Andrew S.

Adult, Minimal Change Disease

I was first diagnosed with Minimal Change Nephrotic Syndrome at age two in 1985. Since then, my diagnosis has been confirmed with two kidney biopsies.

My mom was the first to recognize that something was out of the ordinary, given that my cheeks and eyes appeared swollen and puffy. I distinctly remember waking up in a hospital bed one evening with an IV in my arm and my sweet mom at my side. I had been drifting in and out of my sleep and not acutely aware of my surroundings. The thoughts of “What is happening to me?” and “Why do I feel so cruddy?” lingered, and left me with a feeling of helplessness.

Ever since then, I have endured numerous kidney flare ups over the years. I have undergone treatments in the form of Prednisone and other immunosuppressant drugs, such as Cytoxin and Cyclosporine.

While the Prednisone does its job in keeping the protein spillage intact, it causes a series of potent side effects such as insomnia, rapid weight gain, decreased immunity, and restlessness/irritability. Nevertheless, if it wasn’t for the Prednisone I would be in much worse shape than I am now. The immunosuppressant drugs mentioned earlier have not been effective enough alone to replace the Prednisone, so the side effects must be endured for now.

Recently, I have suffered a bad kidney relapse, one of the worst I can remember. However, my friends, family, and doctors have provided me with excellent emotional support, care and assistance in helping me get through these tumultuous times. I would like to take the time to reach out and thank all of you (coworkers, family, friends, and so forth) in offering a helping hand. I simply could not have done it without you guys.

The more money we raise, the better chance we have in putting that money toward research in finding a cure, not just for myself, but for all of those who suffer from this disease and others. Thank you for your time!