment, and the diagnosis was confirmed.  Since then, I have taken extra effort to take care of my kidneys and extend their usable life as long as possible.  Unfortunately, even with coddling, my kidneys have failed!

As a result of kidney failure, I started home dialysis in February 2021 during the middle(?) of Covid.  Oddly enough, I was also placed on the Kidney transplant list in February of 2021 as well.  I was working through the process of getting listed when my Nephrologist decided I should start dialysis.  We (my wife and I) opted to do home hemodialysis as it affords the most flexibility for the patient and caregiver.  I have returned to work part time and manage my dialysis schedule around medical appointments and other life events.  My life certainly isn't normal as I'm connected to my dialysis machine 5 days a week for 4 hours at a time.  The current wait time for a cadaver kidney in Colorado is 5-7 years.

The best possible outcome from this point going forward is finding a living donor.  A living donor is someone willing to undergo surgery to have one of their kidneys removed on my behalf.  The living donor's kidney could be implanted in my body or someone else who needs a kidney.  If you are giving your kidney to someone else for me, that means they have a donor who is willing to give me their kidney.  This is called paired kidney exchange and gives 2 (or more) transplant recipients the best possible kidneys moving forward in life.  More information is available on the living donation page.

PS: If you aren’t interested in being a living donor, please consider signing up to be an organ donor upon your passing.

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