At the tender age of fourteen, Adam was diagnosed with a rare kidney disease called Membranoproliferative Glomerulonephritis. This disease is degenerative in nature and slowly progressed until Adam experienced complete kidney failure a year before his 30th birthday. His nephrologist immediately ordered dialysis treatment.
Being on dialysis, significantly changes every aspect of a person’s life. It limits everything from the food that a person can ingest to the amount of energy an individual may have for simple everyday life tasks, not to mention the time it takes to filter the blood of all waste throughout the week. Adam took the bus three times a week to Capital Nephrology to undergo dialysis treatment. He sat in treatment for three to four hours each visit. Once treatment was completed he walked to the nearest bus stop and waited for the next bus to arrive which would eventually lead him home.
After five years of dialysis, his generous younger brother, Edwin (left) was finally approved for living organ donation and he and Adam were a perfect match. Thanks to Edwin, on August 5th, 2009, Adam was given a second chance at life.
Coming from a military family, Adam had a desire to serve our country as a soldier in the military at an early age. At the age of 20, Adam chose to apply for acceptance into the Marine Corps. He believes that their mission is unique among all services in that their response to guard and protect is the quickest and truth be told, he thinks that their uniform is the most captivating. He passed every exam until the United States Military Entrance Processing Command ordered a urinalysis. Once excess protein was found in his sample, he was immediately disqualified.
Now that he was given the gift of a normal life without dialysis, Adam could pursue his calling. At the age of 36, he was ineligible to apply for military service but Adam’s calling for public service, was still within him. He was unsure as to what avenue to take so he began his research. After careful thought and consideration, he determined that serving his community as a law enforcement officer would fulfill that sense of purpose that has always seemed to fall out of grasp when he attempted to pursue it. He finally completed the application for entrance into the police academy in Austin, Texas and sent it off to the Austin Police Department Recruiting Unit.
Soon after filing the application with APD recruitment, Adam began to notice that he was becoming overly exhausted and nauseated. Prior to sending the application, Adam went to his annual appointment with his nephrologist. The urinalysis showed that his creatinine levels were a little higher than usual and his white blood cell count had increased. After a couple of months, his nephrologist ordered more tests because high creatinine levels as well as an increase in white blood cells in the urine can be a possible sign of kidney rejection. The doctor performed tests to check if the white blood cells were donor specific and the results came back negative. Adam’s creatinine levels had decreased as well. Adam was hopeful because there were no other signs of rejection. His blood pressure was normal and there was no presence of excessive protein in his urine. So, Adam went about life as usual.
Within less than sixty days after filing his application with APD, Adam was scheduled for a 24 hour urine collection with his doctor. The results were disheartening and unexpected. His kidney was failing. As of now, his kidney is functioning at 24% and he is in stage 4 kidney failure. His health is declining rapidly and completing the most common of tasks such as walking to work which is less than 2 miles away is unthinkable.
Adam has persistent insomnia which is a symptom of his kidney failure and when he does sleep he awakens feeling nauseated and depleted. His hemoglobin count is low because his kidney is unable to produce the hormone that signals the bone marrow to create more red blood cells which carry oxygen to his organs. He becomes exhausted and breathless easily and is also constantly dehydrated due to consistent diarrhea. Through this ordeal, Adam’s car stopped functioning properly as well. It doesn’t accelerate beyond 15 mph and repairing it is out of the question since he has been too sick to attend work. Thankfully, Adam qualified for FMLA and his job is secure for now. However, he doesn’t receive compensation for the days he is unable to attend. The FMLA will expire soon and he will need to take a leave of absence from work. Currently, he is behind on his utilty bills and is uncertain if he will be able to pay next month’s rent. He has very little money to buy the healthy food he needs for his condition, since he uses that money to purchase his medication.
If you have an extra buck or 2 around, consider sending it to Adam.
thanks guys…and gals
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