Five years ago I learned that my kidneys had failed and I would need to start dialysis to survive. Soon after, I found myself dealing with the sudden death of my mother. Dealing with these two sudden, devastating events at the same time was very challenging and I wasn’t sure how to make things work.
In 1998, Ron Krokey was as healthy as could be: a competitive triathlete who was a regular at his gym. A routine checkup with a high blood pressure reading led to a diagnosis of focal glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) and, eventually, dialysis.
Marcus Garcia lost his older brother Matthew to kidney disease just after Matthew’s 31st birthday. Matthew—a talented, athletic, a role model and an all-around cool guy—was diagnosed at age 26 with Goodpasture syndrome, a rare autoimmune disorder that affects the lungs and kidneys.
When Elaine lost her first kidney transplant a few years ago, she also lost her longtime job and her home. In despair, she never thought her life would turn around.
When he was diagnosed with kidney failure five years ago, DeWayne tried to end his life. Living on dialysis seemed unimaginable. But the 52-year-old California filmmaker has since regained hope. He has even been able to help thousands of other kidney disease sufferers by playing a key role in thwarting a proposed Congressional bill that would have cut care for dialysis patients.
Shortly after her favorite aunt died from kidney disease, Ariel’s own kidneys failed her. Only 13 years old, this scared and angry young girl from Houston had no idea that, a decade later, she would be an inspiration for countless others with kidney disease.