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Matt's Story

It was a relief and comfort to be around people who understand what I was going through.
I was diagnosed with Alport Syndrome about five years ago, while I was a student at Carleton University in Ottawa. I was not in shock or anything when I found out, because in a way I kind of expected it. Growing up in Burlington, Ont. I was accustomed to seeing specialists because of my hearing loss. Since the age of 7, I have been wearing hearing aids in both ears. After finding out I also had kidney disease, doctors did a biopsy, and it turned out I had Alport Syndrome.

I started preparing for a kidney transplant in July 2018, at St Joseph’s Hospital in Hamilton. My dad was going to be my donor. It was a long process, and I lost a lot of kidney function while the work-up was going on.  I had to start dialysis sessions three times a week the following summer while waiting for the transplant.

While in dialysis, I learned about the Kidney Foundation’s Peer Support program, and went to a meeting in Mississauga. It was a relief and comfort to be around people who understand what I was going through. Dialysis was very new to me and I had a lot of questions: what to eat, what foods to avoid, how to live your daily life.  I left there with a lot of my questions answered, and feeling a lot better. It was great to talk to other people with similar experiences instead of keeping things to myself.

Last September, I took part in my first Kidney Walk. I had a bunch of friends and family come out and support me. My goal was to raise $5,000 and I ended up raising $17,000. All those donations coming in and all the people supporting me was overwhelming. The Walk was a lot of fun and I am glad I took part. Most importantly, I want to thank all my family and friends for their support over these past few months. I couldn’t have done it without them. 

I had my kidney transplant on Jan.8th, 2020, and I can’t believe how much better I feel. Although there are some days where I feel worn out, my energy is so much better and my appetite is back. I almost forgot what it was like to feel this good. I guess my dad gave me a pretty awesome kidney. I am looking forward to getting back to my normal routine and getting back to doing the things I love.