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Adam's story

The best thing that ever happened to me was that I failed grade 10 math.
I was born with kidney disease. I was very sick from the time I was about 6 years old until age 9. Doctors removed a piece of my left kidney and that seemed to fix the problem because I had no more symptoms or issues after that. I always knew my kidney function was reduced, other than that they told me I could live a normal life and I did; until I couldn’t. I had no physical symptoms. I was pursuing mental health treatment and not physical health treatment. And then when we started to look at my physical health, it was discovered that my kidney function was fading.

When I tell people about my story, I always say “the best thing that ever happened to me was that I failed grade 10 math”. I went to summer school and fortunately for me, I met the woman who would become my future wife and also my future kidney donor. Amanda lived in a different part of town, and we would not have ever met if we didn't go to summer school. We didn't fall in love right away; our first date was three or four years later and we’re still going strong after 23 years. When I learned about the loss of kidney function, Amanda got tested to see could be a donor for me and she was a match! 

On November 20th, 2019, Amanda became my kidney donor. I was still recovering when the pandemic began in the Spring of 2020. I was taking care of my new kidney nicely, but being immune compromised, I couldn’t take the risk of being in public. I am a social person, so I needed to find a new way to interact with people safely. I have always had a love for music and storytelling, so I decided to make a Twitch channel to be a DJ streamer. It was like connecting to a whole new world. Being able to share stories and just feel seen and heard was amazing. I didn't have a lot of confidence when I started, but the more I do, the more my confidence grows. 

In the fall of 2022, I decided to do an online fundraiser for The Kidney Foundation of Canada to raise money to help others who live with kidney disease and help educate others about kidney disease. I did the fundraiser via my Twitch channel. Over 3-days, I had around 10 people share their stories of how kidney disease or organ donation impacted their lives throughout the weekend. I really wanted to give back and help others that are going through the struggle that I went through and do anything I can do to assist them.

After everything I’ve experienced, the one thing I have learned is not to take a minute of my life for granted. I don't take any of the experiences that I have for granted. While I'm healthy and feeling good, I will experience life as much as I can.