You have to look at the good experiences and keep on going as well as help others around you!
I had my first transplant in Toronto at the Hospital for Sick Children (called SickKIds or HSC for short) in 1990 when I was a teenager. I just went to the celebration last week on the 40th anniversary of Kidney Transplantation and got to meet Donna Fleming which made me so happy! Wow 36 years! I would love to have mine last that long! My first one lasted 11 years and I am now on my 2nd one. I was driven up there by a fellow "KidneyKid" who still has his first one that he got the same year I got mine at the same hospital and just celebrated his 19th year! Amazing!
Because I am so thankful for my gift and have been through a lot while waiting for the 2nd one which I got in London's University Hospital of the London Health Science Center, I try to raise awareness and have known about the Canadian Transplant Association for years. I also run my own site called Kidney Korner and help to run the Facebook group Canadian Kidney Connection run by a man in Sudbury whose son received his first kidney transplant around the same time as my 2nd transplant in the same London hospital.
I am so happy I got to meet all the people I have and learn so much because of my disease. You have to look at the good experiences and keep on going as well as help others around you! I also make sure to wear my green ribbon and my green bracelet / wrist band for awareness on Organ and Tissue Donation!
But it all started with a simply urinary reflux that even though my mom told the doctor something was wrong, nothing was done about it until it was too late to save both my kidneys. I was sick since I was born my mom says but I only remember being diagnosed finally at the age of 9.
I am doing well now. Strong and energetic finally!
I wish everyone well and hope to meet more who understand the need for more awareness!
- Angie Essery