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Sunday, September 4, 2016

Transplants offer 'whole new life' for Kaukauna man

Jim Killian, 63, who has managed his Type 1 diabetes since the age of 3, received a double organ transplant involving his kidney and pancreas which eliminated his diabetes.(Photo: Danny Damiani/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin)

KAUKAUNA - It started at age three.

That's when Jim Killian, now 63, learned he had Type 1 diabetes.

The retired machinist spent nearly a lifetime managing the autoimmune disease. He used an insulin pump, took daily injections, underwent eye surgery, monitored his diet and developed an exercise routine — all to protect his body from further damage. At one point, he was legally blind.

It was a constant battle for Killian.

Then, last August, he began dialysis after his kidneys started to fail. The pair of organs were functioning at six to eight percent.

But on June 18, his life changed dramatically in a matter of hours after undergoing a pancreas and kidney transplant in Madison.

Hours after the surgery, Killian was up walking around. Six days later, he was released from the hospital. Today, he has three kidneys and two pancreases.

And after six decades of insulin dependency, Killian no longer has diabetes. Continue reading
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