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Sylvie’s Story

Without giving it a second thought, I offered up one of my kidneys.
I am thrilled to be the mother of two beautiful children—they’re still my kids even though they’re adults now—and a grandmother to the world’s prettiest granddaughter! So many times, my husband and I have told each other how lucky we were to have such beautiful, wonderful and healthy children and grandchildren. They’re sources of pure joy in our lives.

But a few years ago when in his mid-twenties, our son found out he had a degenerative kidney disease that would ultimately force him to go on dialysis and have a kidney transplant. That’s when I realized just how much we would do to save our children’s lives! Without giving it a second thought, I offered up one of my kidneys. After a battery of medical tests, I was accepted as a donor. Benoit has been living with my kidney since then and he’s regained his health, good spirits and joie de vivre.

This whole episode made me realize that we often take things for granted, when in reality there are no guarantees in life. But more than that, I discovered the importance of medical research and support for patients as they struggle through their ordeal.

Conducting research requires substantial funding that is all too often lacking. Activities such as the annual Kidney Walk organized by The Kidney Foundation help raise funds for research, patients and their loved ones. In concrete terms, the money is used to change lives for the better. Without the research that has been carried out over the past 50 years, my son’s diagnosis would have been a death sentence.

I dream of a future where dialysis is increasingly unnecessary because researchers will have found a permanent way to fight and even cure renal failure.