When Someone Gives You The Gift Of Life, Don't Waste It

GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO.  “Your kidney just finished an Ironman!”
It was New Year's Eve, and I had just stepped out of the shower. My 'party' clothes were all ready, and my friend's rooftop deck party awaited. I was 30, single, and life was as good as it gets.

Then the phone rang.

A doctor, who I'd never met before, told me to drive immediately to the hospital and give them my name, and he'd meet me there as soon as he could. For the next three minutes as he explained why, I barely heard a word.

Still in shock, waiting in a hospital room, the doctor came in and explained that the kidney biopsy results from my tests two days previous had revealed that I had MPGN-1, a rare autoimmune disorder where your immune system decides it doesn't like your kidneys and it's going to wipe them out. Normally, the disease takes a decade to impact your kidney function. Normally it occurs in kids or people with severe autoimmune disorders such as lupus or HIV. My case was even more rare -- I wasn't a kid, I had no such disorder. And instead of a decade, it had destroyed two thirds of my kidney function in three months. Continue reading
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