idney disorders currently affect some 3 million people nationwide. In the United States, more than 44,000 people are on The List, patiently waiting to get a phone call telling them they're a near-perfect match for a cadaveric kidney. Hospitals across the country are flooded with more than 100,000 dialysis patients, who sit for hours at a time as man-made machines do what their own kidneys can't: clean toxins and fluid from their blood.
In the fall of 1998, these numbers were little more than a jumbled set of statistics for me.
I knew early in life there was a chance my kidneys could fail, but I never gave it a second thought. I was too busy growing up and pursuing a career in photojournalism.
Who better to undertake such a project than a photojournalist? I admit the whole idea of turning the camera around made me uncomfortable. After all, my place is behind the viewfinder. Thankfully, all the shooters involved are friends and they made it easy for me to become the subject, and after a while, I forgot they were there.
The chapters of this Web site chronicle my journey through the kidney transplant process, from early discussions with my doctor, to dialysis and ultimately to the surgery on March 31, 2000.
My goals with this site are to help patients and families better understand what may be ahead for them on the kidney failure road and to demystify the transplant process. But please remember, this is just what happened to me. Every patient is different and there are countless twists, turns and pot holes for everyone along the way.
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