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Trevor's Story

"My family and I have participated in every Kidney March since my transplant."
I will never forget the day I was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease (PKD). 

At the time, I didn’t know how to react because I had no symptoms. Ironically, I was actually going into the hospital for a biopsy because the doctors thought I had non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. It came back negative and that is when I learned I had PKD. I was in my late 20s at the time. I didn’t really know anything about the condition except that it is caused by a mutated gene.

Even though my health deteriorated over the years, I kept working but my energy levels plummeted.  My goal was to avoid dialysis. When my kidney function was down to 15%, I was immediately placed on a transplant waiting list.  

In December 2014, I was lucky to get a kidney transplant from my stepsister. Despite a successful operation, I had to go back into the hospital due to a ruptured cyst which was a 30-day stay. A year later the surgeons removed my native kidneys. During that procedure, an issue arose; that led to another six surgeries, but I tried to stay positive.

It was during that time I found support through the Southern Alberta Branch when I volunteered as a crew member for the annual Kidney March. I wasn’t aware of the Foundation until we met a couple and realized the woman had the exact same kidney condition as me. As we continued to meet (pre-COVID restrictions), these people soon became family because you learn so much from what others have gone through or what they are going to go through, and from their willingness to help you and talk about their experiences. It can be extremely moving at times – definitely when you get together as a group or at the finishing line of the Kidney March – to see what everyone has done to overcome and accomplish goals that they’ve set for themselves.

Although I struggle with edema, I am living life the best that I can each day. My family and I have participated in every Kidney March since my transplant. This year, I helped with the Patient Forum planning group, and I am a Kidney Connect volunteer.  

I am so glad to be a part of The Kidney Foundation because it changed my life. If I can help someone by answering questions, talking about what I’ve been through, or even offering some insight, hopefully they will have an easier time, too.