Why I Am Joining the 2013 Baltimore Kidney Walk, and Why You Should, Too!
Posted Apr 30 2013 6:00am
The 2013 Baltimore Kidney Walk takes place this Sunday, May 5, at the Maryland Zoo. Read on as LifeBridge Health team member Don Artes shares his personal kidney transplant story, and please consider registering with the team here .
My name is Don Artes and I am a Pediatric Respiratory Care Practitioner here at Sinai Hospital. I have autosomal dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD). PKD is a genetic disorder characterized by the growth of many cysts on the kidney. These cysts can profoundly enlarge the kidneys resulting in reduced kidney function and eventual renal failure. I have been aware of my kidney disease for a long time, and have taken steps to help delay my renal failure by exercising, eating healthy, and monitoring my blood pressures.
In October 2011 I completed my first marathon, a Marine Corp Marathon, in honor of my older brother who died from complications surrounding his Polycystic Kidney Disease. Today I too am in renal failure, but have yet to require dialysis. To complicate issues, I will be having abdominal surgery in the near future for another medical condition. Because my kidneys are so large it has been decided that they need to be removed to provide adequate space to successfully complete my surgery and to improve my overall outcome. While this could be devastating for most individuals, I hopefully will have a bright future.
After a summer of recovery and dialysis I will be receiving a kidney transplant. My 23-year-old neighbor heard of my plight through my children and has generously offered to be a kidney donor. He has now completed the donor process through the University of Maryland Medical Center and is waiting for me to recover so he can give me the “gift of life.”