Absolutely. I had my first kidney transplant back in 2007 due to kidney failure stemming from a genetic disorder called polycystic kidney disease. My dad was actually the donor just before entering my freshman year of undergrad. However, chronic rejection of that organ really began to set in and I eventually had to start hemodialysis.
“I knew I wanted to go into the medical field at that time, but I really wasn’t sure what specialty until this event came about. Something about seeing all these patients sort of hooked up to these [dialysis] machines for hours at a time, seemed sort of archaic.”
It reminded me of textbook pictures and photos of rooms filled with people hooked up to iron lungs during the height of the polio outbreak during the late forties and early fifties. I thought to myself, while these machines are incredible at keeping people alive, you sort of wonder why we don’t have an unrestricted supply of kidneys yet, for those who need them or at the very least to have a more favorable alternative with less risk. This is sort of what drove my interest in kidney medicine and kidney transplant research.”