Friday, July 9, 2010


I received a call two days ago from Stephanie at the IMC Transplant Center. She offered some really great news.

Stephanie: “I talked to the doctors and we have decided to go ahead activate you on the transplant list.”

This is incredible! I have been shedding pounds trying to reach the ideal goal weight for a kidney-pancreas transplant. I talked with Stephanie last Friday and told her I was only 4lbs from my goal.

I have been losing between 2-3 pounds a week for the past several months. One of the symptoms of end stage kidney failure is a loss of appetite so it’s easy to lose weight when you aren’t hungry.

This is it. I am now “active” on the list. The average wait time is about 2 years, but realistically it could happen anytime. I just need to wait for a “perfect match” donor before I get the phone call of a lifetime.

I remember several months ago when Dr. Cline told me I would need to start dialysis. It was a horrible feeling, and if I’m being honest, I was really scared. I had no idea what being on dialysis entailed. He also said it was probably time for me to schedule an appointment with the transplant center. I had these ideas in my head that after dialysis (or a transplant), I would be stuck in bed not able to do anything active for the rest of my life.

I’m glad I was wrong.

Before we left his office, Dr. Cline invited us to a kidney education center in the same building. There, we were introduced to a Nurse Practitioner named Maureen. She talked to us about the different types of dialysis (do-it-yourself at home, or go to a clinic 3 times a week) as well as the different types of surgery to prepare for dialysis (fistula, skin graft, catheter.)

I’ll never forget watching a video about people who were on dialysis. They talked about having the same fears I had, and they explained what it was like to be on dialysis. They also emphasized how they were free to do almost everything they had done in the past- exercise, travel, work, etc. Dialysis is nothing more than a slight inconvenience 3 times a week in exchange for sustaining your life.

We also opted for a fistula, which I mentioned on the previous blog entry. The appointment with a surgeon was scheduled and everything was in place for the future.

When I realized my life would still be my own, I wiped the tears from my eyes and felt ready to take on the next step in the process- Dialysis.


  1. High five, Jake! I am proud of you! :)


  2. You are an amazing writer. WoW!! All the emotions that you have experienced at the moment are described here letting the reader feel your frustration, hope, and expectation. All will be well Jake!! You are corageous, you have a tender heart, and a powerful positive frame of mind that can only claim victory. Thanks for letting us look through a window into your heart--for loving life, Chris, you, and everyone that knows you!! Irma