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Jatin's Story

By the age of 7, I received my first kidney transplant but it only lasted 3 years.
My journey with kidney disease started at birth. I was about age 4 when I lost all kidney function and began peritoneal dialysis. By the age of 7, I received my first kidney transplant but it only lasted 3 years.

I started back on peritoneal dialysis for a short time but complications from pancreatitis meant that I needed to switch to in-center hemodialysis. The transition wasn’t easy. I went from having daily dialysis to treatments three times and then four times a week. It wasn’t easy managing my fluids and feeling the fatigue that comes with treatments.

Two years later, my medical team at Sick Kids Hospital decided that I would be a good candidate to try home hemodialysis. I was the first child in North America to do hemodialysis at home. My mom trained, learning how to care for me and clean and disinfect the machine.

Today about 18 years later I continue to do my dialysis from the comfort of home. These days, I take care of setting up and cleaning up myself. Sure, there was another transplant in between but unfortunately it didn’t work for me. For now, I'm determined to live my best life with this amazing opportunity of doing home hemodialysis. The flexibility to do treatments at home, allowed me to finish high school and pursue a college education. I think that if I was still in-centre, I would have missed a lot of classes and may have fallen behind in my studies.

At the age of 18, I transitioned from care through our pediatric hospital to an adult center in my community.  The change wasn’t easy. Going from a hospital where everything is taken care of, to a place where you need to be able to open and speak up to make sure your voice is heard was difficult at first. Thankfully as I built relationships with my new medical team, it became easier. I believe that The Kidney Foundation has helped me be a stronger advocate for myself.

It was through the Kidney Foundation I learned about peer support and right away I knew I wanted to help however I could. I volunteer as a peer support mentor for youth and young adults.  It’s important for me to use my experience to help others. I want new patients to understand they are not alone; they have someone other than their medical team to talk to. Speaking to a fellow patient who has gone through the kidney journey or is going through a similar situation can be such a help.